Published: Sept. 26, 2008
Updated: Sept. 8, 2010
Ovarian cysts are misunderstood and extremely common.
Women who are ovulatory will form a follicle during their menstrual cycle. This follicle contains an egg, or oocyte. The follicle may become as large as three centimeters in diameter.
This follicle and the structure that can form after ovulation, known as the corpus luteum (which secretes progesterone to support the uterine lining for a pregnancy), are cysts.
Sometimes these cysts do not regress on their own and are called functional cysts. There are multiple other types of cysts, including ones that are malignant, but by far the most common type of cyst is the functional cyst.
Observation is the most common form of treatment.
Learn about other potential diagnoses: