Ovarian Cyst During Pregnancy
An ovarian cyst is a structure on the wall of the ovary that is filled with fluid. They are fairly common in women and can occur during pregnancy. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 1000 pregnant women will get an ovarian cyst. In most cases the cyst is harmless and has no obvious symptoms
Many ovarian cysts found during the course of a pregnancy are not malignant and it is quite uncommon for a pregnant woman to get ovarian cancer. To determine this, a doctor conduct an ultrasound of the abdomen to establish if an ovarian cyst is cancerous or non-cancerous. A benign cyst appears as a fluid-filled sac without any thick walls of septation. Even so, an ultrasound cannot determine if a cyst is malignant with 100 percent accuracy.
Ovarian cysts, even those that are benign, will grow large. This in turn can create complications during pregnancy. Though large cysts cause pain to both pregnant and non-pregnant women, a rupture of a large ovarian cyst during pregnancy can cause a risk of a miscarriage or premature labor. Pre-term delivery may occur due to complications brought about by an ovarian cyst during pregnancy.
Ovarian cysts generally do not pose a threat to the health of a pregnant woman unless the cyst grows and breaks apart. Even when an ovarian cyst ruptures, infection is unlikely. Pain can result from a rupturing cyst, however. Using pain relievers can lessen the pain and will not interfere with pregnancy. Even with an ovarian cyst during pregnancy, anesthesia can still be used throughout labor. Therefore, ovarian cysts without further issues do not present concerns to pregnancy.
If the cyst gets to be quite large it can twist on itself. This can be painful and will often necessitate a surgical procedure to remove the cyst. This shouldn’t harm the baby or adversely affect the pregnancy in any way, but if it can be avoided then it should be during a pregnancy. It may become medically necessary to remove when the ovarian cyst is larger than 6 to 8 cm, unless spontaneous shrinkage occurs.
During a pregnancy, the best time to operate on an ovarian cyst is during the second trimester at 14 to 16 weeks. Though some cysts are removed by laparoscopy, larger cysts are more likely to require an open incision. There is more chance that a large ovarian cysts will rupture. Therefore, women with large ovarian cysts should talk to their doctors about ovarian cysts during pregnancy. In many cases, doctors simply monitor their patient’s condition until the second trimester, in which they choose to operate with no complications.
Ovarian cysts during pregnancy are just as likely to occur as when a women is not pregnant. In both cases, the chances are that they will be harmless and will disappear within a few months. However, your health care provider should monitor the state of any cyst during your pregnancy and you should notify them if any symptoms do develop.