What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?
PCOS is a health problem that can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, fertility, hormones, insulin production, heart, blood vessels, and appearance. Women with PCOS have these characteristics:
PCOS is the most common hormonal reproductive problem in women of childbearing age.
What are ovaries?
The ovaries are a pair of organs in the female reproductive system. They are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus, which is the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a baby grows. Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries produce eggs and female hormones. Hormones are chemicals that control the way certain cells or organs function.
What are ovarian cysts?
A cyst is a fluid-filled sac, and can be located anywhere in the body. On the ovary, different types of cysts can form. The most common type of ovarian cyst is called a functional cyst, which often forms during the normal menstrual cycle. Each month, a woman's ovaries grow tiny cysts that hold the eggs. When an egg is mature, the sac breaks open to release the egg, so it can travel through the fallopian tube for fertilization. Then the sac dissolves. In one type of functional cyst, called a follicular cyst, the sac doesn't break open to release the egg and may continue to grow. This type of cyst usually disappears within one to three months. A corpus luteum cyst, another type of functional cyst, forms if the sac doesn’t dissolve. Instead, the sac seals off after the egg is released. Fluid then builds up inside of it. This type of cyst usually goes away on its own after a few weeks. However, it can grow to almost four inches and may bleed or twist the ovary and cause pain. Clomid or Serophene, which are drugs used to induce ovulation, can raise the risk of getting this type of cyst. These cysts are almost never associated with cancer.