Each female ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. Normally, one ovary is located on each side of the uterus. Eggs are released from the ovaries during the childbearing years. Ovarian cysts are sacs filled with fluid. They are usually located in an ovary or on its surface. Ovarian cysts are normal and go away without treatment within a few months. But some cysts can rupture and may cause serious consequences. Follicular cysts and luteal cysts are two different types of ovarian cysts.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is a Follicular Cyst
3. What is a Luteal Cyst
4. Similarities – Follicular Cyst and Luteal Cyst
5. Follicular Cyst and Luteal Cyst in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Follicular Cyst vs Luteal Cyst
What is a Follicular Cyst?
A follicular cyst is a cyst that occurs in the ovarian follicle or Graafian follicle. When the follicle doesn’t rupture and release the egg, the follicle swells up with fluid and forms a cyst. Therefore, a follicular cyst is caused by an unruptured follicle. The cyst wall is less than 3 mm in follicular cysts. Several risk factors increase the chance of developing follicular cysts, which include women of reproductive age, ovulation, fertility drugs, hormone imbalances, excess body fat, and stress. Some women experience mild symptoms such as abdominal pain, swelling, fullness, or pressure in the abdomen. However, some women experience very serious symptoms such as sudden or sharp abdominal pain, fever, nausea, pain while urinating, pain during intercourse, and irregular menstruation.
Follicular cysts are diagnosed through pelvic examination, transvaginal ultrasound, and blood test. Furthermore, follicular cysts can be treated through medications such as pain relievers and respective surgeries to remove follicular cysts.
What is a Luteal Cyst?
A luteal cyst is a functional ovarian cyst that occurs in the corpus luteum. A luteal cyst is also called a corpus luteum cyst. The corpus luteum is a group of cells made from an ovarian follicle, which releases an egg every month. It has an important function during pregnancy. It produces a very important hormone called progesterone the uterus needs to house a developing fetus. The corpus luteum breaks down when it is no longer needed. Luteal cysts form when the corpus luteum keeps on growing. Women get symptoms due to a luteal cyst when it ruptures. The typical symptoms of luteal cysts include bleeding, torsions, severe pelvic pain, severe nausea, vomiting or lightheadedness, and weakness. The risk factors for luteal cysts include hormonal problems, pregnancy, endometriosis, severe pelvic infection, and previous ovarian cysts.
Luteal cysts are diagnosed through pelvic examinations, ultrasounds, and laparoscopy. Furthermore, treatment options for medications containing hormones, such as birth control pills to stop ovulation and prevent future cysts from forming, and ovarian cyst surgery (laparoscopy and laparotomy).
What are the Similarities Between Follicular Cyst and Luteal Cyst?
- Follicular cysts and luteal cysts are two different types of ovarian cysts.
- Both cysts are functional cysts.
- Both cysts can cause similar symptoms, such as bleeding, pelvic pain, weakness, etc.
- They can be diagnosed through physical examination and imaging tests.
- They are treated through specific medications and surgeries.
What is the Difference Between Follicular Cyst and Luteal Cyst?
Follicular cyst occurs in the ovarian follicle or Graafian follicle, while luteal cyst occurs in the corpus luteum. Thus, this is the key difference between follicular cyst and luteal cyst. Furthermore, the cyst wall is less than 3 mm in a follicular cyst, while the cyst wall is greater than 3 mm in a luteal cyst.
The below infographic presents the differences between follicular cyst and luteal cyst in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Follicular Cyst vs Luteal Cyst
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled cysts that form in the ovary. Most ovarian cysts form as a result of the menstrual cycle. Therefore, they are called functional cysts. Follicular cysts and luteal cysts are two different types of functional ovarian cysts. They can cause similar symptoms such as bleed, pelvic pain, weakness, etc. However, a follicular cyst is caused by an unruptured follicle, while a luteal cyst is caused due to corpus luteum, which keeps on growing. So, this summarizes the difference between follicular cyst and luteal cyst.
1. “Luteinized follicular cyst” By Nephron – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Histopathology of hemorrhagic corpus luteum cyst” By Azadeh Nasiri, Salma Rahimi, and Edmund Tomlinson – (2017). “Ovarian Torsion in Pregnancy: A Case Report.” Gynecology & Obstetrics Case report 03 (02). DOI:10.21767/2471-8165.1000051. ISSN 24718165. (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia