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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board


Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index


Back in July I was having many of the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. I had a pelvic ultrasound which showed a "resolving ovarian cyst". That is all I was told. After having my period, the pain went away and I felt better for awhile.

Then last month I got my period 5 days early, the month before that I was spotting for 5 days before my period. Now this month, it is about time for me to be ovulating and I have lower abdominal pain & bad pain around my right ovary, feel nauseous, bloated and light headed,etc. All the same symptoms I was having before.

Is this the same cyst or a new cyst? Is it common to keep getting them? What about rupture? Should I be worried? How accurate are ultrasounds?
Veronica,

Have your doctor schedule another ultrasound to ensure that the cyst that was resolving has indeed resolved and is no longer an issue. I sympatize with the pain during ovulation. I have an 8 cm simple cyst on my left ovary which after a year has not resolved. I am keeping an eye on it with regular ultrasounds. I know EXACTLY when I am ovulating because of the pain and general discomfort. This sometimes occurs for only a day or two and sometime for a little longer. Things do quieten down eventually though so I know that this is caused by ovulation (my period is usually 14 days later .. almost to the day). I am also certain that the pain is due to the cyst because before going on the pill I never had ovulation pain (I am now not on the pill).

The birth control pill does nothing to prevent cysts nor to hasten their disappearance. It used to be thought that because the pill is an anti ovulant that it would prevent cysts from occurring but now they have studies that show that this is not the case. These boards are full of women who developed cysts while on the pill. Today's birth control pills are so low in hormones that women are still developing follicles on their ovaries. Birth control is still maintained because the progesterone in the pill ensures a thin endometrial stripe and because the pill messes around with the hormonal surge that occurs during ovulation (ie. when the egg burst out of the follicular cyst).

In your case, you may simply be starting to be prone to developing larger than normal cysts. If the symptoms you describe go away in a few days then you know that they are related to ovulation. I would still insist on having another ultrasound though, just to be sure that you don't either have more cysts or that the resolving cyst has perhaps not resolved after all and is causing problems.

There are a lot of us that have problems with ovarian cysts and this is an extremely common issue, especially for premenopausal women (even menopausal women have this problem but a little less so). Keep an eye on your situation and don't be afraid to insist that you go for regular ultrasounds to be sure that everything is OK in there.

Your bleeding issue may or may not be related to the cyst and an ultrasound can shed light on this as well. An ultrasound can tell you how thick your endometrial lining is. If it is very thick, this may be causing the irregular bleeding and spotting and you may want to discuss options such as a D & C in order to clean things out and stop the irregular bleeding. Your doctor may also want to do an endometrial biopsy which is a simple procedure performed in your doctor's office where they take a tissue sample of your uterine lining to make sure that there are no abnormal cells (like the pap smear). If you do go for this, take an Advil about an hour before so that you will avoid cramping (some women are prone to this). The procedure takes about 5 minutes and although uncomfortable, it is relatively painless.

I hope you find a resolution to your problem. Take care and all the best.

Estria
I called the doctor to get more info. on the results and I talked to a nurse. She read me the results which kind of have me freaked out. She said the report said "probable cyst" right ovary measuring 18mm. Uterus within normal range, endometrial strip measured 10mm and no free fluid. How could they tell me i had a "resolving cyst" if it's only a probable cyst? What does "probable cyst" mean? The nurse was going to leave a message for the doctor and she will get back to me tomorrow. Should I worry? Do they know it's only a cyst if it only says probable?
Veronica,

I wouldn't freak out yet - it may just mean that the cyst may be resolving and/or collapsing, so it's difficult to tell that is was a cyst. Are you going to have a followup ultrasound ? Also, if you had a trans-vaginal ultrasound it's more accurate than an abdominal ultrasound.

In the past three years I've had numerous cysts - some simple and some 'complex' - they have all resolved. I'm having one checked in a few weeks again, and I'll bet it's gone, because I had some pain on that side for a day or so, and now I'm fine. Cysts that are large and rupture can cause alot of pain, but it doesn't usually last for very long. There's nothing really that you can do about it. As long as they are going away - they are functional cysts (not cancer). This is very common in women that are not past menopause.
You really should get re-checked to make sure it's gone, because some cysts will get very large and should be removed - even though they are not cancer.

My problem with re-checks, is that one would be gone but another would be on the other side - so I got into a cycle of re-checks for a while - but better safe than sorry.


Mary





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