The ovaries are a woman’s reproductive glands. They are located in the pelvic area, one on each side of the uterus. Each ovary is roughly1.5 inches long. They produce female hormones and eggs, and for regulating your menstrual cycle. An ovarian cyst is a small swelling within the ovary that contains a liquid substance. In some instances, ovarian cysts may cause fertility issues.
The most common form of ovarian cyst results from a follicle growth and is known as a follicular cyst. A follicle is the small, fluid-filled sac surrounding an egg. Follicular cysts develop when a follicle becomes bigger than normal during the menstrual cycle and does not release the egg. Usually, a follicular cyst will go away on its own with a few days to weeks. This type of cyst does not affect fertility.
Another common form of ovarian cyst is known as a corpus luteum cyst. This develops after the egg is released from the follicle and the follicle then becomes corpus luteum. If pregnancy does not occur, the corpus luteum breaks down and disappears. Sometimes it may fill with blood or fluid and attach itself to the ovary. Most often this type of cyst does not cause any symptoms, nor do they affect fertility.
These cysts develop on the outside of the ovary. They are relatively common. These fluid-filled sacs can become large and painful. They usually occur in women over thirty years of age. This type of cyst does not usually affect fertility.
The dermoid cyst is composed of many different cells and may contain teeth, hair or other tissues. A woman may have a dermoid cyst for several years without knowing about it. An ovarian dermoid cyst does not affect the functioning of the ovaries and will not affect fertility.
These cysts develop in women who are suffering from endometriosis. Endometrioma can form on the surface of one or both ovaries, or sometimes may form within the ovaries. Endometriomas can be a serious threat to a woman’s fertility. Surgical removal, however, does not increase fertility rates and can decrease the release of eggs.
Many women have ovarian cysts without even knowing as many do not cause any symptoms and often go away without even needing any treatment. A large ovarian cyst, however, can cause considerable discomfort in a woman’s abdomen putting pressure on the bladder. This type of pressure may cause the urge to urinate more often than usual reducing bladder capacity.
Unfortunately, ovarian cysts cannot be prevented. If necessary, most types of cysts can be removed surgically. For women who have regular cysts and who are not trying to become pregnant, doctors often prescribe birth control pills to stop more cysts from forming.