A follicular cyst is a type of benign ovarian cyst containing fluid that develops from a follicle that is meant to burst out an egg at ovulation, but instead does not burst, but fills with fluid. A follicular cyst is known as a functional cyst. These cysts most commonly develop in ovulating women, with postmenopausal women never getting follicular cysts. Most follicular cysts are painless and harmless and will resolve on their own.
Follicular cysts develop more often in women who have had ovarian cysts previously, have irregular periods, got their periods at an early age (age 11 or younger), use fertility drugs, have excess body fat around the torso, have high stress levels, and have hormone imbalances. Women who are on the pill have less follicular cysts, since the pill stops ovulation.
Symptoms of follicular cysts
- No symptoms at all
- If a follicular cyst becomes very large, it can rupture, causing sharp pain, pressure, nausea, breast tenderness, menstrual cycle disturbances
Follicular cyst treatments
Treatments include leaving the follicular cyst completely alone to resolve on its own in several weeks. Monitoring will occur. Any cyst that is large enough to cause symptoms will likely be removed surgically.