Polycystic means 'many cysts'. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs. Before ovulation, the egg develops in a small swelling on the ovary called a follicle. Cysts form when follicles stop growing too early. Instead of bursting to release the egg, they form swollen egg chambers (cysts). A polycystic ovary generally has 12 or more cysts. These cysts are usually benign, which means they aren’t cancerous.
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