I went to the Dr's two weeks ago with a dull ache in my left flank.
The Dr. order an ultrasound and think they found a cyst on my left ovary...approximately the size of a walnut. The ultrasound image was distorted though (something to do with gas/food in my intestines) and I went for another one early this week.
I am super scared and I'm on the birth control pill, which many websites say prevents women from developing the more benign functional cysts!
Has anyone had experience with developing cysts while on the pill? Any advice would help.
Most definitely you can develop ovarian cysts while on the pill. It is now known that the modern generation of birth control pills do not completely prevent women from growing follicles (ie. cysts) and that most of the birth control occurs due to the endometrial lining being kept so thin (due to the progesterone).
I myself developed a very large ovarian cyst which I am convinced occured while on the pill (although they discovered it just after I had stopped taking the pill due to irregular bleeding .. after 20 years of being on the pill my endometrial lining was so weak that it was actually bleeding .. going off the pill solved that problem).
My personal opinion is that the lower dose pills may actually cause cysts to occur and not keep them from occuring. This is because they are not strong enough to keep follicles from growing on the ovaries but they are strong enough to mess with the stimulating hormone that induces ovulation (ie. the "breaking open" of the follicle to release the egg). This messing around may prevent a follicular cyst from doing what it is supposed to thereby causing a persistent cyst. My 8 cm cyst has been there for almost a year now and since it is a simple cyst (fluid filled) we are keeping an eye on it with regular ultrasounds.
I sincerely regret ever having gone on the stupid birth control pill and although I will never know if it caused this or not, I wish I could have allowed my body to function naturally instead of playing around with my body's hormonal balance. The pill is supposed to cut ovarian cancer risk in half after 5 years of use and although this is not supposed to be one of my worries due to having been on oral contraceptives for so long, this is now exactly what my biggest fear is. Go figure ...
Anyway, to answer your question, it is now known that modern oral contraceptives neither prevent cysts from occuring nor hasten their disappearance (doctors still try to use oc's to "cure" large ovarian cysts .. this is for nothing and many current studies support this).
Hi Mukki although I do not have a detailed explanation of what was given above I can offer my personal experiences. I have had 2 cysts rupture I beleive. The first one I had I was in extreme pain to the point that I was in a fetal position crying and went to the ER. By the time I got there the pain was almost completely gone. Lucky me I still had to have the pelvic exam and the ultra sound just to see what the problem was but it had busted so there wasn't much. I later had to have the other sort of ultra sound where they stick the probe up inisde to look around more but nothing was found (thank goodness)...I do not remember if I was on birth control yet with the first one. The second time it happened I beleive I was on birth control and I had excrutiating pain and then it went away never to be felt again. My experience was that my abdominal area (always to one side or the other was very tender almost like a pulled muscle for a few days) and then when it ruptured it was almost unbearable...every time after it busts though it has not been that bad and after knowing what it is I don't worry so much. It's always smart to have ultra sounds etc. to make sure that if there is anything there that it is fluid filled and not solid since this can make all of the difference.
I went to my female doctor every few months when it first started happening and he said that it was normal when women ovulate that we form cysts on our overies but that generally they do not grow large and we never feel them bust. It seems to be when they fill larger than normal and bust that we feel the pain.
Good luck! I hope everything turns out the way that the doctors are hoping for on your tests.