The Connection Between Ovarian Cysts and Infertility
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop on or inside the ovaries. They are a common condition and often do not cause any symptoms. However, in some cases, ovarian cysts can cause infertility. This can be due to the cyst blocking the ovary from releasing an egg, or from causing hormonal imbalances that affect ovulation.
In this blog post, we will explore how ovarian cysts can cause infertility, the chances of getting pregnant with an ovarian cyst, and the options for ovarian cyst removal and fertility.
What are ovarian cysts?
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form on the ovaries. They are common in women of reproductive age and can occur for many reasons, including during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy.
Ovarian cysts can also be a symptom of a larger underlying health condition, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis. Most ovarian cysts are harmless and resolve on their own within a few months, but in some cases, they can cause pain or discomfort, or they can become large and potentially cancerous. Here at the Rylon Clinic in central London will typically diagnose an ovarian cyst using ultrasound, and may recommend further testing or treatment as necessary.
How do ovarian cysts cause infertility?
Ovarian cysts can cause infertility in several ways. The cyst can block the ovary from releasing an egg, which is necessary for fertilization and pregnancy. Additionally, cysts can cause hormonal imbalances that can affect ovulation. Ovarian cysts can also cause pain and discomfort, which can make intercourse difficult or impossible.
Can an ovarian cyst stop you from getting pregnant?
An ovarian cyst can sometimes stop you from getting pregnant. If the cyst is blocking the ovary from releasing an egg, this can prevent fertilisation from occurring. Additionally, if the cyst is causing hormonal imbalances that affect ovulation, this can also prevent pregnancy.
Can you ovulate with an ovarian cyst?
It is possible to ovulate with an ovarian cyst. However, in some cases, the cyst can cause hormonal imbalances that can affect ovulation. Additionally, if the cyst is blocking the ovary from releasing an egg, this can prevent ovulation from occurring.
What are the chances of getting pregnant with an ovarian cyst?
The chances of getting pregnant with an ovarian cyst depend on several factors, including the size and location of the cyst, and whether it is causing hormonal imbalances that affect ovulation. In some cases, a cyst may be small and not cause any problems with fertility. However, in other cases, the cyst may be larger and cause more significant issues with fertility.
Ovarian cyst removal and fertility
Ovarian cyst removal can be a way to improve fertility. Depending on the size and location of the cyst, it may be removed surgically or with medication. It's important to note that removal of cyst does not guarantee fertility, but it can improve the chances.
How soon after ovarian cyst removal can I get pregnant?
The chances of getting pregnant after ovarian cyst removal depend on several factors, including the size and location of the cyst, and whether it was causing hormonal imbalances that affect ovulation. In some cases, it may be possible to get pregnant soon after the cyst is removed. However, in other cases, it may take several months or longer for fertility to return, and this also depends on other female and male factors that need to be assessed holistically.
Ovarian cyst and pregnancy
Ovarian cysts can also be found during pregnancy, they may cause pain or discomfort, but they do not typically cause any serious problems with the pregnancy, unless they undergo marked changes in the size or the features.
Ovarian cyst pregnancy symptoms
Symptoms of ovarian cysts during pregnancy can include pain or discomfort in the pelvic area, bloating, or difficulty with bowel movements. However, these symptoms may also be caused by other conditions, such as constipation or bowel conditions.
Can ovarian cyst cause miscarriage?
An ovarian cyst during pregnancy is unlikely to cause a miscarriage. However, if the cyst causes marked pain or discomfort then it may affect the pregnancy.
Cyst found in ultrasound pregnancy first trimester
If a cyst is found during an ultrasound in the first trimester of pregnancy, it is important to monitor the cyst closely. Depending on the size and location of the cyst, it may require surgical removal, although rarely. It's important to note that the cyst can cause discomfort but it will not directly cause a miscarriage.
Can you do IVF with a cyst?
It is possible to do IVF with a cyst, however, the cyst may need to be removed before the procedure. If the cyst is blocking the ovary from releasing an egg, it can prevent fertilisation from occurring. Additionally it can make IVF more difficult as it may prevent a safe and satisfactory collection of all the eggs from the stimulated ovary during IVF treatment.
What is the main cause of ovarian cysts?
The main cause of ovarian cysts is hormonal imbalances. Ovarian cysts can also be caused by certain medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, or pelvic inflammatory disease.
How big are ovarian cysts?
Ovarian cysts can vary in size, from small cysts that are less than an inch in diameter to larger cysts that are several inches in diameter. In some cases, cysts can be so large that they cause the ovary to become swollen, and with this comes the risk of ovarian torsion which is considered a gynaecological emergency when a severe agonising pelvic pain can occur, and we recommend urgent assessment by a specialist within few hours of experiencing such pain.
Ovarian cysts are a common condition that can cause infertility. However, with proper treatment and management, it is possible to improve fertility and increase the chances of getting pregnant. Ovarian cyst removal, IVF, and natural remedies may all be options to consider. Women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cysts should consult with their healthcare professional to determine the best course of action.
Author: Mr Osama Naji
Mr Naji provides advanced gynaecology scanning which is essential when conducting any gynaecology consultation, he is bilingual in English and Arabic and has an NHS base at the highly reputable Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital London.
He is passionate about raising awareness of various subtle signs and symptoms of gynaecological conditions that are often overlooked by patients.
You can read more about Mr Naji on his about page here.