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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Ovarian Cysts & Fertility - Is There A Connection?

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Indira IVFIVF Specialist • 34 Years Exp.MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
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Ovarian cysts and fertility: Is there a connection?

Having a child is one of the most profound experiences in a woman’s life. The joy of being a mother and welcoming a new life is unparalleled. In the midst of such expectation, an inability to conceive can take a serious toll on any woman’s health. The mental scars from such an event can never be obliterated.

This does not mean you should give up. Consult a doctor to find the cause and rectify it. With advances in medical science and technologies like IVF in the market, no fertility challenge is insurmountable.

One of the most common cause of infertility is ovarian cysts. According to research conducted by the American Society For Reproductive Medicine, ovarian cysts resulting in ovulation abnormality and infertility has been recorded among 25% of women.

There are two types of cysts that are produced as byproducts of ovulation-

1. Follicular Cysts which does not break open to release the eggs. Rather the follicle stays as a whole while the cyst continues to grow.

2. Corpus Cysts or luteal cysts is a condition when after the egg has bronek free, the follicles seal itself rather than shrinking and the fluid builds up inside.


Ovarian cysts are mainly caused due to hormonal imbalance, abnormal cell growth where the cells overgrow and develop into cysts, pelvic infections that spread to the ovaries and fallopian tubes and causes severe harm to them, and endometriosis when the tissue attaches to an ovary and forms cell growth.

Which ovarian cyst affects fertility?

Ovarian cysts that generate complications during pregnancy include-

1. Endometriomas - This is the condition when the tissues lining your uterus or endometrium grows outside the uterus or the fallopian tubes and is largely associated with fertility problems. Endometriomas can differ in sizes from the range of less than an inch to over 6 inches. They are filled with dark coloured blood.

Some studies have demonstrated that women suffering from mild endometriosis develop a lower (2%-4%) chance of getting pregnant each month when compared to women who are healthy and have a 15%-20% chance. Another research states that 40% of unexplained infertility results from endometriosis through anatomical distortion or inflammation.

2. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome - PCOS is the condition where small cysts form inside your ovaries which prompts irregular periods, excessive stomach cramps and large hormonal imbalance. Connected to immature ovaries, they do not assist in ovulation and thus produces complications infertility. The immature follicles with an immature egg cause the ovary to be politic.

This chronic lack of ovulation also alters the hormonal levels in your body that assists in ovulation. Women with PCOS develop high levels of androgen or male hormones in your body, which gets converted to estrogen. As a result, they do not ovulate.

Does the treatment of ovarian cysts also affect fertility?

This usually depends on the kind of treatment you receive. Hormonal birth control doesn’t have a long-term effect on fertility. Although surgeries can invariably damage some healthy eggs inside your body, the doctors recommend that the ovaries be removed before you have more complications. However, in both the situations, the egg count in your body decreases significantly.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!



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