Corpus luteum cyst of the ovary

by Emily Goebel, MD FRCPC
June 6, 2022

About this article: This article was created by doctors to help you read and understand your pathology report for corpus luteum cyst of the ovary. If you have any questions about this article or your pathology report, please contact us.

What is a corpus luteum cyst?

A corpus luteum cyst is a non-cancerous change that can be seen when the ovary of a reproductive-age woman is examined under the microscope. It is created by a normal structure called a corpus luteum that fails to turn into a corpus albicans at the end of the menstrual cycle. Instead, the corpus luteum grows and the center becomes an open space called a cyst.

What are the symptoms of a corpus luteum cyst?

Corpus luteum cysts may not cause any symptoms. However, large cysts can rupture which can cause bleeding in the abdomen and pain. 

What is the corpus luteum?

The corpus luteum is a normal structure that remains in the ovary after ovulation. It is made up of the cells that surrounded the developing ova (egg). If fertilization does not occur, the corpus luteum changes into a structure called the corpus albicans. Both the corpus luteum and corpus albicans can be seen when an ovary is examined under the microscope by a pathologist. 

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