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Old 02-09-2008, 04:44 PM   #1
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Should I be worried?

I have had a history of ovarian cysts for about 10 yrs now. It wasn't until 2006 that complex cysts were discovered on an ultrasound. Last week I had another ultrasound and my report was kinda confusing. I was hoping I could post part of the report and maybe someone could explain this to me? I have an appointment with a specialist on monday, but the wondering and waiting is really driving me crazy!

The report reads :

Note: I'm 40 years old and premenopausal

Uterus: 11.6 cm x 4.9 cm x 5.8 cm and did not show any abnormal echogenic lesions. The uterus is in an anteverted position. Endometrial thickness is 1.1 cm which is thickened.

Ovaries: Right ovary 5.5 cm x 5cm x 4.8 cm and shows two complex septated cystic lesions measuring 2.5 cm x 3 cm x 2.6 cm and 2 cm x 1.8 cm x 1. 8 cm.

The left ovary measures 5.4 cm x 3. 8 cm x 4. 7 cm and shows two complex cystic lesions measuring 3.6 x 2.9 cm and 2.4 cm x 2.1 cm and 2cm.

cul-de-sac :negative.

It was noted at the end of the report that the complex cysts are probably hemorrhagic cysts.

Is this something anyone else has had or am I just getting worried for nothing??

I also have had bad pain, and this odd bloating and gas that builds up into my shoulder. I also get full quickly after eating, as well as feeling alot of fatigue. There is a heavinenss in my lower abdomen too. I had this last ultrasound because I was having spotting in between my periods.

Any advice on this??

 
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Old 02-09-2008, 07:25 PM   #2
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Re: Should I be worried?

Hi,

Hemorrhagic cysts are pretty normal and are usually always benign, as are the majority of ovarian cysts. They're caused by bleeding within the walls of the cyst. They can cause the symptoms that you mention too and make you feel pretty miserable, even when they are relatively small, like yours. In fact, that shoulder pain you describe is very typical of ovarian cysts.

I didn't have hemorrhagic cysts, but did have both functional and complex, solid cysts (tumors). I had all of the symptoms you mention, in addition to a few others. I had both ovaries removed in December and all of the symptoms are gone. It is such a relief not to have to deal with the pain and other things that I'd had for so long any more.

Good luck with everything and keep us updated on what you find out.

Hugs,

Lisa

 
Old 02-09-2008, 09:14 PM   #3
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Re: Should I be worried?

Hi Lisa,

That's my name too btw.. lol Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this. It's so hard to look up anything on the net and not find something scary. I hope all it is are harmless cysts. Sounds like what you went through really helped your situation in the end. I'm just also worried because the doc told me my uterus is enlarged. (the average uterus should be around 3 cm and mine is 11.6). Since all of mine are complex and not simple, does that mean I'm at a higher risk of them being a problem?? Either way, I am done birthin' babies..lol I don't relish a surgery, but if it would end my misery I'd be more than willing to get it done. So, I guess I'll know more after monday.

Take care, and ty!

 
Old 02-10-2008, 06:59 AM   #4
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Re: Should I be worried?

Hello Lisa,

Your doctor will probably be addressing two separate issues when you speak with him (or her). One is obviously the complex septated cysts and as the other Lisa said, bleeding cysts are most often completely benign and may simply have to be removed. You will have to discuss your wish to have the ovaries removed completely if this is what you are thinking and if you have had problems with cysts for such a long time. Otherwise, they may be able to simply remove the cysts and leave the ovaries intact. The surgeon may be hesitant to remove both ovaries because you are still premenopausal and may have to go on HRT but since you don't want to have more children ... anyway, definitely something to discuss with your doctor.

The other issue is your endometrial lining and larger uterus. 1cm or thicker is considered thick and your doctor will probably want to take an endometrial biopsy in order to discount more serious causes. Your spotting is most likely due to the thickened lining and if your biopsy comes back normal, they may recommend a D & C (the tissues of which are also tested). The D & C would probably solve the spotting problem. Other alternatives to a D & C are endometrial ablation (leaving your uterus) and of course the ultimate removal of the uterus. Depending on how aggressive your physician is, he or she may recommend a complete removal of both your ovaries and uterus. Just make sure that you look at all of your options and their pros and cons before making a decision.

For example, endometrial ablation plus having your ovarian cysts removed would be less aggressive and may prevent problems such as adhesions (check some of the more recent threads on this board), bladder problems (sometimes removing the uterus takes away pelvic support for the other organs and a sort of "belt" or ring has to be added so that the bladder does not prolapse), osteoporosis (having ovaries removed without HRT means going into early menopause increasing your risk for osteoporosis at a much earlier age .. supplements would have to be looked into) etc.. etc.. On the other hand, leaving your ovaries in tact means facing possibly more surgery in the future if the cysts return.

All medical interventions have consequences and you really need to discuss these with your physician before making a sound decision that you will be able to live with.

By the way, if you have an endometrial biopsy, take a couple of Advil about one hour before the test. This prevents cramping. This is what I did and my doctor couldn't believe that I was not in any pain after the biopsy (he was not the one who recommended the ibuprofen but I did ask him if it was OK and he said yes). The test hurts a little but is very quick and done in the doctor's office.

Do keep in touch with us and hang in there .. this stuff will all be behind you in no time at all. Take care.

 
Old 02-10-2008, 07:29 AM   #5
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Re: Should I be worried?

Wow, Estria,

You sure know your stuff! ty I am trying to remain calm about things, but I have been sick with other things too. Last year the entire left side of my body went numb and they thought I had MS. I also have fibromyalgia and that seems to flair up too around the time of my period. I have hypertension around that time also and bp meds landed me in the ER. So, there's a bunch of stuff going on, and I know just removing the cysts aren't gonna make me feel back to normal, but it might make things better. Did you have the same type of cysts as well?? I'm no sure why my internist was so casual about things. Maybe she just wasn't well versed on the issue. But the gyne I'm being referred to on Monday is supposed to be very good. I was also told I have endometriosis, and that right there could be causing all the problems. Do they normally take out the uterus if you have that??

Also, to lisa, I noticed you were told you had probable MS too at the bottom of your message. Kinda ironic we shared the same symptoms.

Have a great weekend, and I'll be sure to let everyone know what happens tomorrow.

 
Old 02-10-2008, 05:20 PM   #6
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Re: Should I be worried?

Hi Lisa,

My gosh you seem to have a host of problems, I am so sorry. Are you seeing a pain management specialist ? This may not be a bad idea in light of the fibromyalgia and the endometriosis. The doctor probably did not think too much of the cysts because cysts (both simple and complex) are extremely common. All women grow cysts on their ovaries every month which contain eggs and most often these things are gone in a few cycles. If the cysts bleed into themselves (as in your case) they can cause pain and they have to be removed. In addition, they see thickened uteri (uteruses ??) all of the time. They do not like to leave a thickened uterus because it has a greater chance of becoming precancerous so at the very least, they will want to perform a D & C to remove the thickened lining.

As for me, I have a 7.5 cm simple fluid filled cyst on my left ovary that was discovered when they did an ultrasound back in September because I was having pelvic pain and irregular bleeding. I also had an endometrial biopsy done. Since I had been on the birth control pill for about 20 years, the doctors were quite certain that my irregular bleeding was due to long term use of the pill which sometimes results in endometrial atrophy. This indeed turned out to be the case because when I went off the pill, the irregular bleeding immediately stopped and my cycles became regular immediately. I think the pelvic pain was also caused by this and I have read that when your lining is too thin (mine was about 2 mm thick !) you can develop veins that bleed very easily (kind of like hemorrhoids but in the uterus). Now the only bad pain that I have is during ovulation and occasionally during the week preceding my period. The pain is rather intense while I ovulate and it radiates down my abdomen and causes rectal cramping. I suspect that this pain is because of the cyst. It also scares the crap out of me but I am trying to be patient since I have been on the pill for so long that I have to learn what my body off the pill feels like (although I don't remember having ovulation pain before going on the pill .. just incredibly heavy and painful periods, which I now don't have). As of my second ultrasound in November, the cyst was still the same size and I am due for another ultrasound in a couple of weeks to make sure that the thing has not grown. If it begins to grow then I will have to have a laparoscopy to remove it. My gyne says that it is an abnormal serous cyst which she says is benign (although you never truly know for sure until you remove it and do a pathology on the cells .. but let's just say there is a 95-99 % chance that it is benign). My G.P. thinks that there is still a chance that it will go away by itself .. I have had a CA-125 blood test (testing for an ovarian cancer antigen) which came out at 7, a very low number which is good (anything 35 and under is considered normal although this damned test is not completely reliable).

I am 41 years old and if I have to have it removed, I think that I would opt for a cyst removal rather than the entire ovary .. although I can always have one ovary removed and the other would take over. If I can avoid surgery however I will do so and if it does not change, I choose to simply keep an eye on it. For the moment I am trying to keep my sense of humour and I have named the cyst Celine, after a singer who I don't particularly like. Being a little crazy can be quite healthy overall, I think.

Take care and good luck at your doctor's appointment. I am sure everything will be just fine for you in the gynecological department.

 
Old 02-11-2008, 05:39 AM   #7
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Re: Should I be worried?

OH my, You sound like you've been through the wringer. I have had a bad history myself. From a young age I always had problems with my periods. I had so much pain in HS that I would faint, and I'd have to leave school early. When I was 19 I had my period for 3 yrs straight, non-stop! But it wasn't until I fessed up to my mom that she had me checked out and I was put on bc pills for a bit. I had stopped taking them after about a year since they made me worse. In my late 20's I had my first child and a few years later my second, and both were horrible births. I had to have an emergency c-section with one, and the second they had to extract him and I began to hemmorhage. Since then these darn cysts kept coming up. Now this morning I woke up and I think I have my period about a week early. I have bad cramping, and terrible bloating (I look about 5 months pregnant). So, I'm not sure if the doc will even see me today. Plus on top of that my 11yr old will be home sick from school today since he had a fever last nite. Such luck we have, ha?.. :|

 
Old 02-11-2008, 06:59 AM   #8
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Re: Should I be worried?

Hi Lisa,

Hang in there and go see the doctor as soon as possible. The irregular bleeding is most likely due to your thickened uterus and if you say you have a history of very heavy periods then I have a feeling that this is simply the way you are made and not something that just came up all of a sudden. You should still have it checked out though, just to be 100% sure.

The birth control pill does thin the uterine lining because of all of the progesterone in it. This is probably why they put you on it when you were bleeding continuously. A thinner lining reduces the risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer significantly but as in my case, long term use can cause endometrial atrophy and irregular bleeding for the opposite reason (that being a thin lining rather than a thick one). It is funny that you say you used to faint in high school from the draining effect of your period because I too had this problem. Fortunately, I never fainted but I do remember being sent home from school on several occasions because my face was ashen and I looked like I was about to faint. I would then go home and sit in bed with my heating pad and this did the trick. To this day I swear by my heating pad. All of those years on the pill however seems to have solved that problem, even now that I have gone off it (my lining is still remaining between 3-5 mm thick even now that I am off of the pill). I guess everything should ideally be in balance as much as possible in order not to have problems. The human body constantly amazes me.

As for the bloating, this could very well be due to your ovarian cysts. Cysts can cause a host of problems from gastrointestinal issues to bloating to pelvic pain .. you name it. However, these too you have to get checked out, just to be on the safe side. If the bloating and pain come and go then it is very unlikely to be anything serious and is most likely related to your menstrual cycle (the cysts may be magnifying everything so that where you used to get a little bloated from PMS you are now severely bloated from it). If things get progressively worse, however, get in to see your doctor as soon as possible.

Take care of yourself and let us know what your doctor recommends.

 
Old 02-12-2008, 05:29 AM   #9
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Re: Should I be worried?

That all makes sense. Btw, I have to wait till the 21st now for my appointment since I got my period early. The gas isn't letting up and I feel like it's all in my back. Last month it as so bad I thought I was having a heart attack, and my doc did an EKG and it was fine. She checked my lungs and those were clear too. So, it must be trapped gas. Last nite I layed on my stomach for a few hrs and I didn't even want to move it felt so good.. lol Motrin does seem to help, but I can't take much of it because it bothers my stomach. Last year my doc gave me Mobic, but that too was an ulcer in a bottle. What do you normally take for pain?? Also, when I did take bc pills it did help my periods but then I would get this heavy pressure feeling in my bottom/ vaginal area. It was pretty painful. As soon as I stopped the pills it went away. Maybe it wasn't the right pill for me.

Thanks estria

 
Old 02-12-2008, 07:42 AM   #10
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Re: Should I be worried?

Hi Lisa,

Hang in there. The 21st is only about a week away. If the bleeding does not stop by then, go in anyway. I usually take Advil for gynecological pain. It is extremely effective (something about controlling the gonadotropins that cause cramping .. anyway, it works for me). I believe that Motrin is the same thing. Ibuprofens are stronger than say Tylenol for pain but you have to be careful about taking too many (I guess this is true of any drug). A few once in a while will not hurt. If you take a couple of pills when you first begin to feel the pain coming on, the medication will be much more effective than if you wait until the pain is unbearable.

I also find that a heating pad or a hot bath are also extremely effective for both bloating and pelvic pain. For bloating you can also try a hot camomile tea with a twist of lemon and a little honey. Camomile has long been known to help with digestive problems and whenever I am getting a bit of heartburn I find that this always helps. Of course not eating for at least two hours before going to bed is also a good idea (reclining on a full stomach is not recommended if you tend to suffer from digestive issues).

Yes the pill is not for everyone and there are definitely many different types of formulations out there. I have recently found out that the triphasic kind (the kind I was on for about 20 years) is more likely to cause endometrial atrophy (what I had) because of the higher quantity of progesterone in it. My sister actually became sick to her stomach on the triphasic variety and had to be switched to a monophasic pill by the name of Marvelon. She does not have any problems on it. Whatever you do DO NOT get talked into taking a depo provera shot. There have been some issues about bone loss with this and I think that the idea of taking a six month shot of something that cannot then be reversed if there are side effects (we are all different and anything is possible when something is injected into you) is the most assinine thing I have ever heard of. Also, be wary of unopposed estrogen which is sometimes used to control heavy irregular bleeding. Unopposed estrogen will raise your risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer (some types of gynecological cancers are fed by estrogen).

We all have to look out for ourselves by staying well informed about things that are going into our bodies. Bad enough that our fruits and vegetables contain less nutrition today than fifty years ago due to genetic engineering for looks and strength (rather than vitamins) .. why add drugs into the soup as well ?

Sorry for the tirade and the length of this .. I think I am PMSing today (hee hee).

 
Old 02-20-2008, 08:49 PM   #11
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Re: Should I be worried?

Bella,
I thought I had written this post at 1st! I too had gone numb on the left side a few yrs ago , and my drs thoght I had MS. Ihave now been diagnosed with Epilepsy, although I am not entirely sure MS is out of the question. I think it will rear it's head at some point. My daughter's Neuro dr asks me how long I have had MS when he sees me.

Funny how some of us have had the same symptoms. Coincidence? HUh?

 
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