Ovarian cysts are common among women these days. It has been observed that up to 18% of women may experience ovarian cysts in their lifetime. Most ovarian cysts don’t need to be addressed. Only a few require surgical intervention. There are genuine concerns about the relationship between an ovarian cyst and the Infertility of a woman. Can ovarian cysts cause Infertility? Not really, there may be some temporary discomfort, but most of them do not have an impact on fertility.
Here is everything you must know about the ovarian cyst and if all ovarian cysts cause Infertility. But what is an ovarian cyst?
A cyst is a sac generally filled with fluid. It may develop inside or outside of our body. An ovarian cyst occurs either on the surface of an ovary or inside it. Women have two ovaries; there could be one or more cysts in one ovary or on both. Sometimes women may feel pain and discomfort. The rest may not have felt any symptoms at all. If the symptoms worsen, cysts may need to be removed surgically too.
What Are the Types of Functional Ovarian Cysts?
Follicle/ Follicular cyst
A Follicle cyst is a sac containing a mature egg, and the egg is released when a woman ovulates. A follicular cyst can occur when a premature egg isn’t released from an ovarian follicle. And these follicles may swell with fluid. This kind of cyst develops the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) or luteinizing hormone (LH) out of balance leading to irregular ovulation.
Corpus Luteal Cysts
Such a cyst develops when post-ovulation, the corpus luteum, or the empty egg sac, fills with fluid. Normally if a released egg goes unfertilized, the corpus luteum sheds within 2 weeks of ovulating. However, when the corpus luteum is not completely shed from the ovary, it may result in a corpus luteal cyst.
Theca Lutein Cysts
This type of cyst develops in women undergoing hormonal therapy during fertility treatment. Sometimes hormones are used to artificially stimulate ovulation, which may cause an excessive number of cells to grow in the ovaries.
What Are Its Symptoms?
Symptoms of Ovarian Cyst
- Severe pelvic pain, pressure/ pain in the lower abdomen
- Cyst rupture / Hemorrhage
- Torsion of the ovaries
- Swelling or bloating
Additionally, other less common examples could be:
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Difficulties with bowel movements and frequent urination
- Painful intercourse
- Weight gain without explanation
- Breast Tenderness
Now the Question Arises Can Ovarian Cysts Cause Infertility?
Ovarian cysts and Infertility
Ovarian cysts on their own do not cause Infertility, but there could be some underlying conditions that may lead to Infertility.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Women suffering from PCOS find it tough to conceive because their eggs may not mature and release as they should. PCOS results in irregular ovulation or lack of ovulation, leading to fertility issues. It is a hormonal disorder where there are multiple small cysts found on the ovaries; the menstrual cycles are irregular, and there are menstrual cycles.
These cysts develop when the endometrial tissue (the tissue lining the uterus) grows
outside the uterus, on the ovaries. Endometriomas may accompany pain and inflammation. These could impair the normal function of the ovaries leading to fertility issues.
Cyst Complications/ Rupture
Although quite uncommon, if the cysts rupture or are very large can lead to scarring or adhesions in the pelvic region. This may disrupt or affect the normal functioning of the fallopian tubes or the ovaries themselves.
Dermoid cysts are a type of complex ovarian cyst comprised of cells that were part of your body before birth. These dermoid cysts are harmless, but they may reduce ovarian function if they are surgically removed.
It is a rare possibility that any surgery done to remove the cysts might have damaged the ovarian tissue, affecting the ovarian reserve (the number of eggs a woman has available for fertilization).
So, When to See a Doctor?
Is a Doctor consultation required?
At any point, if you feel that ovarian cysts cause Infertility, you must check with a doctor. They are best suited to evaluate your condition and determine the cause of your Infertility. It may be noted that most women with ovarian cysts do not experience fertility problems. However, doctors are the best guides. If your ovarian cyst is painful or growing in shape or appearance, the doctor might remove the cyst surgically.
The above-said pointers explain how ovarian cysts cause no harm to your fertility in most cases. Use this handy guide as a ready reckoner to address all such queries.
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