Hemorrhagic Cyst

Definition - What does Hemorrhagic Cyst mean?

A hemorrhagic cyst is a growth in the ovary that is bleeding. While most ovarian cysts are painless, hemorrhagic cysts may be painful. This type of cyst is typically non-cancerous and will resolve independently without medical intervention. In most cases of a hemorrhagic cyst, there is no permanent damage to the ovary or a woman’s reproductive possibilities.

A hemorrhagic cyst may also be called a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst.

FertilitySmarts explains Hemorrhagic Cyst

For women of child bearing age, each month results in the production of an egg to facilitate possible conception. Eggs are developed inside follicles, sac-like growths located in the ovary. However, when the follicle remains active even after the egg has been released, it can result in the growth of a functional cyst. These cysts are termed “functional” as they develop from the result of body’s natural processes.

There are two types of functional ovarian cysts: follicular and corpus luteum. Hemorrhagic cysts are most likely to develop from corpus luteum cysts. Ovarian cysts are a common condition that many women will experience at some point. Most cysts are asymptomatic and many women do not even know they exist. However, in the case of a hemorrhagic cyst, blood vessels in the mass burst, causing bleeding.

A hemorrhagic cyst is one of the few ovarian cysts that cause pain or discomfort. Typically a hemorrhagic cyst results in severe pain on one side of the body, along with nausea or vomiting, and lightheadedness. A hemorrhagic cyst can be diagnosed through imaging tests, including an ultrasound or a pelvic MRI.


Most hemorrhagic cysts will resolve within a period of 2-3 menstrual cycles. Follow up examinations are typically required to insure the cyst is healing during that time. For women with exceptionally large cysts or perimenopausal women, additional testing and possible surgery may be required.

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