Ovarian cyst is common problem in women between the ages of 30 and 60, and it could be one of the major causes preventing women from getting pregnant. So, if you ask can you get pregnant with an ovarian cyst, the answer is: Yes you can!
An ovarian cyst does not usually affect a woman's ability to conceive, but first you should get familiar with this disorder and how to treat it successfully. An ovarian cyst is a hormonal related disorder, caused by the overproduction of male hormones in the female body. Ovarian cyst may be single or multiple and it can occur in one or both ovaries. Most ovarian cysts are benign, but approximately 15 percent are cancerous. That is why examination is always necessary.
Types of Ovarian Cyst
There are five common types of ovarian cysts: functional cysts, endometrial cysts, cystadenomas, dermoid cysts and polycystic ovaries.
Functional cysts develop on follicle or corpus luteum as part of the natural function of the ovary. These cysts are not big and they usually dissolve after certain period of time.
Endometrial cysts, also known as "chocolate cysts", because they re filled with dark blood, form as a result of endometriosis. They continue to grow and could become as large as grapefruit. These cysts could cause an infertility.
Ovarian cystadenomas are new and abnormal formations that develop from the ovarian tissue. They could be filled with watery fluid or thick gelatinous material, growing up to 12 inches.
Dermoid cysts are also neoplasms similar to cystadenomas, with one difference. They consist of skin or related tissue such as hair, teeth or bone instead of fluid like the cystadenomas. Dermoid cysts grow between 2 and 4 inches.
Polycystic ovaries is a condition in which the follicles never erupt from the ovaries. This condition is also known as polycystic ovarian syndrome or disease (PCOS), and it s directly linked with difficulty in conceiving.
How to Recognize Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts
Cysts may grow quietly and go unnoticed until they are found on routine examination. However, if they are ruptured or become large enough, the following symptoms may occur:
- Intense abdominal pain (symptom in all types of cysts)
- Late, bleeding between or irregular periods (symptom occurring in corpus luteum cysts and polycystic ovaries)
- Heavy menstrual flow (symptom occurring in polycystic ovaries)
- Infertility (symptom occurring in polycystic ovaries and endometrial cysts)
- Internal bleeding (symptom occurring in endometrial cysts)
- Severe menstrual cramps (symptom occurring in endometrial cysts)
- Pain with sexual intercourse (symptom occurring in endometrial cysts)
- Pain during a bowel movement (symptom occurring in endometrial cysts)
- Weight gain (symptom occurring in polycystic ovaries and endometrial cysts)
If any of symptoms is present you should visit your doctor for further tests and treatment immediately.
Treatment of Ovarian Cysts
Treatment of ovarian cysts depends on many factors, including the type of cyst, its size, location, the type of material it contains and the woman's age. Functional cysts usually require a "watch and wait" approach. These cysts tend to dissolve over time and treatment is not needed. The doctor may require pelvic exam and/or ultrasound after two menstrual cycles. If the cyst is still present and keeps growing (over 2 inches) the doctor may recommend a laparoscopy to remove the cyst.
If functional cyst comes and goes, birth control pills may be prescribed, because they reduce the hormones that promote cysts growth and they also prevent formation of large cysts.
Endometrial cysts, cystadenomas and dermoid cysts should be removed surgically. If the cyst is small enough it could be removed via laparoscopy.
But if the cyst is over 2 inches in diameter, treatment varies from cysterectomy (removal of cyst only) to total abdominal hysterectomy, usually when cyst is cancerous.
Treatment for polycystic ovaries varies. The major symptom of polycystic ovaries is infertility, and whether the woman is trying to conceive or not determines the treatment for PCOS. If the woman is trying to conceive, the doctor will prescribe Clomid which stimulates ovulation. If the woman is not trying to conceive, but has infrequent or no periods, the doctor will prescribe Provera, that restores normal menstrual flows.
The best advice for you is to visit your doctor regularly for routine examination, especially if you have one of the symptoms mentioned above. Ovarian cyst is not major reason for infertility, but if you re trying to get pregnant having a cyst, you should determine the type and treatment that will help you conceiving.