05/26/2016 04:39 EDT | Updated 10/28/2016 12:47 EDT

Ovarian Cysts: 12 Facts You Need To Know

They aren't all bad.

Nobody really wants to hear that they have a cyst, and the idea of a cyst on or in the ovary is even more alarming for many women. That’s not just because the ovaries are central to female fertility but also because many ovarian problems —including cancer — are difficult to diagnose.

The good news is that most ovarian cysts are not just non-serious but totally normal. “When you hear the word cyst most people think is this something bad,” says Dr. Jennifer Blake, CEO of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada. Our ovaries are cyst-producing factories, and their ability to do that is key to menstrual regularity and fertility.

But sometimes, that process does go awry and problematic cysts can result. Here are 12 things you should know about ovarian cysts, both normal and otherwise.

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