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Ovarian Cyst services offered in Fountain Valley, CA

Ovarian Cyst Specialist

What causes an ovarian cyst?

Ovarian cysts naturally develop as you go through your monthly cycles. Inside your ovaries, there are small, fluid-filled sacs (follicles). Each follicle holds an immature egg.

Every month, several eggs start to grow, but only one of them fully matures. Your ovaries release that one egg, sending it into the fallopian tube where the egg may be fertilized by sperm.

The follicles that started to mature, and the follicle left behind after releasing the egg, usually break down and disappear. However, some turn into ovarian cysts.

What types of ovarian cysts are related to ovulation?

You can develop three types of ovarian cysts associated with ovulation. These cysts often resolve on their own and don't need treatment:

Follicular cysts

When the follicles that failed to mature don't break down, they turn into follicular cysts.

Corpus luteum cysts

A corpus luteum cyst develops when the follicle that released a mature egg fails to be reabsorbed. Instead, it accumulates fluids and becomes a cyst.

Hemorrhagic cyst

A hemorrhagic cyst is a follicular or corpus luteum cyst with bleeding inside.

What other types of ovarian cysts might I develop?

Ovarian cysts that aren't related to your monthly cycle include:

Dermoid cysts

These ovarian cysts contain tissues other than fluid, such as hair and skin.


This type develops on the surface of the ovary and often contains mucus.


Endometriomas develop when patches of endometriosis grow in the ovary.

What symptoms develop due to ovarian cysts?

Symptoms begin as the ovarian cysts get larger. You may have:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Abdominal pressure or bloating
  • Low back ache
  • Painful intercourse
  • Pain during your period
  • Abnormal menstrual bleeding
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Frequent urination
  • Inability to empty your bladder

Though uncommon, a large ovarian cyst may twist the ovary or rupture. This causes sudden, severe pain that requires emergency medical treatment.

How are ovarian cysts treated?

For your initial treatment, Dr. Okour may prescribe hormonal contraceptives. These medications prevent future cysts from growing, but won't eliminate an existing cyst. Surgery is the only way to treat ovarian cysts.

You may need surgery when you have:

  • Large cysts
  • Uncomfortable symptoms
  • A cancer diagnosis
  • Cysts that pose a high risk of cancer  

Dr. Okour performs minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery whenever possible, but some women may need open surgery. During your surgery, he either removes the cysts or takes out the ovary, depending on the type and size of the cyst.

If you have symptoms of an ovarian cyst, call Southern California Center for Advanced Gynecology, or book an appointment online today.