Corpus luteum cyst of the ovary

by Emily Goebel, MD FRCPC
March 9, 2023

What is a corpus luteum cyst?

A corpus luteum cyst is a non-cancerous fluid-filled growth in the ovary. These types of cysts are very common in women of reproductive age.

What causes a corpus luteum cyst?

The corpus luteum is a normal structure that remains in the ovary after ovulation. It is made up of the cells that surround the developing ova (egg). If fertilization does not occur, the corpus luteum changes into a structure called the corpus albicans. If for any reason the corpus luteum remains at the end of the menstrual cycle, it begins to grow and fills with fluid, thereby creating a corpus luteum 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.

Can a woman have a corpus luteum cyst and not be pregnant?

Yes. A corpus luteum cyst can develop even if you are not pregnant.

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