What are ovarian cysts?
Ovarian cysts are collections of fluid inside the ovary. Depending on how big they are and what they are made of, these cysts can cause pelvic pain, and may interfere with regular cycles and fertility. They can also sometimes lead to other diseases. If you have ovarian cysts, Dr. Erika Munch at our San Antonio fertility center can help you understand whether your cysts may be impacting fertility.
Diagnosing ovarian cysts at Texas Fertility Center – San Antonio
Common symptoms of ovarian cysts are pelvic pain, pain with intercourse and irregular menstrual cycles. If you suspect you have a cyst, a pelvic sonogram is the best way to diagnose it.
Other imaging studies (like a CT scan) can detect ovarian cysts. However, a pelvic sonogram, which we can perform at our San Antonio fertility center, is a more sensitive test that can look at the size of the cyst and reveal some clues about its makeup.
Treatment options for ovarian cysts
The treatment depends on their makeup. Cysts can change over time, which is why it is important to have follow-up pelvic sonograms if a cyst is detected or if you have ongoing pelvic pain.
- Some cysts produce hormones, which interfere with the menstrual cycle and the ability of a woman to release an egg each month.
- Other cysts grow slowly with time and require surgery for their removal.
- Some cysts can show evidence of an underlying disease like endometriosis.
- Other cysts can be evidence of cancer, but this risk is very low in reproductive-age women.
A note about polycystic ovaries
Many women are told they have polycystic ovaries based on the number of small antral follicles present in the ovary during an ultrasound. These are not bad cysts. Instead, these are cysts that all reproductive-age women have. They represent the ovarian reserve, the wave of follicles and eggs that are trying to become mature eggs that month.
These cysts are not pathologic and do not require surgery. However, they are evidence of a larger issue, which is miscommunication between the brain and ovary to get the ovarian follicles to mature properly. Fortunately, simple medications can often treat this problem.
If you have questions regarding ovarian cysts, please contact Dr. Munch at our San Antonio fertility center to request a pelvic sonogram and evaluate your fertility.