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Will ovarian cyst surgery ruin my fertility?

I’ve been dealing with a cyst on my left ovary for over a year now. It’s 3.5 cm and I was in the ER a month ago because of it. My ob/gyn thinks it likely twisted and untwisted on its own, given my severe pain. She suggested laparoscopic surgery to remove it, but I’ve read that it can damage your ovarian reserve. She said that it can, but is uncertain to what degree. However, she said if I leave it go, it could twist and I could lose the whole ovary and possibly the tube. I just turned 37 and am afraid to damage the good eggs I have left, but I don’t know what else to do. Does anyone know if any other options? Could the cyst be drained instead of entirely removed?
3 Responses
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
3.5cm is not that big and I didn't think there was much of a concern with ovarian torsion at that size. If the cyst ruptures, that can cause severe pain. That pain can linger for awhile. I assume you had a u/s when you went to the ER a month ago? Have you had one since showing the cyst is still there? Do you know if it's a simple cyst? If so, it seems it could be drained.

Not only is there risk of damaging ovarian reserve if you have surgery, there's risk of your ovary being removed. It happens far more often than it should because oophorectomy (ovary removal) is an easier and often more profitable surgery than cystectomy (cyst removal). So if you do end up having surgery make sure your consent form explicitly states that only the cyst can be removed and not the ovary or any other organs.

This website is helpful - http://ovaryresearch.com/ovarian_cysts.htm.
4 Comments
Yes, I went to the ER because I was afraid it had ruptured. They did an ultrasound and said it was still there, only slightly bigger than the last time. I went from being in extreme pain to barely any pain in the course of a few hours. No pain medication was given. They never explained what may have happened, only that the pain is probably from the cyst and to follow up with an ob/gyn. It was the ob/gyn who thinks I may have experienced ovarian torsion that day.
She said it’s a simple cyst, but that it may be neoplastic and not related to my menstrual cycle. That could explain why it hasn’t gone away in over a year. However, it’s barely changed during that time. It’s only gotten a bit bigger.  It causes me nagging, mild pain sometimes, but I’m afraid of that severe pain returning again.
I’m planning to get a second opinion. I want to find out if simply draining it could be a better solution.
Oh, I didn’t answer your question. They did an ultrasound at the ER, but I haven’t had a follow-up ultrasound. Would it have been possible for them to miss a ruptured cyst????
I'm not sure how easy it is to tell if a cyst ruptured. One sign would seem to be fluid in the pelvis but I believe other things can cause that too.
Avatar universal
Are you trying to get pregnant right now?  
1 Comments
Not right now, but within the next year or so.
Avatar universal
When I was 19 I was diagnosed with a large 6 inch dermoid cyst on my right ovary.. My doctor told me I probably had it since birth and it just kept growing and growing.. since it was causing me a lot of pain He said they would definitely have to operate on me to remove it and there was a chance they could remove my ovary too.. The surgery wasn’t too painful, but doctor said he had to remove my right ovary and Fallopian tube because the cyst was so big that it twisted and damaged them.. The recovery wasn’t too bad but my biggest fear was not being able to have children, since I knew from a young age that I definitely wanted to be a mom.. Well that was 10 years ago.. I’m 30 and just had my first baby back in November.. So the answer is yes! You can have a baby after having an ovary removed! Your remaining ovary regulates and takes over ovulation.. What I would recommend is to take extra care of yourself...Eat nutritiously, exercise, take vitamins, don’t smoke or drink too much.. Basically treat your body like the temple that it is and do your best to protect your remaining ovary.. If you’re not trying to conceive go on birth control pills to “preserve” your eggs.. No need to ovulate if you’re not trying to get pregnant!! When you’re ready to get pregnant, get off of the birth control and give it a go!!! Might sound crazy but That’s what I did and now I have a beautiful baby boy.. He was conceived in my first month of trying, So YES you can have a baby with one ovary!!!! :)
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