Are you trying to get pregnant? Are you longing to enjoy motherhood and hold your little bundle of joy in your arms? Do you know that in order to get pregnant you need to enjoy good health, have a healthy lifestyle and eat a balanced diet? Several health conditions may upset your plans of having a baby by affecting your fertility. One such health condition is the presence of ovarian cysts. Continue reading to know more about ovarian cysts and your chances of getting pregnant with it.
What Are Ovarian Cysts?
Ovarian cysts are small pouches filled with fluid found in the ovary. Cysts can naturally happen as a result of the ovulation cycle. In most cases, the cyst will either break or get re-absorbed and are quite common and harmless. However, there are some cysts that can affect your pregnancy, can cause pain and bloating.
Types Of Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cysts are broadly divided into two
- Cysts, which don’t affect the pregnancy/fertility
- Cysts, which interfere with pregnancy/fertility
Cysts That Do Not Affect Fertility
These ovarian cysts, even though sometimes cause pain and bleeding, will not affect the pregnancy unless their size increases significantly.
- Functional ovarian cysts: A functional ovarian cysts are either follicular or Luteal cysts that develops on the surface of the ovary during your menstrual cycle. They usually hold a developing egg. In a normal case, the sac becomes small and dissolves once the egg is released. This sac may swell up with fluid, if an egg is not released, or if the sac closes again after the egg is released. Mostly these cysts are innocuous and do not show any signs. They usually dissolve without any treatment after couple of menstrual cycles. But if a cyst becomes too large, it can turn, get ruptured, or bleed and can be extremely painful. Functional cysts do not cause infertility
- Cystadenomas: They are a kind of benign tumor. They are growths in the ovary that develop from the tissues at the surface of the ovary. Although they require treatment, they do not affect fertility
- Dermoid cysts: A strange tumor, generally harmless, found in the ovary that typically contains different types of tissues, including neural tissue, hair, teeth, bone, thyroid, etc. instead of fluid. A dermoid cyst is formed from a totipotential germ cell that is retained within the egg sac. Being totipotential, that cell can give rise to all types of cells forming mature tissues. Therefore, more often, as mentioned above, distinguishable structures such as hair, bone, teeth etc. are found in dermoid cysts. They do not cause infertility
Cysts That Affect The Chances Of Getting Pregnant
The following types of cysts can affect your ability to get pregnant
- Endometriomas: Also known as an endometriod cyst, it is a type of cyst formed when endometrial tissue, develops in the ovaries. The endometrium is the mucous membrane that lines the inner layer of the uterine wall. It affects pregnancy and may bring about lingering pain in the pelvic area during periods. Endometrioid cysts are more often packed with dark, reddish-brown blood, and may vary in size from 0.75-8 inches
- Cysts resulting from PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome): Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, are most common cysts that create problems in a woman trying to get pregnant. They can cause enlarged ovaries and the development of small ovarian cysts due to hormonal imbalance. Many small cysts in ovaries along with irregular periods, excess hair growth, acne, and obesity are all symptoms of PCOS. The irregular ovulation associated with PCOS can create problems in conceiving
What Are The Symptoms Of Ovarian Cysts?
Most women who have ovarian cysts do not even know about it. But if these cyst become very large, get ruptured or block the flow of blood to ovaries then following symptoms can be experienced:
- Change in the menstrual cycle. The periods will be heavier, lighter, or irregular
- Pain in the belly or pelvis
- Pressure on the bowel or bladder
- Feeling exhausted
- Frequent urination
- Bloating and swelling
How Is An Ovarian Cyst Diagnosed?
Once the symptoms of ovarian cysts are surfaced, the doctor will be able to diagnose it through a pelvic examination. He can also use diagnostic methods like CT scan, Ultrasound scans, and MRI scans to confirm an ovarian cyst.
Do Ovarian Cysts Affect Pregnancy?
The ovarian cysts influence the odds of pregnancy when the blisters develop to such a degree that they begin to affect the functioning of the female reproductive system. Cysts on the ovaries prevent the discharge of eggs during ovulation, thereby, preventing the fertilization process. However, this condition can be rectified by means of surgery thus increasing the chances of a woman getting pregnant.
There are situations where an ovarian cyst rupture leading to the spilling of the cystic fluid on other parts of the reproductive system, exposing those parts to infections. These infections may damage the endometrial lining and other parts of the reproductive system. The complications that arise due to such infections may make it impossible for the woman not only to have a successful pregnancy but to also continue the pregnancy if at all she becomes pregnant.
Talk to your doctor about the various treatment options available that will help to improve your chances of getting pregnant if you’ve been diagnosed with an ovarian cyst.