Discovering an ovarian cyst during pregnancy will naturally sound threatening to women. But in general, there is really not much to be worried about. Only around 0.01% of 1,000 pregnant women will be found to have them and fortunately, the cysts are generally benign and will cause harm only when they are malignant, which is quite the rare condition all on its own. In all cases, however, the pregnant woman will definitely need immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of ovarian cysts will be the same in women who are pregnant and those who are not. Both women will most likely feel abdominal pain that will gradually spread to the lower back and thighs. Both will feel queasiness and may even vomit. There are no ovarian cyst manifestations that are particular to pregnant women alone and with a few exceptions, treatment is basically the same.
Doctors will want to be on the safe side so when they find a pregnant woman with an ovarian cyst, they will immediately order an ultrasound to find out whether the cyst is malignant or not. Usually, a non-malignant ovarian cyst will appear as a flimsy-walled sac filled with fluids. An ultrasound, however, is not 100% accurate. It has to be complemented with other tests.
A large ovarian cyst is always a cause of concern for pregnant women. Sometimes, these cysts grow on stems that twist and rupture, causing intense pain on the patient. Although, most times, substances from the ruptured cysts are not infected, the pain alone can lead to premature birth or miscarriage.
A burst ovarian cyst, however, will not interfere with pregnancy or labor, nor will it pose danger to the baby. Women under labor can still be given anesthesia and there are many pain relievers that can be used to relieve the pain without negative effects on both mother and child.
Surgically removing large ovarian cysts during pregnancy is not recommended unless a rupture occurs. Oftentimes, doctors will refrain from doing drastic action until the trimester of pregnancy. It is, however, the general practice of doctors to remove ovarian cysts 6 to 8 cm in size, as these are most likely to rupture, and even if they do not, they can cause a lot discomfort on the pregnant women. Ovarian cysts are known to shrink as quickly as they have grown so doctors will adopt a wait and see attitude and resort to surgery only when it is clear that the cysts will not shrink or are not in the brink of rupture.
Ovarian cysts are rarely malignant but can rupture and cause a lot of pain and discomfort. An ovarian cyst during pregnancy still needs to be carefully monitored and examined to ensure that pregnant women deliver their children without too much inconvenience.