- With Mayo Clinic gynecologist and obstetrician
Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D.read biographyclose window
Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D.Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D.
Dr. Mary Gallenberg is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine and medical oncology.
An Antigo, Wis., native, Dr. Gallenberg is a consultant in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and an assistant professor at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Gallenberg has been with Mayo Clinic since 1990. She was on the Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource editorial board and has been honored for excellence in teaching. She also won a Mayo Clinic Excellence Through Teamwork award.
Ovarian cysts and fertility: Is there a connection?
Is there a link between ovarian cysts and fertility?
from Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D.
Some ovarian cysts can be associated with decreased fertility. However, it depends on the type of ovarian cyst you have.
Ovarian cysts that can affect your fertility include:
- Endometriomas. Endometriomas (en-doe-me-tree-OH-muhs) are cysts caused by endometriosis, a condition in which the tissue normally lining your uterus (endometrium) grows outside the uterus. These ovarian cysts may be associated with fertility problems.
- Ovarian cysts resulting from polycystic ovary syndrome. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition marked by many small cysts in your ovaries, irregular periods and high levels of certain hormones. PCOS contributes to problems with fertility in some women.
Unless they become very large, these types of ovarian cysts don't affect fertility:
- Functional cysts. Functional cysts — such as follicular cysts or corpus luteum cysts — are the most common type of ovarian cyst. Functional cysts form during a normal menstrual cycle and don't cause or contribute to infertility. In fact, functional cysts actually indicate that the necessary functions leading to fertility are taking place.
- Cystadenomas. Cystadenomas (sis-tad-uh-NO-muhs) are growths in the ovary that arise from the surface of the ovaries. Although they need treatment, they don't affect fertility.
- Dermoid cysts. These cysts contain tissue — such as skin, hair or even teeth — instead of fluid. Dermoid cysts aren't associated with infertility.
If you've been diagnosed with an ovarian cyst and are concerned about becoming pregnant, talk to your doctor.
- Lentz GM, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-0-323-06986-1&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-06986-1..C2009-0-48752-X--TOP. Accessed Oct. 3, 2012.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/Polycystic_Ovary_Syndrome.cfm. Accessed Oct. 3, 2012.
- Stany M, et al. Benign disorders of the ovary. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America. 2008;35:271.
- Kuohung W, et al. Causes of female infertility. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 3, 2012.
- Coddington CC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 9, 2012.