An ovarian cyst is a sac or pouch filled with fluid or other tissue that forms in or on an ovary. Ovarian cysts are very common. They can occur during the childbearing years or after menopause. Most ovarian cysts are benign (not cancer) and go away on their own without treatment. Rarely, a cyst may be malignant (cancer).
- Functional cyst—This is the most common type of ovarian cyst. It usually causes no symptoms. Functional cysts often go away without treatment within 6–8 weeks.
- Teratoma—This type of cyst contains different kinds of tissues that make up the body, such as skin and hair. These cysts may be present from birth but can grow during a woman’s reproductive years. In very rare cases, some teratomas can become cancer.
- Cystadenoma—These cysts form on the outer surface of the ovary. They can grow very large but usually are benign.
- Endometrioma—This cyst forms as a result of endometriosis.
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