What is a Corpus Luteum Cyst?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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A man never has to be concerned that he has a corpus luteum cyst. Only women are victims of this medical condition, because it is an ovarian cyst. A cyst is generally defined as an abnormal sac that grows somewhere in the body and fills with gaseous, liquid, or semi-solid material.

The corpus luteum cyst will typically be round and filled with fluid. It is considered a functional cyst because it generally has no effect on a woman’s life. Corpus luteum is a naturally occurring structure that normally forms at the end of the menstrual cycle when an egg is released from a follicle. This structure produces progesterone, which is a hormone that prepares the body for pregnancy. If this structure grows to more than a few centimeters, it will likely be considered a cyst.

The corpus luteum cyst is usually harmless and insignificant. In most cases, it will break down and disappear if a woman does not become pregnant. If the woman does become pregnant, it is not likely that the cyst will have any adverse effects on her pregnancy. These cysts usually break down before the second trimester if they were present at conception.


Some fertility drugs may increase the likelihood of developing corpus luteum cysts. Birth control pills, however, generally prevent women from developing them. Since women taking birth control typically do not ovulate, their chances of having these cysts is greatly reduced. In cases of progesterone-only birth control pills, however, the development of these cysts may be encouraged.

Sometimes, a corpus luteum cyst can become painful. The pain, which may be felt in the pelvis or abdomen, may be caused when the cyst attaches itself the ovary and twists it. Surgery may be necessary in these cases. Pain could also be the result of a cyst that has filled with blood and then ruptured. If this is the case, there may be internal bleeding.

In most cases, these cysts are not a sign of any greater health issues. They tend to develop without symptoms and disappear in the same manner. Usually they are only detected if a woman has a pregnancy-related ultrasound or a pelvic exam. Females can develop a corpus luteum cyst at any age, but they are most common in women who are in their childbearing years.


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