Ovarian cysts are the fluid-filled sacs that are found inside the ovaries. It is common for women to develop ovarian cysts at some point of time in their life. They are actually the result of the functioning of the ovaries. Most of the cysts are harmless and they do not show any signs or symptoms in most cases. That is why many women do not know that they have ovarian cysts.

Ovarian cysts are often found during a pelvic examination. In some cases, ovarian cysts can interfere with your fertility and can affect your chances of conception. Hence, it is important to know about ovarian cysts in advance.

What Causes Ovarian Cysts?

Ovarian cysts are commonly seen in women between the age of 19 to 45 years. They can be found in either one or both ovaries. The following are some of the factors that can cause ovarian cysts:

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Undergoing any fertility treatment
  • Pregnancy
  • Environmental toxins such as tobacco or smoking can also develop ovarian cysts
  • Abnormal cell growth

If the doctor determines that you have ovarian cysts, the treatment is based on the following conditions:

  • Age 
  • Status of menopause
  • Size and quantity of the cysts
  • Symptoms caused by ovarian cysts

Common Indications of Ovarian Cysts

As mentioned, most of the ovarian cysts are not harmful. They do not show any signs and go without any treatment. If the cysts are large, they can show up symptoms and can cause discomfort. Some of the signs of ovarian cysts include:

  • Indigestion
  • Pelvic pain and abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Sudden changes in bowel movements

Relation Between Ovarian Cysts and Infertility

The effect of an ovarian cyst on your fertility is based on various factors such as:

  • Your age
  • Type of cysts you have
  • Size and quantity of the cysts
  • Your gynaecological health

Most of the ovarian cysts do not affect your chances of pregnancy. But certain underlying conditions can affect your fertility.

The cysts developed due to the following can affect your fertility:

  • Endometriosis: It is a condition where the uterine tissue grows outside the uterus. If the tissues get attached to the ovaries, they can lead to the formation of cysts. These cysts can affect the functioning of the ovaries and hence affects fertility. About 50% of women suffering from endometriosis experience trouble in conceiving.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a condition that occurs due to hormonal imbalances in women. It can show up signs such as irregular periods, acne, sudden weight gain, etc. PCOS can also lead to the formation of cysts inside the ovaries. Due to the abnormal hormone level, the matured eggs do not develop and hence they do not release from the ovaries. Due to the lack of ovulation, progesterone hormone is also not released by the body and it causes irregular periods. If PCOS is left untreated, it can lead to infertility.

There are other types of ovarian cysts such as functional cysts, dermoid cysts, and cystadenomas. These cysts do not contribute to infertility and do not affect your chances of pregnancy.

If you have any signs of ovarian cysts, it is important to consider visiting a gynaecologist at the earliest possible to prevent serious issues.

Different Treatment Options for Ovarian Cysts

The treatment for ovarian cysts is based on the size and type of ovarian cysts you have. In the beginning, the doctor monitors and suggests medications to stop cysts from growing further. The doctor will look if the cysts still exist after menstrual cycles or if they are growing in size. If the medications do not work, cysts grow, and if you are experiencing pain, fever and other signs, you might need to undergo surgery to remove them.

The doctor may also prescribe over-the-counter medications to relieve your pain. If the ovarian cysts are reoccurring again, then birth control pills may be suggested to block ovulation and prevent the formation of cysts.

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