ovarian teratoma and conception pregnancy complications

Can a dermoid ovarian cyst cause infertility?

Dermoid cysts sometimes grow in the ovaries. And given that ovaries play a central role when it comes to conception, the question that every woman with the cysts asks is: can dermoid ovarian cysts affect their ability to get pregnant? And, do they affect pregnancy?

Normal dermoid ovarian cysts and infertility

Do dermoid ovarian cysts cause infertility?

Dermoid cysts are usually small. They also grow slowly. This makes for cystic growths whose presence is rarely noticed by the female reproductive system. It is for this reason that these cysts on ovaries tend to be asymptomatic – rarely cause ovarian cyst symptoms – and are often discovered incidentally.

Given the fact that they are usually too small to bother the functioning of a woman’s reproductive system, there is really no reason to assume that they can cause infertility or make it harder for a woman to get pregnant.

According to Mayo Clinic, in an article by Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D., ” … dermoid cysts aren’t associated with infertility.” The only exception provided being cases where the cysts on ovaries become very large.

In a study reported in the American Academy of Family Physicians, 32% of the women in the study managed to get pregnant in spite of having dermoid cysts in their ovaries. A significant number of women with dermoid cysts in their ovaries were also able to give birth in this study.

Therefore, normal dermoid cysts that don’t have accelerated growth, that don’t develop complications, and which are not cancerous – and therefore don’t require surgery – are not detrimental so far as getting pregnant is concerned.

Large dermoid cysts and getting pregnant


Can large ovarian cysts cause infertility?

There are times when dermoid ovarian cysts grow faster than usual. They can therefore become too large to go unnoticed. This will give rise to some of the symptoms generally associated with ovarian cysts. A woman with large dermoid cysts is therefore likely to experience most of  the symptoms of ovarian cysts like heaviness, abdominal/pelvic pain, breast tenderness and an increase in the frequency of the need to urinate.

But that is not all that a large dermoid cyst can do to the human body. When the cysts becomes too large, they affect the functioning of the reproductive system. They can form physical barriers that make it impossible for fertilization to take place or they can affect the functioning of the ovaries and sometimes even the entire female reproductive system.

Take the case of a 57 year old woman whose case was reported in the Journal of Medical Case Reports. She had a large ovarian cyst, but she didn’t know. And even when the cystic growth grew to such an extent that it caused her to have difficulty breathing and even increased her weight, she didn’t suspect a thing. It was only after paying a visit to the doctor that she realized the source of her discomfort and the damage that the large cyst had done. According to LiveScience, the ovarian cyst “… was so big that it had shoved her uterus to the side, squished her abdominal contents and extended all the way up to her diaphragm.”

Her’s was an extreme case. And the cyst on her ovary wasn’t a dermoid cyst. And her’s is also an extreme and extra-rare case of large ovarian cysts. But it gives you a sense of the damage that ovarian cysts, including dermoid cysts, can do to the human body when they grow out of control.


Dermoid ovarian torsion and infertility

ovarian teratoma and pregnancy

Ovarian torsion, which is a fancy word for the twisting of the ovaries, is the most common complication in women with dermoid cysts. So, can it affect the ability of a woman to conceive?

What ovarian torsion does is that it restricts blood flow to the ovaries. This means that at the onset of this complication, oxygen and nutrient supply to ovarian tissues is usually limited. Over time, this can lead to damaged ovarian tissues. It can also cause a woman’s ovary to completely die.

Ovaries produce the eggs that are needed for conception. They are also responsible for the production of pregnancy hormones. Therefore, if you have a damaged ovary in your reproductive system, the chances of getting pregnant will significantly reduce. This complication will cause difficulty in getting pregnant.

Dermoid ovarian cyst rupture and infertility

ovarian teratoma and pregnancy

There is a 1-4% risk of a dermoid ovarian cyst rupturing. This is a serious condition that usually demands immediate medical attention because in addition to the severe abdominal and pelvic pain that results from the cyst burst, there is also an increased risk of infection. This usually occurs because of the fluid that is released into the female reproductive system after the rupture.

This infection can lead to many complications. Some of them can cause getting pregnant problems. For example, if the infection causes scarring, it may end up blocking the fallopian tubes. This may make it impossible for conception to occur. Scarring may also lead to pregnancy complications. An ectopic pregnancy is one of these.

Dermoid cysts, ovarian cancer and infertility

ovarian teratoma and pregnancy

If traces of cancerous cells are detected in a dermoid ovarian cyst, removal of the cyst on ovary may be necessary. And to avoid the spread of the cancer, doctors may also decide to remove the ovaries.

If the surgical removal of a woman’s ovary is necessary to avoid the spread of cancer cells, then this will reduce her chances of getting pregnant. If both ovaries are removed, then this may lead to permanent infertility.

This does not however mean that every case of dermoid ovarian cyst malignancy needs to end with the infertility. It is possible to remove dermoid cysts that show signs of cancer without damaging the ovaries.

Surgical removal of dermoid ovarian cysts and infertility


This may be necessary in cases where the ovarian teratoma is growing out of control. It may also be necessary in order to prevent the spread of cancer to other parts of the female reproductive system. Some of the rare complications of dermoid ovarian cysts may also make this necessary.

Whichever the case, surgical removal of the cystic growths puts your fertility at risk.

Doubled risk of infertility because of dermoid cysts

Dermoid ovarian cysts have a tendency of growing in both ovaries – at least in 10-15% of the cases. This puts both ovaries at risk when any of the above complications arise.

Answer to: Can a dermoid cyst cause infertility?

ovarian teratoma and pregnancy

The answer is: yes it can.

But this is not always the case.

It only does so when it grows to such an extent that it starts interfering with the functioning of the female reproductive system. Or when complications arise.

Most ovarian teratomas (dermoid cysts) are small in size. The risks of complications arising because of the cysts are slim. Therefore, if you have dermoid ovarian cysts, the odds are in your favor.There is a good chance that you can still get pregnant.

natural prevention cure for cancerous dermoid cysts

dermoid ovarian cyst teratoma symptoms complex in ovaries

5 Complications Of Dermoid Ovarian Cysts (Complex Cysts)

No doubt, the thought of having hair, bone tissues, functioning thyroid tissues, eyes, teeth and nails in your ovaries is scary. That is what dermoid cysts, also known as ovarian teratomas, do. They introduce strange things into your ovary.

But while what they contain is stuff of nightmares, these cysts rarely cause complications. This is because of the fact that they are usually small. And that they grow even slower. At least most of the time. They therefore rarely interfere with the working of the body of a woman who has them.

However, there are times when complications arise. When the cysts grow and become very large. When they affect the functioning of female reproductive system. And when their presence in a woman’s ovaries gives rise to conditions that call for immediate medical attention.

treatment of ovarian cysts natural cure

The following are 5 complications that are usually associated with this type of cysts on ovaries.

1. Ovarian torsion

Ovarian torsion is a condition that occurs when ovarian cysts cause the twisting of the ovaries. It usually has the effect of constricting blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the ovaries, something that is definitely not good for a woman’s ovaries.

The twisting of the ovaries can cause the ovaries to die. This is so especially in cases where the twisting results in almost-total blockage of blood supply to and from the ovaries. The death of the ovaries can also result when after ovarian torsion, a woman fails to seek immediate medical attention.

But that is not all that dermoid-cysts-caused torsion does. In addition to excruciating pelvic pain, ovarian torsion can also make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant. Why? Because it increases the risks of ovarian damage.

The fact that dermoid ovarian cysts show a predilection for affecting both ovaries only makes the effect of this complication worse. Why? Because if ovarian torsion occurs in both ovaries, it can lead to permanent infertility, which is bad news for any woman with the hopes of getting pregnant.

2. Ovarian cyst rupture

The rupturing of cysts on ovaries is painful. It can also lead to complications such as infections and excessive bleeding.

Dermoid ovarian cysts can rupture. This is something that can happen when the cysts get too big. It can also occur as a result of physical trauma. And if this complication develops, it is best to seek the help of a doctor immediately.

3. Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer kills. The fact that dermoid cysts on ovaries can develop cancerous cells is therefore scary for women with the cysts.

The only good news is that the chances of dermoid cysts turning cancerous are slim. Studies put it the chances of this happening at 1-2%. It is also good news that early detection can give you an advantage when it comes to fighting back against this complication.

4. Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia

There is a less than 1% chance of developing this complication. But still, it can happen.

Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia is a condition that is characterized by the destruction of red blood cells by antibodies. Some of the symptoms of the condition include light headedness, headaches, brittle nails, bluish egg whites and more-than-normal tiredness. Shortness of breath is also a common symptom.

There are several documented cases of dermoid ovarian cysts causing this complication. And in almost all of the cases, it took the removal of the ovarian cysts through surgery, ovarian cystectomy to be exact, for the symptoms of the condition to subside.

5. Hallucinations

This is a rare symptom. The most popular case is the one about a woman who was admitted to hospital hoping to be treated for a psychiatric condition only to find out that all her troubles were caused by the ovarian teratoma that was in her ovaries. All this was documented in an episode of Monsters Inside Me.

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