The ovaries are two small organs that can be found near the uterus. They may be affected by ovarian tumors. The job of the ovaries is to produce hormones, such as estrogen and to release an egg on a monthly basis. This travels along the fallopian tube, waiting to be fertilized.

The causes of ovarian tumors

The cysts are sacs filled with fluid and they are more common than you might have thought. They occur especially often during the childbearing years of women. There are different kinds of cysts that we may be referring to, and the most common one is the functional cyst.


The ovarian cysts of this kind come to life during ovulation. This is caused by the fact that there is no egg released or the follicle that the egg forms in doesn’t get dissolved after the egg is released. There are some other kinds of cysts as well.

Polycystic ovaries

In case of this one of the ovarian tumors we can be talking about polycystic ovary syndrome. This is the situation when the follicle that the egg is created in doesn’t manage to open and so it turns into a cyst.


In case of the patients with endometriosis the ovarian cysts form outside the uterus. Actually it refers to having tissue that the lining of the uterus is made of grown in other parts of the body, such as the ovaries. This is a condition that can be accompanied by pain and it may lead to infertility.


In this case the ovarian tumors are formed of the cells that can be found on the surface of the ovaries. In the majority of the cases these are filled with fluid.

Dermoid cysts

The interesting thing about this kind of cyst is that it contains tissue that is similar to the tissue found in other parts of the body, such as hair, skin or teeth.

What causes the ovarian cysts?

In case the tumors don’t have cancerous cells they are said to be benign, while the cancerous ones are called malignant. When it comes to this body part, there are three types of cysts that we can be talking about.

Epithelial cell tumors

These are considered to be the most common ovarian tumors and they are formed on the surface of the ovaries.

Germ cell tumors

They originate from the cells that have the job of egg production. They could turn out to be both benign and malignant, but usually they are benign.

Stromal tumors

These tumors originate from the cells that produce the female hormones.

At the moment the doctors don’t know for sure what the actual cause of ovarian cysts is. Nonetheless there are some risk factors that are known to increase the chances of being affected by the condition. These include age, since tumors usually affect women who have gone through menopause.

Another risk factor of ovarian tumors is smoking, not having children or avoiding breastfeeding, obesity, fertility drugs, personal or family history of ovarian cyst or going under hormone replacement therapy.