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HomeAnswersObstetrics and Gynecologyovarian cystsWhen do heterogeneous ovarian cysts occur, before or after ovulation?

When do heterogeneous ovarian cysts occur, before or after ovulation?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At December 28, 2016
Reviewed AtJuly 6, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I went to the ER a week ago for abdominal pain. A pregnancy test was performed and it was negative. An ultrasound scan was performed and they found two heterogeneous ovarian cysts, one on the right is 0.59 inch and the other on the left is 0.55 inch. There were multiple simple cysts. My endometrial lining was 6 mm. They said everything else looked good. I have a history of ovarian cysts. Do heterogeneous cysts happen before or after ovulation? Do they impact menstruation? Also, what is the difference between heterogeneous and homogeneous ovarian cysts?


Welcome to icliniq.com.

First of all, 0.5 inch is a very small size for a cyst. Because, in every cycle around ovulation one of your ovary makes around one inch follicle (cyst). In a sonography, if it looks clear without any shadow in the cyst, then it is homogeneous and when something is found floating in the cyst as echoes (shadow), then it is called heterogeneous. Homogeneous have clear fluid. In heterogeneous cyst, the shadow may be due to blood, pus cells, epithelial cells, other debris, hormones, enzymes or turbid fluid.

In small sized cysts, it is not so much important that whether it is heterogeneous or homogeneous because it is mostly going to disappear around your period. Before ovulation, mostly follicles are with clear fluid. After ovulation, it may be homogeneous or heterogeneous with decreased size. Actually, it looks like disappearing follicle and not a cyst. A cyst can disturb your cycle only if it is of a bigger size and remains even after menstruation. Mostly it begins from unruptured follicle during ovulation and the size can be from 1.5 to 4 inch or even bigger in some case. This type of cyst requires treatment.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Mavani Jimesh Himatbhai
Dr. Mavani Jimesh Himatbhai

Obstetrics and Gynecology

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