Has an ovarian cyst, stalled your IVF or IUI cycle? What exactly does it mean for next steps and what can be done?

Why patients tell me “Why won’t my body cooperate?”

An ovarian cyst is a sac or pouch filled with fluid or other tissue that forms in or on an ovary. Ovarian cysts are very common and can occur in women from childbearing years all the way to menopause.

Types of cysts include the following:
1. Functional cyst—This is the most common type of ovarian cyst. A normal follicle, will continue to grow and retain fluid after your menstrual cycle. This is known as a functional cyst. They are almost always harmless, typically shrinking and disappearing on their own within 4 to 8 weeks.
2. Teratoma—This type of cyst contains different kinds of tissues that make up the body, such as skin and hair. These cysts may be present from birth but can grow during a woman’s reproductive years. In very rare cases, some teratomas can become cancer.
3. Cystadenoma—These cysts form on the outer surface of the ovary. They can grow very large but usually are benign.
4. Endometrioma—This cyst forms as a result of endometriosis. The removal of ovarian endometriomas can be difficult, as the capsule is often densely adherent and the surgical treatment of choice is a laparoscopy.
Let’s talk about symptoms…

In many cases, cysts (1-3) do not cause symptoms. Many are found during a routine pelvic exam. Cysts may interfere with the proper development of your follicles cohort and it may be best to wait for resolution of the cyst before continuing with your cycle treatment.

In general, most cysts will clear up on their own in one or two months. If the cyst does not spontaneously resolve medication may be provided. In rare cases, the cyst may need to be aspirated in a minor surgical procedure if observation or medical therapy is ineffective.

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