Ovarian Cysts Types

Ovarian cysts can be caused by multiple factors, so there are many ovarian cysts types that can develop. Although the term “ovarian cyst” may seem intimidating, certain types are actually quite common in women, especially during menstruation.

During a woman’s menstrual cycle, it’s common for her to develop small, fluid or egg-filled cysts in and around the ovaries. Over time these cysts grow and diminish. These harmless types of cysts, known as functional cysts, are generally asymptomatic, meaning they exist without producing any symptoms.

However, in some cases, some types of cysts can be painful, causing uncomfortable symptoms. Occasionally, ovarian cysts put a woman’s health in danger, especially if they turn out to be malignant. There are many ovarian cyst types that can threaten health. Getting regular Pap smears is important to identify the presence of cysts and determine whether or not a cyst is malignant.

In this section, we describe the various types of ovarian cysts. For each type of ovarian cyst, you’ll learn its:

  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Treatments.

Corpus Luteum Cysts

The corpus luteum is an ovarian gland that manufactures progesterone once an egg is released, in order to prepare the uterus for possible pregnancy. If pregnancy doesn’t occur, the corpus luteum usually disappears. However, the corpus luteum may occasionally become a fluid-filled cyst, also known as corpus luteum cysts.

Corpus luteum cysts are typically asymptomatic and tend to develop during the end of a woman’s monthly cycle, as well as during early stages of pregnancy. In most cases, corpus luteum cysts disappear on their own without any treatment. Keep reading to learn more about corpus luteum cysts.

Hemorrhagic Cyst

Functional cysts that contain or release blood are known as hemorrhagic cysts. These types of cysts don’t always burst. However, if or when they do, hemorrhagic cysts leak blood, causing a burning sensation throughout the pelvic region. These cysts are common phenomena that typically don’t require treatment. Most women have experienced hemorrhagic cysts at some point in their lives.

Doctors may suggest surgically removing hemorrhagic cysts, especially if they think the cysts indicate the presence of endometriosis. Read on to learn more about hemorrhagic cysts.

Dermoid Cyst

These types of cysts grow from a germ cell in the ovaries (namely the totipotential germ cell). This is a fundamental cell from which a variety of other tissues grow, such as:

  • Bones
  • Hair
  • Teeth.

As a result, a dermoid cyst tends to contain a variety of solid physical tissue. For example, it’s common for doctors to see hair and teeth formations in dermoid cysts. Although a dermoid cyst is usually benign, approximately 2 percent of these types of cysts are malignant.

Although women of any age can develop a dermoid cyst, those who are in their prime childbearing years are at the highest risk. These types of cysts can grow as large as 15 centimeters across, possibly cutting off the ovaries’ blood supply. Therefore, removing a dermoid cyst is the most common treatment option. Read on to learn more about dermoid cysts.


eMedicineHealth Staff. (n.d.). Definition of dermoid cyst of the ovary. Retrieved February 12, 2010, from the eMedicineHealth Web site: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=2960.

eMedicineHealth Staff. (n.d.). Ovarian cysts. Retrieved February 12, 2010, from the eMedicineHealth Web site: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/ovarian_cysts/article_em.htm.

Greenfield, M. (2010). Corpus luteum cyst of pregnancy. Retrieved February 12, 2010 from the Dr. Spock Web site: http://www.drspock.com/article/0,1510,5335,00.html.