Medically reviewed on August 17, 2022 by Jillian Foglesong Stabile, MD, FAAFP. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Sometimes an ovarian cyst will come and go without you knowing it was there. Others can be painful and may even cause further health and fertility problems. If you’ve experienced them, you might wonder, are ovarian cysts genetic?
The answer is a little complex because research on the topic isn’t conclusive. Some evidence suggests that certain individuals may be more genetically predisposed to specific types of functional ovarian cysts.  Furthermore, genetics and your family history might shape how your ovarian cysts are evaluated and treated.
This guide will walk you through the details you need to know about what an ovarian cyst is, causes, and when you should worry about it when it comes to genetic testing.
Your genetic make-up might cause you to be more prone to functional ovarian cysts, although researchers don’t know for certain. What is known is that some conditions that cause specific types of ovarian cysts are likely linked to your genetics. For example, endometriosis is thought to have a hereditary link.  Endometriosis can cause the formation of functional cysts on your ovaries.
Your genes aren’t the only potential reason you might be prone to ovarian cysts. Those who may get ovarian cysts include: 
The likelihood of you having ovarian cysts depends primarily on your age and if you have any underlying conditions that can contribute to the formation of cysts.
Ovarian cysts have several causes. Some cysts are very small, cause no symptoms or risk factors, and go away on their own. Others may cause severe pain and discomfort. The cause of your cysts can influence whether you know it’s there. Common causes of ovarian cysts include: 
The impact of ovarian cysts on your health depends on which type of cyst you have.
Most ovarian cysts aren’t dangerous. You might not even know you have one. However, in certain situations, they can cause pain, discomfort, and other problems. Situations when ovarian cysts may be a cause for greater concern include :
In these situations, you may need to visit your healthcare provider to determine the best way to proceed in order to help avoid ovarian cancer risk. Sometimes the pain of a cyst can be managed with over-the-counter medication. Other times, hormonal birth control might be prescribed to help manage the formation of cysts. In the most serious situations, surgery may be required to remove a cyst.
Ovarian cysts are quite common. Many people may have them and not even realize that they’re there. Most ovarian cysts are benign, although even some benign cysts can cause health problems. In some cases, the causes of benign ovarian cysts may interfere with your ability to get pregnant. Endometriosis, PCOS, and other conditions can cause ovarian cysts and contribute to fertility problems.
If you’re having trouble getting pregnant or simply want to gain a better understanding of where your current fertility hormone levels stand, we can help. You can use the Everlywell Ovarian Reserve Test to check in on FSH levels or the Female Hormone Test to measure other key, fertility-influencing hormones so you can make informed decisions about your health and wellness.