DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs or pockets within or on the surface of an ovary. Women have two ovaries — each about the size and shape of an almond — located on each side of the uterus. Eggs (ova) develop and mature in the ovaries and are released in monthly cycles during your childbearing years.
Many women have ovarian cysts at some time during their lives. Most ovarian cysts present little or no discomfort and are harmless. The majority of ovarian cysts disappear without treatment within a few months.
However, ovarian cysts — especially those that have ruptured — sometimes produce serious symptoms. The best ways to protect your health are to know the symptoms that may signal a more significant problem, and to schedule regular pelvic examinations.
- Ovarian cysts. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp075.cfm. Accessed June 10, 2011.
- Katz VL. Benign gynecologic lesions: Vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, oviduct, ovary. In: Katz VL, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?sid=1169048731&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-02951-3..50021-2--cesec52&isbn=978-0-323-02951-3&uniqId=257973966-4. Accessed June 10, 2011.
- Dankakas GT, et al. Ovarian Neoplasm, Benign. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed June 10, 2011.
- Givens V, et al. Diagnosis and Management of Adnexal Masses. American Family Physician. 2009;80:815.
- Hoffman MS. Overview of the evaluation and management of adnexal masses. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed June 10, 2011.
- Gallenberg MM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 13, 2011.