An ovarian cyst is usually a harmless structure containing fluids with no symptoms. It is a common occurrence in women including pregnant women. Ovarian cysts during pregnancy occur at a ratio of about 1 in 1,000 women.
Many ovarian cysts found during the course of a pregnancy are not malignant and it is quite uncommon for a pregnant woman to get ovarian cancer. A medical practitioner will conduct an ultrasound to determine if an ovarian cyst is cancerous or non-cancerous. A benign cyst appears as a fluid-filled sac without any thick walls of septation. Even so, an ultrasound cannot determine if a cyst is malignant with 100 percent accuracy.
Ovarian cysts can become large, even when they are benign, and this leads to special complications during pregnancy. Though large cysts can cause pain whether or not a woman is pregnant, when a large cyst ruptures or twists on itself during pregnancy, there is the possibility of a miscarriage or pre-term labor. A baby may be delivered earlier than usual due to complications with ovarian cysts during pregnancy.
Ovarian cysts generally do not pose a threat to the health of a pregnant woman unless the cyst grows and breaks apart. Even when an ovarian cyst ruptures, infection is unlikely. Pain can result from a rupturing cyst, however. Using pain relievers can lessen the pain and will not interfere with pregnancy. Even with an ovarian cyst during pregnancy, anesthesia can still be used throughout labor. Therefore, ovarian cysts without further issues do not present concerns to pregnancy.
The only time when a ovarian cyst generally requires surgery is when it it becomes twisted. The surgery to correct the problem will usually not cause any pregnancy complications. But with every surgery there are going to be risks that should be avoided at all costs if possible. Generally, removal will only be preformed if the cyst grows any larger then 6 CM in diameter.
When a woman is pregnant, it is best to operate on ovarian cysts during the second trimester at 14 to 16 weeks. Though some cysts are removed by laparoscopy, larger cysts can only be removed through an open incision. It is likely for large ovarian cysts to rupture. Therefore, women with large ovarian cysts should talk to their doctors about ovarian cysts during pregnancy. In many cases, doctors merely watch over their patients until the second trimester, in which they choose to operate with no complications.
In short, while ovarian cysts during pregnancy are fairly common, they should be closely monitored throughout the pregnancy. Ovarian cysts are generally no worse for the health of the would-be mother than they would be at any other time.