Ovarian cysts

What are ovarian cysts?

Ovarian cysts are sacs or "bubbles" full of fluid that are found on the surface or within both ovaries. During the reproductive years of a woman, the ovaries produce, develop and release a mature egg or ovum every month.

A high percentage of women suffer from ovarian cysts at some time during their lives. Most such cysts cause little or no discomfort but only a slight indisposition. They may even disappear spontaneously after a few months without treatment. Others may present symptoms or even considerable pain that can only be remedied by urgent surgical treatment, especially in the case of twisting or rupture of the cyst capsule.

Almost all ovarian cysts are benign, although clinically speaking they are indistinguishable from malignant ovarian tumours. Differential diagnosis can be difficult, and appropriate and early diagnosis of any cyst is important to prevent the possibility of ovarian cancer. A good knowledge of the symptoms and of the different types of cysts is advisable, as well as regular gynecological check-ups.