Ovarian cysts occur in 50% of females with irregular menses, 30% of females with regular menses, and 6% of postmenopausal women. Ovarian cyst is a frequent diagnosis made in the ED for women with lower abdominal or pelvic pain.
The etiology varies based on the developmental stage of the patient and the hormonal stimulation present.
Infertility (4-fold increase)
(more causes at above link, I thought that I'd stop at hypothyroidism as that is pertinent to our discussion...)
"Typically, ovarian cysts are functional (not disease related) and occur as a normal process of ovulation. During the days before ovulation, a follicle grows. But at the time of expected ovulation, the follicle fails to break open and release an egg, as it is supposed to. Instead, the fluid within the follicle remains and forms a cyst .
Functional, or physiological, ovarian cysts usually disappear within 8 to 12 weeks without treatment. They are relatively common, and are more common during a woman's childbearing years (puberty to menopause) . Ovarian cysts are rare after menopause."
I haven't looked into any potential correlation between ovarian cysts and ovarian cancer, as there is a correlation between fibrocystic breasts and breast cancer. So I don't know if that connection exists. A predisposition to form ovarian cysts CAN lead to PCOS(polycystic ovarian syndrome), however.
There IS a correlation between Iodine insufficiency and ovarian cysts,...the ovaries concentrate a great deal of iodine:
"Iodine can be concentrated in the ovaries, and Russian studies done some years ago showed a relationship between Iodine deficiency and the presence of cysts in the ovaries. The greater the iodine deficiency, the more ovarian cysts a woman produces. In its extreme form, this condition is known as polycystic ovarian disease."
"The presence of iodine in the ovaries was discovered by Scharger at the same time that Baumann found iodine in the thyroid. With the exception of the thyroid the ovaries contain the highest concentration of iodine. Carter has shown that there is a cyclic change of the ovarian iodine content associated with ovarian activity, that is, the iodine concentration is highest at the peak of ovarian activity and becomes lower with the decline of ovarian activity"
"The ovaries participate directly in iodine metabolism."
"The pattern of iodine concentration in the ovaries coincides with the activity of the ovaries.... This strongly suggests that the iodine fraction in the ovary is either stored or manufactured by the ovary."
“Iodine deficiency may cause the ovaries to develop cysts, nodules and scar tissue. At its worse this ovarian pathology is very similar to that of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). As of the writing of this article I have five PCOS patients. The patients have successfully been brought under control with the use of 50 mg of iodine per day. Control with these patients meaning cysts are gone, periods every 28 days and type 2 diabetes mellitus under control.”