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Causes Of Ovarian Cysts

Jul 3, 2008
There are many different causes of ovarian cysts. Under the normal menstrual cycle, ovaries grow cyst-like structures called follicles each month. These follicles produce hormones necessary for pregnancy such as estrogen and progesterone. Ovarian cysts can form when a normal follicle continues to grow for an abnormal period of time.

Among ovarian cysts, follicular cysts are the most prevalent. They hardly ever produce any symptoms and usually resolve by themselves. They are usually harmless. Follicular ovarian cysts are usually caused when the pituitary gland hormones that stimulate egg release by the ovaries cause the follicle to swell instead. The enlarged follicle develops into a cyst.

When luteinizing hormone surges during the monthly cycle and an egg is released a corpus luteum cyst is created. Once the egg is released the body then begins to prepare for possible conception through the ruptured follicle producing estrogen and progesterone. At this stage, the follicle is known as corpus luteum. A cyst is formed when the corpus luteum seals off and fluid collects inside it.

A corpus luteum cyst will typically disappear on its own without any treatment, although it could grow to 4 inches in diameter during just a period of a few weeks. It could also bleed internally or twist an ovary. If the corpus luteum cyst ruptures this can cause internal bleeding in addition to sudden sharp or severe pain.

Clomiphene citrate, a commonly prescribed fertility drug to induce ovulation, might be a cause of ovarian cysts. Usage of this drug may result in an increased risk that a corpus luteum cyst might develop. Corpus luteum cysts by themselves do not pose a risk to pregnancy.

Ovarian cysts containing blood, known as hemorrhagic or endometrioid cysts, form in the same way. The presence of blood might have been the result of an injury or from leakage of surrounding blood vessels through to the egg sac. When causes of ovarian cysts from bleeding and shedding of endometrial tissue occurs in the ovaries, painful cysts may form. If left to continue, the pooling blood may rupture causing pelvic pain.

While you can't prevent the actual causes of ovarian cysts from occurring, certain steps can be taken to improve your overall health. Increasing exercise, controlling stress, improving your diet, and regular checkups with your gynecologist can all help reduce the chances of developing ovarian cysts.
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