Can a woman have ovarian cysts during pregnancy? Can they rupture when she is pregnant? And what are the risks of having a ruptured cyst when expecting a baby? These are questions that most women ask. And they are questions that we are going to deal with in this article.
Can a woman have cysts in her ovaries when pregnant?
The first step in understanding what is possible and what is not, so far as ovarian cysts and pregnancy is concerned, lies in understanding that there are two types of cysts: functional ovarian cysts and ovarian tumors.
Functional ovarian cysts are those that develop when something goes wrong during ovulation. Their development and growth is tied to the ovulation process and so without ovulation, new cysts cannot form. This is one of the main reasons why birth control pills sometimes work as a treatment of ovarian cysts.
During pregnancy, the menstrual cycle stops. The release of hormones associated with the menstrual cycle, and the accompanying bleeding, usually comes at a standstill. And since the formation of functional cysts usually depends on the menstrual cycle, these cysts don’t usually form when a woman is pregnant.
However, this does not mean that a pregnant woman cannot have functional cysts. This is because it is possible for ovarian cysts to form before a woman gets pregnant. And since pregnancy is no ovarian cyst miracle cure, the cyst will still be in existence during and possibly after the pregnancy.
As for nonfunctional cysts, ovarian tumors, they develop independent of the menstrual cycle. They can therefore form before a pregnancy, during a pregnancy and after.
Can ovarian cysts rupture during pregnancy?
Given that a pregnant woman can have cysts in her ovaries, there is nothing to prevent the cysts from rupturing. In fact, it is possible that the presence of a baby can increase the chances of a cyst burst simply because of the additional space that the developing fetus takes and the resulting pressure on adjacent organs and even the cyst. So, yes, ovarian cysts can rupture during pregnancy.
Can ovarian cysts shrink and disappear during pregnancy?
Yes, they can.
This is why most doctors take the wait-and-see approach when it comes to treating cysts discovered during pregnancy. It is only when the cyst continues to grow in size, and when it starts to cause severe symptoms, and possibly affect the baby, that doctors opt for drastic solutions such as surgery. But surgery is rarely necessary. You need not panic since most cysts usually shrink and disappear on their own.
The relationship between an ovarian cyst rupture and an ectopic pregnancy
A cyst burst is usually accompanied by extreme abdominal pains. So is an ectopic pregnancy. It is also usually followed by a vaginal discharge. An ectopic pregnancy too. It is for these reasons that it is easy to confuse the two. This is a confusion that a simple ultra sound is capable of clearing.
Treatment of ruptured ovarian cysts when pregnant
While symptoms of a ruptured cyst are a clear indication of the need for immediate medical attention, the rupturing of a cyst on ovary isn’t always an indication of doom. In most cases, all that a doctor has to do is to monitor your progress and to look out for any complications of an ovarian cyst rupture, like infections. It is only when there are risks of complications that doctors usually resort to surgical removal of the cysts.