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Dermoid Ovarian Cyst Explained

Dermoid Ovarian Cyst

dermoid-ovarian-cyst Also known as a mature or cystic teratoma, the dermoid ovarian cyst is a relatively common type of benign tumor that can develop in the ovaries. In fact, this type of cyst accounts for roughly one-third of benign ovarian tumors that are diagnosed each year.

Usually found in women in the early years of adulthood, the chances of the cyst becoming malignant are extremely low. However, there is an increase of malignancy forming among women over the age of forty, if they develop a dermoid cyst.

One of the more unusual aspects of the dermoid ovarian cyst is that it contains a wide range of cell types, much more so than other types of cysts. This is because a cyst of this type arises from cells that have the capability to develop into any type of cell in the body. As a result, it is not uncommon for this bizarre type of cyst to contain everything from hair to muscle. There are even documented cases of partially and fully formed teeth being found in dermoid cysts.

dermoid-ovarian-cyst-2 For the most part, a cyst of this type is likely to develop without manifesting any outward symptoms. The first real sign that the cyst is present comes about during a routine pelvic examination. When one of the ovaries is found to be somewhat enlarged, this will prompt your doctor to examine the condition of your ovaries in greater detail.

While a dermoid ovarian cyst is not likely to exhibit symptoms or signs during its early development, there is a very real possibility of a great deal of pain if the cyst should become twisted at some point. Along with the episodes of extreme pain, there is also the possibility that the cyst could rupture. Should this happen, you could develop peritonitis, which is severe irritation of the abdomen and pelvic cavity. When there is evidence that the cyst has become twisted, surgery should be performed as soon as possible.

dermoid-ovarian-cyst-3 The actual process of removing a dermoid ovarian cyst is relatively straightforward. Depending on the position and size of the cyst, it may be possible to manage the surgery using laproscopy, a technique that involves making small incisions and using small surgical instruments to manage the cyst removal.

However, some cases will require the use of open surgery, which will require a longer recuperative period. With either procedure, the surgeon will seek to remove the dermoid cyst while leaving as much of the ovary as possible.

With both types of surgery, there are the usual risks for infection. However, it is important to understand that the chances of complications from the removal of a dermoid cyst are relatively low. If you follow the instructions of the doctor to the letter, you should be able to resume normal activities in about a month, even if you underwent the more invasive open surgery.

For the most part, the removal of a dermoid ovarian cyst does not lead to infertility. You will still be able to conceive, assuming there are not any other health issues that impact your ability to become pregnant. Even if the cyst was so large that an entire ovary had to be removed along with the cyst, you still have a second ovary, so there is still a possibility that you will be able to become a mother.

40 Comments on “Dermoid Ovarian Cyst”

  1. Mel Hartson says:

    Already mentioned below but wanted to give another recommendation if you are suffering from ovarian cysts to just goto the self help guide at

    Its clear this has worked for a lot of people (from these comments) and it was successful for me :)

  2. Lori Eileen says:

    Rogue Rose worked very well for me :)

  3. Rogue Medina says:

    Did that book help u?

  4. Rogue Medina says:

    Did that book help u?

  5. Rogue Medina says:

    Did that book help u?

  6. Mira Adan says:

    As someone has already said below. A good link to combat ovarian cysts is <3

  7. If you are suffering from ovarian cysts then check out the free video at – it shows you how to get rid of ovarian cysts/PCOS symptoms. Worked very well for me anyway!

  8. Hi, I wanted to know if your daughter has any issues now with her other ovary? My daughter had her left one removed 3 years ago and now she has one on her right ovary. Thanks…I am so stressed and worried.

  9. David Danielle says:

    Hello everybody!!!! thank u for commenting on my comment . well the doctor said its gotten bigger and now it looks like dermoid / ovarian cancer on both ovaries . she was supose to have surgery Wednesday but it was cancelled due to her not having any more medical insurance …. so now we have to wait again …. till she's clear to have medical once again .

  10. Pray… I had 3 cysts on my ovaries in my teens.. painful. But they went away. My friend had hers surgically removed at 26 and is so happy now. She got her life back.
    Good luck. I'll pray for her.

  11. David Danielle says:

    TodayI found out my daughter that's 21yrs old. had and ultra sound and the Dr told us she has dermoid ovarian cyst …. I looked on the internet and saw and read about it …. she is in a lot of pain and looks pregnant but, she not …… so I am worried about my daughter …. the doctor put her on birth control to possibly stop other growth on the ovarians…. can someone tell me other options and what to do? please I'm very concerned ….

  12. Ruth Fowler Ellison says:

    I had a dermoid tumor on each of ovaries in dec 1999 at the age of 25. they were only about 1 cm each at that point. they were removed in feb 2000 and they were 4cm and 5 cm. So they do grow relatively pretty fast. I was diagnosed with polycystic syndrome and put on metformin and the gyn left as much of my ovaries as he could so that I might be able to have children. But there was no guarantee. I conceived my first child with clomid. I then conceived my 2nd child and 3rd child with metformin only. I had all 3 with c-sections. With my 3rd child, I had another dermoid tumor on my left ovary at 3cm that was removed. the ob didn't remove my ovary at that time. that was in 2006. my 4th child was born in 2008 and again I ended with a c-section and this time my left ovary and tube were twisted up together with multiple dermoid tumors and the ob removed both plus the tumors. I had a tubal on my right side. the right tube had to be removed in 2011 when I had a hernia repair due to filled with fluid to 5cm. I just recently found out by ultrasound that I have 2 dermoids inside my right ovary that are 1cm each. I had a period that lasted for 2 weeks. The gyns wouldn't remove my uterus and ovary with the hernia repair and I knew that I would be back in this position again needing surgery, only now I have mesh inside my abdomen that can't be cut through. the gyns I see now want to do an enedometrial biopsy before they will even consider taking out my uterus that is 12 cm long or my ovary that has 2 tumors in it. Once you have a dermoid, your chances of having them again is very very high. for me it was 2 to 5 years time in between. Always be persistent with your treatment b/c they can grow fast and grow big and cause problems.

  13. annie says:

    I was diagnosed with two dermoid cysts age 50. I was told they had probably been growing for ten years. one was the size of a friut bowl on a long stalk & tucked up under my lung. Looking back there were symptoms but not specific (painfull periods, ovarian pain etc all put down to peri menopause by GP ) Eventually I was sent for a scan for gall stones because I was starting to get pain high up in abdomen. unfortunately a few days later one of them twisted and I had emergency surgery. This entailed a full hysterectomy including taking both ovaries. I recovered well but later needed surgery for a large hernia caused by the growing cysts. It was a difficult time because I had never heard about them before & didnt know if the were malignant and also I went straight into menopause. It took a while to recover and ajust but I feel very lucky and am now enjoying life to the full.

  14. Felicia says:

    I’m 23 years old. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 16. I’ve had 2 laparoscopies since being diagnosed. The first one was to burn away some endometriosis and the cyst they found and the second was to remove a cyst and flush my tube do to a block. In June 2011, I started having pain and I requested am ultrasound to check for a cyst. They told me that it was a questionable cyst. They wanted me to go for another ultrasound in 3 months and check if it grows. They also put me on birth control to try and stop the growing. I had my 2nd ultrasound and it had in fact got bigger. It doubled in size. They still didn’t do anything. They told me to go for another ultrasound in 3 months and changed my birth control. I was admitted to the hospital with really bad pain and thats when they told me I had a dermoid ovarian cyst. I have an appointment with my gyno tomorrow to talk about options. I am really nervous and upset about all of this. It has not been an easy couple weeks since I found out.

  15. Misty says:

    Was wondering, after being diagnosed I’ve heard many conflicting things about dermoids causing hormonal issues. Any insIght? Thx

    • sharona says:

      yes i was diagnosed with hyperthroidism 2 years ago. 6 months ago i was hopitalized for gallbladder problems where they found a dermoid tumor on my ovarr the siZe of a grapefruit..i was diagnosed as Asymptomatic by the endo doctor he couldnt understand why i was gaining so much weight being i was hyper so i started to research if there was any connection between the mass on my ovary and hyperthyroidism….there is strumi ovary is the name…had my surgery in feb to remove the mass last week had blood work done to check my numbers for the thyroid guess what i had normal thyroid now…

  16. Valentina says:

    I’m 23 years old and I went for a routine check at the gyno. He felt something weird so he Referred me to another doctor to have a closer look. I didn’t think anything of it so I just put it off. A month later from my Gyno visit I woke up to an EXCRUTIATING pain in my pelvis area. I was rushed to the hospital where I was throwing up from the pain. I took tons of test and the doctors said they wouldn’t know exactly what was wrong with me until they operated on me. I had the surgery and I woke up to know that I had a dermoid teratoma tumor the size of a grapefruit. They removed my left ovary and left fallopian tube. Recovering was the hardest thing. You can’t walk stand up laugh because it hurts. Your Ab muscles are used for literally everything you do so you really can’t do much. I have 3 small cuts on my belly button and both sides of my waiste and a huge c section like scar. I can still have kids because my right ovary is
    Still working . Overall scary experience in my life and they don’t know why these rumors
    Develop. I wish you all a speedy recovery.

  17. Kathryn says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I just found out today that my 8yr old daughter also has a dermoid cyst on her left ovary. It is the size of a mandarin orange and needs to be removed. They are hoping to get her in within the next 2-3 weeks but maybe as soon as next week. They will not know if she is going to loose her ovary until they go in and look at it to see if it has been damaged from the cyst. I am still going through the worry that you have already been through so thank you again for posting your story.

  18. Mae says:

    I was diagnosed with a dermoid cyst 3 weeks ago and due to the size of it (12cm and 8cm) it was removed by open surgery a week later. I had to lose my left ovary but they told me there was hope that they might have been able to save it so anyone reading this with a dermoid cyst should have hope that they’re ovary might be ok! Its now three weeks on and recovering well. I have a c section like scar and you can hardly see it. I’m just now hoping for a bright and fertile future as I’m only 23 and haven’t got children yet and I can’t wait to have some.

    • Adrienne says:

      Mae – I hoep you are feeling better! I had a dermoid removed in 2006 that was the size of a small grapefruit and I also lost my right ovary. On July 18th, 2011 my husband and I had a happy, healthy baby girl! My pregnancy was smooth and we got pregnant within three months of “trying” – aka being off birth control. You will have a bright and fertile future!

    • Romina says:

      I had a dermoid cyst on my right ovary that was 12 cm, I had a laproscopy and not a c-section cut, and my gyno was able to keep my ovary intact. I recovered literally overnight. I did not have any pain afterwards, and to be honest, until I read this page, I didn’t know it could be that severe. I’m glad I didn’t read it before I had surgery lol. Just know that you can come out of this without losing your ovary.

  19. Deirdre Kearns says:

    My 7 year old daughter is recovering from surgery after a dermoid cyst was discovered during an appendix operation. The cyst was the size of a grapefruit and she also lost her ovary entirely. She has the equivalent of a c section scar. Scary stuff

  20. Vonetta Ware says:

    I was just diagnosed with a dermoid cyst on my left ovary. I was diagnosed with endometriosis 11 years ago and is getting ready to have a partial hysterectomy due to complications from that. The dermoid cyst was discovered during my preop ultrasound. I was really freaked out when I found out what this was but relieved to know that it will be removed along with the ovary and my painful uterus!

  21. Jennifer Clarkson says:

    I had a dermoid cyst at 42 years of age only symptoms were bloated stomach and pain in right hip, which lasted a week then 3 months later came back and stayed, doctor sent me for scan , then mri scan, had full hysterectomy and surgeon told me it was 12cm diameter size of a small melon.

    • They gave you a hysterectomy? wow, I'm sorry to hear that. I had a dermoid that was 12cm as well, it had twisted over my ovary many times, but thankfully it was removed through laproscopy and everything was left intact. I had no idea it could have been that severe.

  22. Mary Bryant says:

    Only seekig information. I do nt have dermoid cyst.

  23. MISH MASH says:

    im 17 yrs of age, just found out i had a dermoid cyst aswell on my right ovarie, so had an emergency operation due to the pain, the docs thought it was my appendix at 1st.. untill the found out it was my right ovary. 1hour operation took 5hours.. i was worried incase i wouldnt be able to produce children but the doctor said i would still be able to even if they had taken out my right ovarie which they didnt as i have my left. i just hope it doesnt come back although they said they cleared it. cnt walk properly at the moment due to the instruments they put through the left side, struggle to sleep as i cant turn properly but ahwell. good luck to you guys who have to have your op ! :)

  24. Vicki says:

    I am about to have my 3rd Dermoid Teratoma Cyst removed. I had my first at age 19 it was soccer ball sized. I lost my left ovary with that one. When I was pregant with my son, there was one discovered on my right ovary and removed during my C-section but the right ovary remained. Now 12 years and an additional child later, I have another small one that has developed on my only remaining ovary. At 37 my ovary will come out this week so I will not have to worry about these dermoids again.

  25. Amy Towler says:

    I'm 17 and I found out I had one just before I was 15, the surgery was the worst thing I have ever been through- dermoid cysts are sneeky and can appear out of no where and there is always a chance that they will come back. some people are lucky they don't hav.

  26. Di says:

    I have just been diagnosed with having this type of cyst and i am so happy to have read this. I wondered what it was when i read the ultrasound letter at my doctors surgery, must admit i started to panic.

    The details above also explain to me why i am in so much pain day in and day out.

    Being referred to Gynae for further treatment, roll on the removal is all i say :-) )

  27. Ashia Smith says:

    I was diagnosised at 14 with polycystic ovary syndrome and I am turning 17 in april I have had 2 surgerys to remove the cysts one my freshman year of high school and one over christmas break of my jounior year and it has been trying the cysts have been 2 years apart and I have had the most tramatic 3 years and I thought I would never make it but I did and I am still going strong and steady and I have found a boyfriend that loves me even with my condition and he supports me every step of the way and we I grow up I want to be the one who finds the cure for ovarian cysts.

  28. olga says:

    i am a 32y old female married. ihaving 2 babies. scicserien. 1st baby 11y 2nd one is 3y. breast feed for 2years. just i went for check up not for anything.they diagnosed in ultrasound lt ovarien dermoid cyst. advised me to do immiediet laproscopicc removel of dermoid cyst. it is 7c.m. iwant your suggestion i have to go for surgery or not if i will leave any complication. my ultrasound i did on 2nd midcycle..please me suggestion.

  29. pregnant with cyst says:

    I had dermoid cyst discoverd after I found out that I was pregnant. Once I hit 12 weeks mark I was scheduled for laparothomy (due to cysts size – 10x4x10cm). Now week after surgery I`m still a bit sore (mostly because I`m pregnant and couldn`t be given as many painkillers as other patients that would be in my situation).Unfortunately lost ovary that cyst was attached to but on the bright side baby is still fine :)
    Delighted that my doctor discovered and removed cyst. Still waiting for biopsy results, but thanks to my great surgeon I have picture of what they cut out :)

  30. Lara says:

    Thanks for the concise and positive explanations. My abdominal pain has been explained as a large cyst, what a shock, just can’t wait to get it out now !!

  31. cynthia says:

    i just had a dermoid cyst on my right overy they ended up having to remove my overy and tube on the right side cause there were complications and they had to make 5 small cuts instead of the normal 3 and inside the dermoid cyst there was a LARGE amount of hair and a bone growing inside of it
    i had never herd of anything like the dermoid cyst untill my surgery 2 days ago and the info in your post explained alot thank you it has helped me

  32. Liza says:

    this post was great. im actually 3 days post op from having a dermoid removed. this page was very insightful.

  33. Maria Cecilia says:

    Is dermoid cyst a congenital condition?

  34. Satisfied Reader says:

    That post helped me a lot, god bless you for that, gonna keep it, saving that page at the moment^^

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