If you are hoping to conceive soon and you have cysts on your ovaries, you will want to know everything you can find about ovarian cysts and pregnancy. Many women fear that if they have ovarian cysts then they will be infertile, but this is not always the case.
A large amount of younger women have cysts on their ovaries, and most women with endometriosis or who are infertile also have cysts, which leads to anxiety in patients who discover that they have cysts. It is important to find out as much information as possible about cysts before you begin to panic.
What is an ovarian cyst?
During a woman’s monthly cycle, an egg will be released from the ovary sealed inside a follicle sac. This sac contains liquid. Once the body finds that it has not been fertilised, the entire contents of the uterus will be expelled. The follicle will usually rupture and expel its contents too.
Sometimes, however, the follicle will not rupture and the fluid will continue to collect and swell and this forms a cyst. This is completely harmless and relatively common in most young women, but there are other, more dangerous types of ovarian cysts that could potentially affect a woman’s chances of falling pregnant.
The different types of cysts
- Corpus Luteum Cyst
Once an egg has been released from the follicle, it will be collected and kept inside a functional sac called the Corpus Luteum. If pregnancy does not occur, this sac will usually break down. However, sometimes the sac fails to disintegrate and fills with blood and fluid. This cyst does not usually have any symptoms and is only found on one side of the ovary.
- Hemorrhagic Cyst
Sometimes bleeding may occur inside a functional cyst. This type of cyst is usually accompanied by pain on one side of the body.
- Dermoid Cyst
A Dermoid Cyst is a benign tumour that can grow over five inches in diameter. It usually has cells that produce different types of body matter growing in it so it may contain hair, teeth or bones. These cysts are sometimes completely harmless but sometimes they twist around and cause severe abdominal pain. They usually have to be surgically removed.
- Endometroid Cysts
This sort of cyst is formed when endometrial tissue is found on the ovaries. This can cause pelvic pain and fertility.
What causes an ovarian cyst?
There are several risk factors that could lead a woman to develop ovarian cysts. These include a history of previous ovarian cysts, an irregular menstrual cycle, early onset of menstruation, increased weight in the upper body, hormonal imbalance and infertility.
Symptoms of an ovarian cyst
There are several different symptoms to look out for including lower abdominal and pelvic pain, irregular periods, feeling of pressure or tightness in pelvis or lower abdomen, pain or pressure during intercourse, increased pain during menstruation, nausea or vomiting, vaginal pain and spotting and infertility.
About ovarian cysts and pregnancy
Many cysts are completely harmless and will not inhibit your chances of getting pregnant. However, there are some forms of cysts that will. One strange fact about cysts is that infertility sometimes causes ovarian cysts and the presence of ovarian cysts sometimes causes the infertility.
It is important to first work out which cysts you have before you worry about them causing infertility and you may find that the cysts you have are completely harmless and will not limit your chances of becoming pregnant. If the doctor does find a more sinister cyst, then he or she may be able to remove it or fix the problem quite easily.
It is interesting to note that long term use of a contraceptive pill will decrease a woman’s chances of getting ovarian cysts as the pill inhibits the ovaries from producing eggs.