It can be quite a shock to find out you have an ovarian cyst while being pregnant. Many women are diagnosed with ovarian cysts and they don’t even know it until they become pregnant and an ultrasound is performed. If you do have an ovarian cyst while pregnant, don’t worry, as most of them go away on their own without causing any harm.
It’s natural to worry about your baby, especially if you’re a first-time parent. But it’s important to try to stay calm, because stress can actually make the situation worse. The best thing you can do is get some information and talk to your doctor. With a little knowledge and support, you’ll be feeling better in no time.
Please keep in mind that cysts are relatively common during pregnancy. In fact, about 1 in 1000 pregnant women have them. And most of the time, these ovarian cysts are benign. The odds of having ovarian cancer are only 1 in 25,000 births.
Your doctor will usually use ultrasound to determine whether a cyst is benign or malignant. If the ultrasound exam only shows that the cyst is filled with fluid and doesn’t have septation or thick walls, it’s probably benign.
If you are pregnant and have a cyst, it is important to monitor its size. If the cyst is small, it is likely to resolve on its own. However, if the cyst is large, there is a risk that it may rupture or torse. Either of these events can lead to significant pain and the potential for miscarriage or preterm delivery for the baby.
Cysts that are large (more than 6-8cm) may need to be removed surgically if they don’t go away on their own in a few weeks. This is because they can affect the growth of the baby. In some cases, a cyst may be removed using laparoscopy, but normally (very) large cysts require a large, open incision. Your cyst may also be surgically removed if it is solid or filled with debris, is irregularly shaped or causes severe pain.
The best time for surgery is usually during the second trimester, specifically around 14-16 weeks. The baby is small at this point, so there’s less risk involved. If you wait until the baby is born, there’s a greater chance you’ll have to do an emergency surgery.
Chamomile herbal tea (Matricaria recutita), Echinacea, and milk thistle are all effective at reducing pain and tension in muscles. If the pain is not severe, these remedies can be quite helpful.
Even if a surgery is recommended in your case, it’s important to remember that the vast majority of women who have had surgery to remove large cysts during pregnancy have gone on to have normal, healthy babies.