Ovaries are reproductive structure in the female pelvis, which release eggs in monthly menstrual cycles for fertilization by sperm. The ovaries are also important for their role in producing female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) before menopause set in.

Ovarian cysts are commonly found in women of the reproductive age group. They are liquid-filled structures within the ovaries (much like a small balloon filled with water, blood, mucus or other fluid), the type of cells lining the cyst (the rubber of the balloon) determines its nature. Most ovarian cysts are benign, especially in the young woman. Cancerous cysts are more common as age increases. Ovarian cysts that are large, causing pain or look suspicious on scans should be removed for a detailed examination to determine their nature.

Depending on the number of cysts, their sizes and suspicion level for cancer, ovarian cysts may be removed with laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) or open surgery. In some cases, the entire ovary or both ovaries may be removed if necessary.