Functional ovarian cyst

Illustration of functional ovarian cyst

Illustration copyright 2000 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.nucleusinc.com

An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac (follicle) that contains a maturing egg; it forms on the ovary's surface, then disappears not long after it releases the egg. If a mature egg is not released or if the sac reseals after releasing the egg, the sac can swell up with fluid, forming a functional ovarian cyst.

Most functional ovarian cysts do not cause symptoms and go away by themselves. However, they do sometimes rupture, twist, or bleed, which can cause severe pelvic pain.

Last Updated: November 10, 2008

Medical Review: Joy Melnikow, MD, MPH - Family Medicine & Deborah A. Penava, BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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