Your ovaries are two almond-shaped organs that sit on either side of your uterus. They’re responsible for producing eggs and hormones that either flush out every month with your period or result in fertilization and pregnancy.
When fluid-filled sacs form on your ovaries, you have ovarian cysts. Cysts are quite common, with an estimated 10% of women experiencing them at some point in their life. Most women don’t even realize they have a cyst as they are benign (noncancerous) and resolve on their own.
Cysts usually don’t cause symptoms, though they do have the potential to rupture and cause pain and discomfort.
If you’ve been diagnosed with ovarian cysts and are trying to get pregnant, know that most of the time, cysts don’t interfere with your fertility or make it harder to get pregnant. The OB/GYN team at Capital Women’s Care in Silver Spring and Laurel, Maryland does see exceptions to this rule, however. Ovarian cysts can be a sign of an underlying condition like polycystic ovary syndrome or endometriosis. These conditions can affect fertility.
Here’s what to know about ovarian cysts and getting pregnant.
Endometriosis describes a condition in which uterine tissue grows outside of your womb. It affects about 10% of women and girls around the world. The misplaced uterine tissue can grow on your ovaries or fallopian tubes.
Endometriosis does affect fertility, but doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant. If we determine that your cysts are due to endometriosis, we’ll discuss your treatment options and do everything possible to help you get pregnant with a healthy baby.
PCOS is a condition in which multiple cysts, or follicles, cover your ovaries. PCOS is a leading cause of infertility in women, but treatment can help you get pregnant.
The reason you develop cysts with PCOS is due to irregular hormone production. Normally, the eggs in the ovaries release each month in small sacs called follicles. These follicles fill with fluid and break open at the time of ovulation to release for fertilization.
When you have PCOS, you don’t make the hormones necessary for the eggs to release. The follicles grow, fill with fluid, but don’t release — so they remain dormant.
Treatment with fertility medications and in vitro fertilization (IVF) help women with PCOS successfully conceive. We see patients with PCOS and help them achieve the families they wish for.
It’s common to form ovarian cysts once you’re already pregnant. Usually, these cysts are nothing to worry about.
We will monitor these cysts, however, to make sure they don’t continue to grow during your pregnancy. If they do, they have the potential to rupture or twist, causing pain and complications during pregnancy.
If you have PCOS and are pregnant, our team also monitors you closely because you are at increased risk of gestational diabetes, miscarriage, premature delivery, or pregancy-induced high blood pressure.
The experienced OB/GYN team at Capital Women’s Care is here for all your gynecological, reproductive, and obstetrics needs. If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, are concerned about ovarian cysts, or have other questions about your female health, call or use this website to set up your visit. We can help you.