What are Ovarian Cysts?
Ovarian cysts are fairly common, which the majority of women will have at some point during their lifetime. Ovarian cysts are identified as fluid-filled sacs that form on or inside the ovaries. Most cysts can be diagnosed through an ultrasound or other imaging tests administered by a physician. Ovarian cysts usually do not produce any symptoms, however, in certain cases women may experience them.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts
Some of the common signs and symptoms of ovarian cysts include:
- Sudden, severe pain in the abdomen
- Dizziness, weakness, or feeling faint
- Fast breathing
Although it is rare, a cyst may rupture causing sudden pain, in which case you should go to the doctor immediately. If you are unsure of whether or not you have an ovarian cyst, your gynecologist will usually be able to identify them during a pelvic exam.
How do Ovarian Cysts Affect Fertility?
Cysts generally do not make it harder for a woman to get pregnant. In fact, the corpus luteum cyst or “pregnancy cyst” is actually beneficial during pregnancy, because it produces the progesterone necessary to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Most corpus luteum measure less than 5 centimeters, however, those lasting longer than 12 weeks may grow larger than 5 centimeters.
On the other hand, if the cysts are caused by an underlying condition, such as endometriosis, you may be at a higher risk of infertility. With endometriosis, the cells from the lining of your uterus implant or grow on the outside of the uterus. If it causes growths that block flow through the fallopian tubes, cysts can form. Almost 50% of women with infertility also suffer from endometriosis.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Another condition that can cause ovarian cysts affecting fertility is polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. It is identified by many small cysts on the ovaries, an irregular menstrual cycle, and high levels of certain hormones. PCOS may contribute to issues with pregnancy, since it is associated with irregular ovulation. PCOS may also put you at an increased risk for gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, premature delivery, or even miscarriage.
In order to lower your risk of developing a condition such as endometriosis or PCOS, you should:
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Avoid excessive alcohol
- Limit your caffeine intake
Solutions for Treating Ovarian Cysts
It is important to know the signs of a potentially dangerous ovarian cysts and the ways you can get rid of them. The most common treatment is an ovarian cystectomy. This is a minimally invasive surgery that involves small incisions in the abdomen and a camera that assists the doctor in completely the procedure. A laparoscopic surgery usually involves a faster recovery time than open surgery and is the preferred method of most patients.
Bear in mind that the window for this type of treatment closes once the pregnancy passes approximately 20 weeks. Talk with your OB/GYN about your risk and whether or not you should seek treatment. He or she will provide you with a set of options and lead you on the right path to help you have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
Laparoscopic Surgery in Livingston, New Jersey
Dr. Quartell has 40 years of experience in his practice and has done thousands of procedures using laparoscopic format. He is a skilled surgeon that will ensure a safe procedure and a speedy recovery. If you are worried about the risks associated with ovarian cysts and would like to be evaluated, come visit our office in Livingston, New Jersey or call us at 973-716-9600. At Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. & Associates, you are guaranteed to receive the best care possible!