Can Ovarian Cysts Make It Difficult To Get Pregnant?

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Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Can Ovarian Cysts Make It Difficult To Get Pregnant_

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? Have you come across a condition named ovarian cysts? Does it affect your fertility?

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 them. pregnancy pillow

In This Article

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 and can cause pain and bloating.

What Causes An Ovarian Cyst?

Causes of ovarian cyst

Ovulation is an important part of a woman’s menstrual cycle. In this process, the egg released from one of the ovaries travels down the Fallopian tube and becomes an embryo if a sperm manages to penetrate it. When these egg follicles do not grow enough to reach the ovulation stage, they become cysts.

Some of the reasons for ovarian cysts can be:

  • Ovulation  Since the cysts form only during ovulation. If ovulation does not occur, cysts will not form.
  • Hormones If you are using any drugs to help you ovulate for pregnancy, it can cause functional cysts to form. These cysts will mostly go away on their own as the hormones settle.
  • Pregnancy Some women develop ovarian cysts at the beginning of their pregnancy. These cysts will mostly go away after the placenta forms. Sometimes, if they continue to stay on, or cause issues with your pregnancy, your doctor might surgically it.
  • Endometriosis Women with endometriosis can develop ovarian cysts called endometrium. In endometriosis, tissue forms outside the uterus. This tissue can attach itself to the ovary and grow into a cyst, this usually happens in the advanced stages of endometriosis.
  • PCOS  Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can cause multiple small cysts to form in the ovaries. These cysts are small in size and generally harmless.
  • Pelvic Infections  A pelvic infection can spread to the ovaries or Fallopian tubes and result in the formation of cysts.
  • Egg Doesn’t Release  If the egg does not release, ovulation does not occur. The fluid remains inside the follicle and becomes a cyst.
    Abnormal Cell Reproduction – Abnormal production of cells can result in the formation of cysts in the ovaries.

Types Of Ovarian Cysts

Types Of Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts are broadly divided into two

  1. Cysts, which don’t affect the pregnancy/fertility
  2. Cysts, which interfere with pregnancy/fertility

1. 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

Functional ovarian cysts are either follicular or Luteal cysts that develop 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 a 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


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

2. Cysts That Affect The Chances Of Getting Pregnant

ovarian cyst

The following types of cysts can affect your ability to get pregnant


Also known as an endometrioid 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 (polycystic ovarian syndrome)

Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is the most common cyst that creates 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 the 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?

signs of ovarian cysts

Most women who have ovarian cysts do not even know about it. But if these cysts become very large, or rupture, or block the flow of blood to ovaries, then the following symptoms may appear:

  • 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 surface, the doctor will be able to diagnose it through a pelvic examination. He can also use diagnostic methods like CT scans, Ultrasound scans, and MRI scans to confirm an ovarian cyst.

Do Ovarian Cysts Affect My Chances of Becoming Pregnant?

Ovulation Cyst and pregnancy

Ovarian cysts do not interfere with the production or release of eggs during your menstrual cycle. So, they generally do not affect your chances of getting pregnant. However, the conditions that can lead to ovarian cysts like endometriosis or PCOS can make it difficult to get pregnant. The complication is due to the underlying condition and not because of the cyst.

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.

However, ovarian cysts can cause complications if they are present when you conceive. If they were to twist or rupture, it can cause issues during the delivery. Your doctor will ideally keep a close watch on the cyst, throughout the pregnancy.

What Are The Possible Complications Of Ovarian Cyst?


Most ovarian cysts are harmless and will go away on their own without any intervention. Very rarely do you need surgery to remove such cysts. You need to monitor the cyst closely by taking a follow-up scan to ensure the cyst does not grow in size if your cyst is growing in size, you need to monitor it very closely and take tests to rule out cancer.

Some of the possible complications of such ovarian cysts are:

  • Infection In case of an infection, the cyst will fill up with bacteria and pus. If this cyst bursts, the pus and bacteria can enter the bloodstream, resulting in blood poisoning.
  • Cancer  If the cyst is not benign, your doctor will send a biopsy of the cyst for testing. If the cyst forms after menopause, the risk of it being cancerous is higher.
  • Rupture  Functional cysts usually rupture and go away on their own without causing any trouble. Sometimes, if the cyst is too big and ruptures, it can cause severe abdominal pain and discomfort. It can even cause your belly to swell.
  • Tortion When the cyst keeps growing, it can distort the shape of your ovaries. It increases the risk of twisting your ovaries. The twisting can cut the blood flow to your ovary, and your ovary will die. You may experience extreme pain, vomiting, or nausea.

What Are The Treatment Options For Ovarian Cysts?

Your doctor will suggest a treatment for your ovarian cyst depending on the size of your cyst, what caused it, your age, and other symptoms. Some ways to treat ovarian cysts are:

  • Waiting  Since most cysts go away on their own, your doctor will suggest you wait and watch. You will have an ultra-sound a few weeks after the first. The ultrasound wills how if the cyst has gone, whether it remains, or if it is grown in size.
  • Medicines  Since these cysts typically form during ovulation, your doctor might give medicines that will stop your ovulation. This also reduces the risk of such cyst formation in the future.
  • Surgery  If the cyst is too big, interfereing with or affecting your pregnancy, your doctor will suggest removing the cyst using laparoscopy or laparotomy. Laparoscopy helps remove small cysts with just a small incision. Laparotomy helps remove big cysts.
  • Biopsy  If your doctor suspects the cyst to be cancerous, they will remove the cyst and send it to the lab for testing. The test will tell if the cyst is benign or cancerous. The treatment depends on this result.

When Should You Meet The Doctor?

Ovarian cyst when to meet Doctor

When you feel something is off in your body, you need to consult a doctor to ensure you are in no danger or harm. You need to consult a doctor at the earliest if:

  • You are suffering from irregular, painful, or late periods
  • You have abdominal pain that does not go away
  • You notice your abdomen is getting bigger, it could be swollen
  • It is difficult to urinate and empty your bladder
  • You fall ill more often
  • Having sexual intercourse is painful
  • Your abdomen always feels full due to constipation, bloating, or some discomfort
  • You are losing weight for no reason
  • You seem to be gaining weight continuously

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.


1. Do Ovarian Cysts Disappear By Themselves?

Yes, most ovarian cysts disappear on their own over time. Very rarely do they need surgery for safe removal.

2. Can Ovarian Cysts Affect Future Pregnancies?

An ovarian cyst generally has no bearing on pregnancy. If it grows in size, obstructs the uterine passage, or causes severe pain, then it might impact your future pregnancies, otherwise no.

Reference Links

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

Responses (1)

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stephanie cullen

Dec 05, 2020

I've tried with my partner to have a kid for the past 4 months and nothing seems to work but i was in hospital last year they said i've got a cyst on my ovaries!

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