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Old 02-01-2009, 11:56 AM   #1
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Anyone experience NEW ovarian cysts and NEW fibroids after menopause?

Hi Everyone, I'm 51 and entered an early chemo-induced menopause at 45. My breast cancer was when I was 38, but the chemo made my periods sputter here and there until they stopped cold in 2003. Now, 5.5 years after menopause, my body developed a NEW ovarian cyst and NEW fibroid in my uterus. I began having uterine contractions back in August with a watery discharge a few months later. I had both things removed a few days ago.

Isn't this weird? Has anyone else had this happen where they developed new ovarian cysts or uterine fibroids AFTER menopause?


 
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:37 PM   #2
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viktik HB User
Re: Anyone experience NEW ovarian cysts and NEW fibroids after menopause?

Hi Diane,

I had a pelvic ultrasound 2 years ago, and they said I had a uterine fibroid. I was surprised, because at that time I had been about 6 months without a period. Now, I have been 2 years without one. I thought that we wouldn't have fibroids or cysts after menopause, but I read recently that the hormonal imbalance after menopause can CAUSE cysts and fibroids. I have been wondering if I should have the fibroid removed. It doesn't really hurt, so I'm not sure. Anyway, hope this is a little reassuring to you to know that I too am dealing with a fibroid while 2 years post. As I have said in previous posts, anything any of the ladies here have experienced during menopause, I probably have experienced it too!

Viktik

 
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:40 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone experience NEW ovarian cysts and NEW fibroids after menopause?

Hi Diane,

It is now known that it is not at all unusual for a menopausal woman to get ovarian cysts. As a matter of fact, the rate may be as high as 20% of post menopausal women who experience this. As for the fibroids, although it is rather unusual (fibroids usually shrink during menopause) I imagine it all has to do with hormones. Were you put on synthetic hormones when you went into menopause by any chance ? If so, this may have something to do with it. If you are not on synthetics (or bio-identicals for that matter) your body will still be producing some of those hormones that you need. The ovaries are not the only organs that produce hormones, the adrenal glands do as well.

But to get back to your original question, it is not at all unusual for post menopausal women to develop ovarian cysts (this I know for sure) and although I am not absolutely sure about the fibroids, fibroids are totally harmless except when they cause bleeding and cramping so I would not be too concerned about this. Wait and see what your doctor says about this just to be sure.

All the best.

Estria

 
Old 02-01-2009, 04:50 PM   #4
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diane777 HB User
Re: Anyone experience NEW ovarian cysts and NEW fibroids after menopause?

Thank you --- I see that I am not alone with a post-menopausal fibroid! I've read that you don't have to have them removed if they aren't causing symptoms that are too unpleasant so you should be ok unless you start having them. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone!


Quote:
Originally Posted by viktik View Post
Hi Diane,

I had a pelvic ultrasound 2 years ago, and they said I had a uterine fibroid. I was surprised, because at that time I had been about 6 months without a period. Now, I have been 2 years without one. I thought that we wouldn't have fibroids or cysts after menopause, but I read recently that the hormonal imbalance after menopause can CAUSE cysts and fibroids. I have been wondering if I should have the fibroid removed. It doesn't really hurt, so I'm not sure. Anyway, hope this is a little reassuring to you to know that I too am dealing with a fibroid while 2 years post. As I have said in previous posts, anything any of the ladies here have experienced during menopause, I probably have experienced it too!

Viktik

 
Old 02-01-2009, 05:00 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone experience NEW ovarian cysts and NEW fibroids after menopause?

Hi Estria,

Thank you so much for sharing that information! I wasn't put on synthetic hormones because I had breast cancer previously when I was 38. BUT.....after 5 years of suffering hot flashes and sudden intense spells of rage, I said to heck with it and got some of that Natural Progesterone Cream. I have read almost everywhere that Progesterone can counteract the high Estrogen and prevent uterine fibroids. But I read something yesterday from someone who is disputing that whole theory and believes that, perhaps, progesterone may spurn fibroid growth because progesterone is there to make the lining remain when pregnancy occurs. So this person thinks maybe Progesterone is the culprit. I kind of sank in my seat because I never had fibroids before and here I am 5.5 years out of menopause, 1 year on Natural Progesterone cream (and I was using too much I just realized), and I developed a quick-growing fibroid. My uterus was cramping all the time and the ultrasound couldn't tell what it was, so that's why my gyno did a D&C and just scraped everything out to biopsy.

I didn't know that about the ovarian cysts after menopause so thank you for telling me about that. I won't panic next time I sense one!

Last edited by diane777; 02-01-2009 at 05:01 PM. Reason: typo

 
Old 02-02-2009, 06:00 AM   #6
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Re: Anyone experience NEW ovarian cysts and NEW fibroids after menopause?

Hi Diane,

Just keep an eye on that cyst. Hopefully it is only a simple fluid filled cyst on one ovary (the ultrasound report should say). If this is the case, and the cyst is 5 cms or less then I seriously doubt you have anything to be concerned about. It may even disappear over the next few months. Since you are a breast cancer survivor though, you will need to keep an eye on it.

What you mention about progesterone is VERY interesting to me. You see I was on the birth control pill for about 20 years when I began to have irregular bleeding at about the time I would start taking the pills that are higher in progesterone. My doctor thought it was the pill immediately. He says they see this all of the time. Evidently the high progesterone in the pill causes the lining of the uterus to become thin and fragile (the thin is good and helps to reduce your risk of endometrial cancer but the fragile causes the irregular bleeding). It then begins to bleed as varicose type veins begin to form (a bit like hemmorrhoids but in the uterus). As soon as I stopped the pill, my bleeding became normal, however it was discovered that I had a uterine fibroid (1.3 cm) and a simple unilocular ovarian cyst (8 cm which is more of concern since it is persistent even a year later). I have ALWAYS thought that these things were due to the strong progesterone in the triphasic type pills. I also think that since I am in my 40's my natural estrogen supply has perhaps begun to fluctuate throwing me into some sort of hormonal imbalance (I also began to fly off the handle for no apparent reason ... just this seething white hot rage that I could not control ... my poor husband). Since going off the pill, things have calmed down somewhat and now I am terrified that perimenopause might bring on the same symptoms although who knows what my own body will do at that time ? I am much more concerned about the ovarian cyst than my uterine fibroid. About 75% of women have uterine fibroids and as I mentioned before, unless they cause bleeding and cramping problems, they are best left alone (that is, unless they become huge and cause problems that way).

It is now extremely interesting to read that too much progesterone may actually cause fibroids. Keep in mind that hormones are a funny business because your body can actually turn one hormone into another (!). Here is a quote from Dr. Christiane Northrup's book,"The Wisdom of Menopause" ... "Another advantage of progesterone supplementation relates to this hormone's relatively unique ability to be converted into other hormones as needed. If progesterone levels are adequate, for example, but testosterone levels are on the low side, supplemental progesterone can actually transform itself into testosterone. It also increases the levels of DHEA. Under the right circumstances, supplemental progesterone can even be metabolized into estrogen. This is one reason so many women enjoy symptomatic relief from using natural progesterone cream in early menopause, when there's a great deal of variation in the levels of all three hormones." Please also take note that Dr. Northrup states,"... that Prempro (Premarin and Provera) at the dosages used in the WHI study increases the risk of breast cancer. But we don't yet have long term studies on the effects of bioidentical progesterone on breast cancer". You may therefore want to use progesterone cream only under the guidance of a medical professional to be sure you are using it properly. If you are going off it after using it, I believe you need to wean yourself off of it rather than stopping cold turkey.

You may want to pick up a copy of Dr. Northrup's book as she makes many helpful suggestions for women in various situations (ie. what do women with breast issues do to alleviate menopausal symptoms .. ). Each woman is different and has to find the right balance that works for her.

All the best to you.

Estria

 
Old 02-02-2009, 12:17 PM   #7
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diane777 HB User
Re: Anyone experience NEW ovarian cysts and NEW fibroids after menopause?

What's that's alot of good information, Estria. That's so interesting that you've noticed some things, too, about taking the progesterone. I really appreciate you putting down that quote from Christianne Northrup's book. I have 2 of her books so I probably have that, and have just missed it. VERY interesting that progesterone can be transformed into other hormones like testosterone and estrogen. Gives me something to think about.

My Gyno actually was very uneasy about my cyst since I'm a BC patient and it has been there for a few months so she removed it last Thursday along with the fibroid. The cyst was causing me to urinate often and causing some constipation -- which I am not prone to, usually. And the fibroid was causing cramping and a watery discharge so she just thought it best to get everything out and biopsy it. I know that she thought the ovary looked "very benign" when she removed it, she told me after I woke up from the surgery.

Your cyst sounds quite large. Mine was only 5 cm. Are you having symptoms from it like bladder pressure?

Oh, rage. Yes. I've heard that word from so many menopausal women. Me, included. It's the pits. The best control, if, God forbid, you should find it coming again when you reach menopause, is to avoid salty and spicey foods. Those really seem to set it off big time.

I suppose as more research gets done about progesterone (they use to only focus on estrogen), we'll learn alot more. All the best to you, too!

Diane

 
Old 02-03-2009, 06:18 AM   #8
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Re: Anyone experience NEW ovarian cysts and NEW fibroids after menopause?

Hi Diane,

Great to hear that your doctor is on top of everything and that the cyst was removed. Thanks so much for the tip about salty and spicey foods .. really stupid but I never even thought about my diet as it related to my moods during hormonal change (well DUH).

Take care.

Estria

 
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