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Ovarian Cysts: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

on Aug 09, 2012

by Prabha Sahgal, MD

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Ovarian Cysts: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Ovarian cysts are just sacs filled with fluid located on your ovary, that can naturally occur as a result of your ovulation cycle. In most cases, they are functional cysts which go away on their own & do not affect your fertility.

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Ovarian cysts rarely cause infertility

You should know that, contrary to what you may think, there are little chances that your ovarian cysts are the cause of your infertility or will lead to infertility. These cysts are just sacs filled with fluid located on your ovary. Young women commonly have them because they are a result of the ovulation cycle. When the follicle in which your egg grows does not rupture when ovulation happens, it fills up with fluid and it gets bigger. These are called functional cysts and they usually disappear by themselves.

When benign cyst becomes problematic

However, in rare cases women acquire other types of cysts that may cause them a few problems. A functional cyst may start bleeding and, turning into a hemorrhagic cyst and causing abdominal pain. Dermoid cysts also contain skin or hair fragments, so there are some cases when they need to be removed. Other cysts that may need to be surgically removed are called cystadenoma and formed from the cells covering the external part of your ovary; normally, they are not cancerous.

What are the symptoms of ovarian cysts?

Ovarian cysts rarely present symptoms and they are usually discovered by ultrasound or routine pelvic exams. They normally shrink and disappear by themselves, so they are usually better left alone. However, some doctors may advise women to have surgery, which is not necessarily the best option in all cases.

Do ovarian cysts affect my fertility?

If you have ovarian cysts, you should not be too concerned about how they will affect your fertility. The only case in which ovarian cysts may cause you problems is if they become twisted, cutting off their own blood supply. If immediate medical measures are not taken, this type of cyst can burst causing severe pain in your lower abdomen and requiring hospitalization. However, this happens very rarely.

Ovarian cysts may affect your fertility if the doctor decides to remove the entire ovary, severely compromising your ovary function. Open surgery is only needed when cysts are too solid or complex, or they are suspected to be cancerous. This would be a rare occurrence though, with the majority of ovarian cysts small, benign & going away on their own.

Treatment options

Normally, cysts are removed through laparoscopic surgery – which decompresses the cysts and makes them collapse, so that they can be removed through a small incision, allowing you to preserve your ovarian tissue and maintain normal ovarian function. Cysts are better to be treated before getting pregnant, but this does not imply you will have to have them surgically removed. Surgery is not good for your fertility, especially if the entire ovary is removed.

The bottom line

So, in the end, it is not the cysts that affect your fertility, but some desperate and unnecessary attempts to remove them. Take a cautious stance, and speak with your healthcare practitioner about the wisdom of letting them go away on their own, as a possibly better solution so as to minimize any adverse affects to your fertility.

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Ovarian Cysts: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments, 4.4 out of 5 based on 12 ratings

Dr. Prabha Sahgal MD, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and subspecialty board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Dr. Sahgal holds a B.S. degree from MIT in molecular biology and currently serves on the ConceiveEasy board of directors.

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  • MainardDittle

    me and my husband are wanting to get pregnant but im having trouble getting pregnant i use to have cyst on my overies but the went away and i dont have insurence to get the right help what do we do

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  • Praying for baby

    Well I can say you might want to consult a doctor on this one and with no insurence that will not be easy done. You do need to look into the free medical support in your area and you might find that to be helpful in your case. Mine had a lot to do with my hormones not being in balanced correctly.  This product is very helpful in that. I have been on it for while and have noticed things moving more better then before. Still working on the pregnant part of the things but I very hopful this will work!! So far its helped with the ovulation stage which I did not do before the pills!! I wish you the best!! 

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  • DurisseaStud

    I am considering purchasing fertibella for myself. i have ovarian cysts and my chances of getting pregnant are slim, would fertibella help me??

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  • BaByWiShIng

    Cysts can make it hard for you to become pregnant but you still have a chance. Don’t give up!! The pills are to help the hormones and balance them so you can reach the level you need to become pregnant. I know they can put on birth control to help the growth of cysts forming. Just talk with your OB and let them know you want to have kids and what are your options??? Or you just give these pills a try.. They do cost less than the doctor office visit and who knows they might work right away… Having issues with you body is never any fun and I wish you best of luck!! 

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  • ms.tels

    I have been tryin but i just can’t

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  • Bundleofjoy

     Don’t give hope.. God will answer all prayers in good time.. I wish you the best..

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  • Julie Betkey

    i just had a overy removed and im a little under weight ive been tryin for over 2 years now but they said the tumor was a reason they i wasnt getting pregnant what can i do and should i do

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  • Jan_Quail442

    I had a boy 5yrs ago n ve been trying to conceive for about 3yrs now,I undergo bath.cyst.2yrs ago and am afriad it might be the cause of my infertility,pls help I need an answer urgently!

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  • georgettecrawls

     I have had trouble with cysts for years now. My OB put me on the pill to help me out but now I want to have baby. My Ob told me due to being on the pill for long that my hormones might need some help. So I started looking at stuff on line never thinking I would be ordering any thing but I found this stuff. And lord help me it worked. Only 3 months on the stuff and It worked. My Ob told me it be few years for something like this to work but Boy oh boy did we prove him wrong!! Thanks guys for making me a Mommy to be!! 

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  • Dr. Christine Lee, MD

    There are numerous causes for your menstrual periods to have stopped. I recommend seeing your gynecologist or primary care doctor for a physical exam. Ovarian cysts can interfere with your fertility and periods, and a doctor’s examination should uncover the cause.

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  • Maureen Stephens, RN

    Yes Fertibella can help you, for it has been clinically proven effective in helping women overcome common obstacles to conception. Fertibella works by stimulating ovulation through regulating hormone levels and normalizing cycles, therefore boosting your fertility to help you conceive at the earliest possible time. Al so remember to consult your doctor about any fertility medications you are taking. You should also know that ovarian cysts rarely cause infertility or lead to infertility. These cysts, also called functional cysts, are the result of ovulation and usually disappear by themselves. It is usually the treatment directed towards the removal of the cyst that causes infertility, because it involves surgery. Keep this in mind when making decisions about your treatment.

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  • Sandy

    Thank you Doctor Deva for your help because since i have been married to my husband i have not be able to get my own kid and my mother in law wants me out of the house because she think i can’t give bath to a baby but since you cast a spell for me and it been five months now since you cast a spell for me and i started seeing changes in me i and my husband are now happy now and we are expecting our baby by June i am very grateful for your help doctor Deva Email: lakshmantemple@gmail.com you are more than just a father to me. 

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  • Hannah

    I’m 26 had my fiest child 2 years ago. Never got a period till I stopped Breast feeding, then bleed for 3 mo ths solid to the point that I need a blood transfusion. After another years passed with no bleeding it came back again and this time I delt with it after 3 weeks. The drs said I have mutipul cysts on my overies. They then did a dnc on me and inserted mirena I since not had a period. My husband and I want another child so I am getting my mirena removed on the 25 of feb. please help me with anyway that I could get pregnant. Or will I even be able to fall pregnant.

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  • Ebony3452

    I’ve been reading that yoget ovarian cyst because the egg is not releasing so it causes swelling and thats when he cyst forms if thats the case how am i ever gonna get pregnant if theres no egg releasing??

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  • Pearljampookie

    I have an Ovarian Cyst on my left ovary. It’s been there a good 6months-year. It bothers me, but my gyno said there wasn’t much she could do about it. It isn’t large enough to remove with surgery, and going on the pill wont “shrink” it. I will go back in 3 months for an ultrasound to ensure it hasn’t grown larger. My boyfriend and I want to try to have a baby soon. I am preparing my body, but I worry that the cyst will hinder me getting pregnant in some way. We haven’t been using any protection in 6 months, and so far, nothing. I will be 34 in May, and I have never been pregnant. I am the most infertile person in the world (or the luckiest maybe, since I’ve made a few mistakes in my time). It’s quite discouraging though. Has anyone else had an experience like mine? My boyfriend said if we can’t conceive we could always get more pets… but I’d feel less of a woman if I couldn’t give him a child one day.

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  • Serenarogers108

    Hi, I had 2 large dermoid cysts removed from my ovaries. The docotor also removed some of the dead tissue from my ovaries on both sides. I am not sure how much of my ovaries are left, can I still get pregnant?

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  • Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

    Anovulation refers to an ovulation that does not occur, meaning that no egg is released during a menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, anovulation is a very common and serious fertility problem. If a woman does not ovulate, she cannot get pregnant. When anovulation is associated with missed periods, she might realize she suffers from this disorder and tries to get help. However, there are many cases in which, despite anovulation, menstruation occurs.

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  • Ebony Johnson

    I had the surgery to have the cyst remove ever since then I’ve been trying to conceive but yet still no luck will this product help me?

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  • Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

    Since the ovaries manage hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle, removing both ovaries can prevent conception. However; if only one of your ovaries was removed, you can still get pregnant. I do recommend you to discuss your chances of conception with your personal Gynecologist.

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  • Dr. Renee Hanton, MD

    Since you are underweight and you had one of your ovaries removed, getting pregnant can be challenging for you. You should try to take fertility pills to boost your body’s fertility, and eat right to gain weight for you to improve your chances of getting pregnant.

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  • friend

    Has anyone with cysts tried fertibella and have gotten pregnant..im thinking of getting it for my wife but she has cysts on her ovaries

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  • Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

    Yes, Fertibella ConceiveEasy is clinically proven effective in overcoming the most common obstacles to conception, and has been demonstrated in limited studies to help women conceive who have PCOS.

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  • Dr. Christine Lee, MD

    Ovarian cysts may only cause infertility if left untreated. To improve your likelihood of conceiving soon, you should try to take fertility pills, increase your sexual intercourse and closely monitor your cycles.

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  • Dr. Renee Hanton, MD

    There is a good chance for you to get pregnant after your Mirena removal, as long as you don’t have underlying infertility issues. Ovarian cysts can affect your body’s fertility if left untreated, and it is important that you take oral contraceptives for the meantime to help reduce the size of your cysts. To increase your chances of getting pregnant, it is best that you increase your sexual activity during your fertile window, which is normally 4 to 5 days before ovulation.

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  • Monica Scott, RN

    Getting pregnant for you can be quite difficult, knowing that you have a cyst in your ovary. Ovarian cysts can cause infertility if left untreated, and I do recommend that you utilize effective natural therapies which can gradually treat your cysts. These natural therapies may include the intake of natural herbs, the reduction of estrogen and the enhancement of progesterone to your body.

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  • Dr. Renee Hanton, MD

    Each couple’s chances of conception are influenced by various factors. And, it is best that you consult your ObGyn for a preconception check-up. With a preconception check-up, you are able to determine what prevents you from getting pregnant and if you have any underlying infertility issue. Your doctor can as well prescribe you with the proper fertility supplements that can help improve your chances of conceiving.

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  • Maureen Stephens, RN

    Yes, Fertibella ConceiveEasy since it is clinically proven effective in overcoming the most common obstacles to conception and is designed to boost your body’s natural fertility, without side effects Best of Luck!

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  • Monica Scott, RN

    Congratulations! Now that you have finally confirmed your pregnancy, I do suggest that you try to visit your doctor regularly for prenatal check-ups in order for you to have a regular check to your baby. It is also best that you start taking prenatal vitamins, folic acid supplements and avoid stress in order for you to have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

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  • Fingers crossed

    Hi. I have been off the pill for 18 months and not pregnant. We haven’t been actively trying for a few months due to booking our wedding and other things but still had unprotected intercourse. I started having very painful periods so went to doctor who sent me for ultrasound. The scan found a couple of cysts in both ovaries :( should I get these removed?? My periods are regular (every 28/29 days) ovulation a tests have shown I ovulate as do blood tests that were taken day 21 of my cycle. Should I worry that I can’t have children! I am all over the place and my husband and I would love a family soon. Please help! X

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  • Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

    It would be best that you have your ovarian cysts removed, knowing that it can lessen your chances of getting pregnant. Ovarian cysts can only cause infertility issues if not removed, and it id best that you have yours removed immediately for you to prevent probable complications as well. Once you had successfully had your ovarian cysts remove, there is without that getting pregnant can be quite easy for you.

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  • nena 13

    Hi….i have alot of.little cysts on my.ovaries the doctor told me i have them because i dnt have my pierods i.could last to one year or mor with out my.pierod i been like this.for like seven years.and am 21 already the only times i get my.periods are when they put me on birth peels…and right now am on losterin 24 fe to help me.rregulate my pieriods n treatment for my cysts…but will i be able to get pregnat i been tryin for two years

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  • chelsea panigi

    Can I get my ovaries removed only being 21 with ovarian cysts that constantly hurt and affect me working and daily life? I don’t want anymore children because of personal reasons and I am tired of always being in so much pain.

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  • Monica Scott, RN

    I do suggest that you continue taking Losterin 24 so that you can regulate your periods and gradually remove your cysts. Knowing that you have ovarian cysts, getting pregnant can be quite difficult for you and it is important that you maintain a healthy lifestyle to increase your likelihood of getting pregnant soon. I do recommend that you try hormone cleansing therapies to restore your reproductive tract and for you to effectively minimize the cysts in your ovaries.

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  • bushra

    i have bilateral cysts in both ovaries i face delayed menstrual cycle only if i gain weight so i control my weight always i only have excessive hair loss and growth of hair on my body and face suggest good shamoo to control hair loss and any tablets to control hair fall and my age is 26 and iam unmarried

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  • keisha jones

    can a cyst on ovary br removed and i still be able to try and coceive even with one ovary and tumors on my uterus

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  • Doris

    if you have to have to have one ovary removed when 3 months pregnant will it hurt the baby

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  • dimples

    i have ovaian cysts and i m 35 bu want to have a baby will it be a problem

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  • April

    Yes a cyst can stop you from menstrating it stoped me for six months go to your doctor if not an obgyn a regular doctor can help with that as well.

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  • Dr. Renee Hanton, MD

    You are still able to conceive even if you only have one ovary however you and your baby’s health are at a risk since you have tumors on your uterus. It is best to work closely with a specialist while trying to get pregnant and all throughout your pregnancy to ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy.

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  • Monica Scott, RN

    There are some women who have had their ovarian cysts removed while being pregnant. However, there are lots of things to consider before having the surgery such as how far along are you in your pregnancy and the kind of cyst you have. It is important that you have all the information you need from your doctor so you can make an informed decision.

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  • vdazzle2012

    i had 2 ovarian cyst when i was pregnant with my 5 year old that were removed by surgery the same time my son was born. i am now pregnant and was wondering if they can appear again with this pregnancy?

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  • Maureen Stephens, RN

    Ovarian cysts does not appear when you get pregnant. You probably already had them before you were pregnant with your son. If you are concerned about having an ovarian cyst while pregnant, a regular visit to your doctor is advised to have tests done to be able to detect the presence of cysts early. However, cysts rarely reappear after they have been removed.

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  • Crystal

    My periods are irregular and I have been trying to conceive for 4 years please help

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  • Antonelle Niceeyes Mcpherson

    Hi i was diagnosed with ovrian cysts about 2-3 yrs ago and soon after i had been diagnosed with PCOS but i have regular periods every year since then, the only thing is that i would like to get pregnant but inexperienced doctors at the hospital where i’m from keep putting me on Microgynon 30 but it only made my periods heavy and painful so i stopped using it. I am not looking for a solution to help me to conceive at least one child as soon as i can, how can i do that and what natural ways does it have for me or even over the counter medication as well…

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  • Nicole Crilley

    I have had two large cysts removed from my ovaries… the first surgery was back in March of this year and unfortunately my left ovary was removed along with the cyst. Then just 6 months later on September 19th of this year I had to have another large cyst removed from my right ovary , but thankfully my right ovary was preserved but badly damaged… my husband and I have a 5 year old daughter, but would loved to have one more baby… do we have any hope of having one more baby? I don’t even know what to do or how to try and get started on trying to conceive again. Can anyone point me in the right direction or at least have the decency to be honest in letting us know that it is just not possible for us to conceive another baby?

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  • Monica Scott, RN

    Since your right ovary has been damaged because of the surgery done to remove your cyst, your chances of conceiving has decreased but not impossible. It is best to consult with a fertility specialist to determine the best course of action for you to conceive. There are lots of ways like IVF which works by joining the ovum and sperm outside the body.

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  • RB

    It’s good to know that functional cysts don’t hinder fertility overall, but I’m curious about the month-to-month probabilities. For instance, if you have a follicular cyst one month (say in January), does that make it unlikely that you’ll conceive during THAT cycle in January (because the intended egg was not able to burst out and await fertilization)? Will you have to try again another cycle when it’s more likely that an egg successfully ruptured from the follicle?

    I realize that multiple follicles mature each cycle and it’s the biggest/selected one that ruptures, making a woman fertile for that cycle; I also realize that it’s possible to release multiple eggs, hence fraternal twins; further, I’ve learned that corpus luteum cysts develope AFTER ovulation, so it’s likely the egg is available for fertilization that month. But I haven’t found professional information on whether it’s possible to get pregnant the particular MONTH you suspect you’ve developed a cyst.

    I’ve had functional cysts in the past, so I’m familiar with their unique sensation… and I’m curious if that means that conceiving the month I have one lowers or negates our chances to conceive and whether we should look to another month for better odds. Could the cyst I’m feeling now be a cyst from a prior cycle that is just now making its presence known?

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  • sierra

    I look 4 months pregnant and I do have pregnancy symptoms and if am I would be about 15 weeks but all the tests I took home and at the docs were negative can a small simple functional ovarian cyst cause it?

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