Pregnancy

Ovarian cyst and pregnancy: what you need to know


Ovarian cysts are quite common in women of childbearing age. In the majority of cases, they do not pose major problems, neither to become pregnant, nor during pregnancy. When they are more troublesome, an appropriate treatment can be put in place.

Several types of ovarian cysts

  • Ovarian cysts are benign tumors that develop in the ovaries. Their number, size and location (only one ovary can be affected or both) vary from one woman to another. The vast majority of ovarian cysts are functional cysts: they are related to a transient dysfunction of the menstrual cycle (a small hormonal imbalance, for example) and often resolve themselves after a few cycles.
  • Much more rarely, ovarian cysts may be due to a condition such as endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome. We then speak of "organic cysts": the latter do not disappear on their own and may require treatment depending on the inconvenience.

Ovarian cysts: what consequences before pregnancy?

  • Most of the time, having one or even more ovarian cysts does not prevent you from getting pregnant. Functional cysts do not really interfere with fertility (many women get pregnant naturally without even suspecting their presence) or only temporarily so the time is up. For example, a follicular cyst may prevent ovulation during one cycle, but may not interfere with the next cycle. In addition, if these cysts are slow in leaving, a hormonal treatment can accelerate their disappearance and regain a normal menstrual cycle with good ovulation.
  • As for endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome, they can have a very small or greater impact on fertility depending on the intensity of the disease: if necessary, a treatment can be put in place to facilitate pregnancy. In general, large endometrial cysts are surgically removed while hormonal stimulations often help to ovulate normally in the context of polycystic ovary syndrome. Many women manage to become pregnant and to complete their pregnancy after these treatments.

Ovarian cysts: what consequences during pregnancy?

  • Occasionally, an ovarian cyst is accidentally discovered during a mandatory ultrasound scan during pregnancy. A small, asymptomatic cyst often requires only simple monitoring, to make sure it does not overgrow: normally, it will not interfere with the development of your future baby, or even your delivery.
  • In the end, it is especially the cysts causing severe pain that must be removed surgically. The same can be said of very large ovarian cysts, often suppressed as a preventive measure (without treatment, a large cyst could trigger a twist of the ovary). If this type of cyst is discovered during the first months of your pregnancy, the operation will normally be postponed until the beginning of the second trimester: at this stage, it will not present any particular risks for your baby. In the meantime, the doctor may put you at rest.