Most of the time, the cysts that develop in women’s ovaries are non-threatening cysts that will just disappear on their own over a couple of months. This type of cyst will not affect a woman’s desire to have a child and include:

Functional cysts. Functional cysts – such as follicular cysts or corpus luteum cysts – are the most common type of ovarian cyst. Functional cysts form during a normal menstrual cycle and don’t cause or contribute to infertility. In fact, functional cysts actually indicate that the necessary functions leading to fertility are taking place.

Cystadenomas. Cystadenomas are growths in the ovary that arise from the surface of the ovaries. Cystadenomas can be asymptomatic, but often produce painful symptoms. Rarely do they resolve on their own. They are benign, and are removed by surgery.

Dermoid cysts. These solid cysts contain tissue – such as skin, hair or even teeth – instead of fluid. When dermoid cysts occur in the ovaries, they can cause pain and/or cause the ovaries to twist, resulting in painful symptoms. Dermoid cysts aren’t associated with infertility.

Some ovarian cysts can be associated with decreased fertility. These ovarian cysts account for 25 percent of female infertility cases. They include:


Endometriomas are cysts caused by endometriosis, a condition in which the tissue normally lining your uterus (endometrium) grows outside the uterus. These ovarian cysts may be associated with fertility problems.

Ovarian cysts resulting from polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition marked by many small cysts on your ovaries, irregular periods and high levels of certain hormones. PCOS is associated with irregular ovulation, which may contribute to problems with fertility in some women.