Follicular Cyst

Last Updated: September 4, 2016

Definition - What does Follicular Cyst mean?

A follicular cyst is an egg that does not leave the ovaries during ovulation, but instead stays inside the capsule it is grown in, called a follicle. Follicular cysts are typically asymptomatic and heal on their own. In most mild cases, follicular cysts have no impact on fertility.

FertilitySmarts explains Follicular Cyst

A woman’s ovaries produce a small component called a follicle, which is responsible for housing an egg as it grows to maturity. At the time of ovulation, a fully-grown egg ruptures out of its follicle, and travels through the fallopian tubes in search of fertilization (sperm). Only one egg is released per month. A follicular cyst occurs when the egg does not rupture from the follicle, and instead continues to grow inside.

Follicular cysts rarely cause noticeable symptoms, and are typically only discovered during a routine pelvic exam or unrelated ultrasound. However, if the cyst becomes extensively large or suddenly ruptures, it may cause pain, bloating, nausea or vomiting.

Once a cyst is identified, a physician will examine the size and composition to determine whether or not it is problematic. A cyst that causes no symptoms is usually left alone to heal. However if the cyst is causing health concerns or is growing in size, a physician may conduct additional testing or advise surgical removal. Women who have been diagnosed with cysts, and are not trying to conceive, may be prescribed birth control pills. Birth control pills prevent future cysts by temporarily halting ovulation.

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