The Effects of Ovarian Cystectomy on Female Fertility

A visit to the gynaecologist is a routine that many women follow whether they are conceiving, planning to conceive, or just maintaining the good health of their reproductive system. Receiving news of an ovarian cyst may cause anxiety and stress mainly because the term ‘cyst’ is often regarded as something serious and life threatening. But is an ovarian cyst cause for alarm?

An ovarian cyst is a sac, which contains fluid that develops inside or on a woman’s ovary.
The size can vary as well as the consistency of the fluid inside it. Since the ovaries are the female reproductive organs responsible for the production of ova and certain hormones, being worried over ovarian cysts is not completely unfounded. However, the truth of the matter is that ovarian cysts are not dangerous – in fact, they appear quite frequently in the ovary because of the ovulation cycle. Some cysts eventually disappear, while others persist; for the latter kind of cysts, the surgical procedure applied to remove them is called laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy.

The formation of ovarian cysts among women usually occurs between the puberty and menopause years. According to studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ovarian cysts are benign in most cases and therefore not cancerous. However, they are medical conditions that should still be given due attention by a doctor. So, how exactly do ovarian cysts affect a woman’s fertility?

Ovarian cysts can get in the way of a woman’s normal ovulation process. It is important to know that most infertility cases around the world involve irregular ovulation cycles. Normally, the fluid-filled follicle would rupture during ovulation to release the egg. When the follicle fails to rupture on time, its size grows as it builds up more fluid. This formation is called a follicular cyst, which is a type of functional cyst. The corpus luteum cyst is another type of functional cyst, which develops when the follicle ruptures but seals itself up again and causing both blood and fluid to build up inside.

Endometriomas are a type of ovarian cyst that develops in women who have a condition called endometriosis, explained more in depth in this article by the Endometriosis Foundation of America. This painful state is caused by the growth of a uterine-like tissue outside the uterus. Some of the complications include pain during menstruation and sex as well as the inability to produce fertile eggs. Another ovarian cyst that can cause infertility in women is a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome. When this happens, the ovaries do not produce the necessary type and amount of hormones that enable follicles to give off mature eggs. Follicles that do not rupture end up becoming cysts.

Cystadenoma and dermoid cysts do not affect fertility as much as the previous two. Cystadenomas develop from the cells that make up the outer layer of the ovary. Some of these cysts are filled with watery fluid and others have a more viscous substance. Dermoids are formed by a variety of tissues including hair, skin, or teeth and occur more frequently among younger-aged women. While these cysts are not cancerous, they must still be removed via ovarian cystectomy. Laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy is recommended as opposed to the traditional method because it involves less pain, shorter downtime, and minimal scarring.

Ella Mason, an experienced freelance writer, wrote this article. Ella specialises in providing useful and engaging advice to small businesses. Follow her on Twitter @ellatmason

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