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Old 11-26-2008, 06:49 AM   #1
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Ovarian cyst and cramping. On pill.

After being concerned about having persistant but off and on mild cramping before and after last months period I went to the doctor. I thought I was having lower intestinal issues but turns out after the cat scan I have a 2.4cm cyst on my left ovary. I went to my gyno as instructed and he seem very un concerned. He told me women can still get them even if they are on Birth Control (which I am) especially low dose. He didnt even want to see me again unless the pain persists after this next pack/month/cycle. It hasnt been that whole month yet but I am concerned because I though it was gone as my mild cramps went away before my period, but when my period came I had pretty bad cramps, then sure enough a day or so after my period here comes those pesty mild cramps. They are like period cramps only on a smaller scale. They are tolerable but I was really hoping I would have nothing and that would mean the cyst is gone.

I guess my question is, has anyone had such a small cyst like me and have mild cramping like Im having? I read that most normal cysts dont have symtoms. He said it looks like mine is normal/functional cyst, but I would think only when they get big or twist or rupture that you would feel anything.

Anyone's experience with cysts would be appreciated.

I just want to know that maybe its normalt o have these mild cramps until its gone.
I wonder how long it can take for it to go away. I have read 1-3 months.
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:42 PM   #2
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Re: Ovarian cyst and cramping. On pill.

I have a small cyst (it was 1.6 cm. at last check) that causes cramping and abnormal periods. That is what brought me to the dr. in the first place. They did an ultrasound and found the cyst. It has some solid/some fluid, which is different from a simple cyst. At the first ultrasound it was only 1 cm. They wanted to wait 3 months to see if it went away on it's own. Unfortunately it hasn't, and I go in the first part of Dec. for another ultrasound. So, yes, I believe a cyst that small can cause cramping, and I think it is normal to wait a few cycles to see if it goes away. I think with a simple cyst it is not so worrisome. Hope that helps answer your questions.

 
Old 11-26-2008, 05:08 PM   #3
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Re: Ovarian cyst and cramping. On pill.

It's funny that I am able to answer other people's concerns, but not the one my dauther is having right now. I've had little issues before but I've never skipped a period (which is my dauther's problem right now). Anyway, I had a dull aching pain in my right ovary for a couple of months. When I went for my yearly exam I mentioned this to my GYN. I went for an ultrasound and it showed a small cyst on my ovary. When the GYN called me to tell me this she said that the cyst was so small it should not cause me any discomfort. Well it did and it was there for a few months. The next time I went for my yearly, I was sent back for an ultrasound just to check on it and it was completely gone. She did tell me that it might come back and go away on its own. I've had achy ovary since then but now I don't worry about it as much since I know what it is. Bottom line, my discomfort was there for a few months and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

 
Old 11-26-2008, 05:36 PM   #4
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Re: Ovarian cyst and cramping. On pill.

I would definitely get a second opinion. I went to several doctors over the course of 6 months for a small cyst that looked normal. They put me on birth control to try and control it and guess what! It got bigger! Yes bigger, but still normal from what they could see. I was in horrible pain from the start. Then, when I finally begged to have it taken out, they set the surgery. The week before I was supposed to have it I collapsed at school and was taken to the hospital. They performed the surgery that night and found that I had an apricot sized cyst that had burst and that it was hermeraging. They ended up taking a half a cup of blood out of my stomach plus i lost a lot of blood. Not to say this would happen to everyone but it was apparently a "normal" cyst, no worries, take birth control it will be fine. So get a second opinion as soon as possible. Also the estrogen that is in some birth controls creates cysts that tend to stick around because they are fed estrogen every day instead just around your hormonal parts of the month. The type of birth control you should be on is the low dose progestin. I have this on good authority from a great doctor. Take care and get that second opinion. Oh one more thing, when it comes to these things doctors will sometimes push you off and not really pay attention. Don't give up and don't let them push you around. Good Luck.

 
Old 11-26-2008, 07:01 PM   #5
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Re: Ovarian cyst and cramping. On pill.

All women of childbearing potential have ovarian cysts. It's completely normal. Sometimes they get larger and sometimes they burst, which is not a good thing, but for the most part, they are totally benign and they wouldn't necessarily cause problems.

Women get cramps and heavy bleeding during their periods. The pill doesn't always make that stop or go away completely. Yes, it's supposed to help a little, but it doesn't make the cramps go away totally.

I don't think there's anything wrong with you. I don't think the cyst is necessarily causing you trouble. And I don't think you need to do anything. Unless you get to the point where your pain is totally causing you major trouble, you just have to understand that being a woman, you're going to have cramps, you're going to have bleeding and you're going to get cysts sometimes which frequently don't cause any problems, they are just there.

Last edited by Kszan; 11-26-2008 at 08:21 PM.

 
Old 11-26-2008, 08:20 PM   #6
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Re: Ovarian cyst and cramping. On pill.

One more point I want to make is that mild pelvic pain is usually nothing to worry about. I don't think you should necessarily go to your doctor right away when that happens. I found that when I was on the pill, I had more frequent pelvic pain than I have while being off the pill. I don't know why, I'm not a doctor, but I know that it would happen sometimes randomly throughout my cycle and I wasn't all that concerned about it.

My point is just that I think it's not that big of a deal. Women get cysts, it happens. And women also get pelvic pain sometimes randomly for not necessarily any reason. While it should be checked out if it gets worse and more painful, I don't think you should necessarily worry so much about it at this point in time. It just doesn't seem like your symptoms are anything unusual.

 
Old 11-29-2008, 06:18 AM   #7
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Re: Ovarian cyst and cramping. On pill.

Thanks for the replies. and for yours Kszan. I understand everything about being a woman. And Ive been told these are common. Heck my Gynos lack of ANY concern at all brings me a peace of mind at times but the thing is the almost constant pelvic aching is what is alarming to me.. its not normal for me Ive never had it, and never had it while on this birth control. Ive been on it for a year and 1/2 or more. The aching/cramping is mild, wax and wans but.. happens all through the month.
I wonder if my Birth control just isnt agreeing with me now. can that happen? Ive been wanting to get off it. I dont like other things about it. He however wants me to stay on it to get rid of this cyst. I feel like I ovulated again this month (not sure though) and you arent suppost to ovulate on BC!
When you have an ovarian cyst like this does that mean you will be vulnerable to the for here on out?
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Old 11-29-2008, 12:58 PM   #8
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Re: Ovarian cyst and cramping. On pill.

Hello Lkk,

It is now known that birth control pills do nothing to either prevent cysts or to hasten their disappearance. As a matter of fact this USED to be the protocol but is no longer. Studies have proven that between using birth control pills and simple watchful waiting, there is absolutely NO difference. This means that with or without the pill your cyst will do what it will. Most likely a simple cyst of this size will disappear within around three menstrual cycles. ALL women grow cysts on their ovaries every month and the current low dose oral contraceptives do not prevent women from developing the usual ovarian follicles (ie. small cysts) that non HRT women develop.

I am not sure that your pain is caused by the cyst and perhaps my own story can shed some possible light on your own situation. I had been on the pill for about 20 years and about two years ago I began to experience cramps before and after my period in addition to more heavy withdrawal bleeding (ie. the "fake" period that occurs on OC's). At the time, I thought nothing of it, after all, menstrual cramps are not that unusual, right ? About 6 months after the cramps began I started to have irregular bleeding. At about midpack, I would begin to spot and as the months went by I started to have extremely heavy irregular bleeds which, needless to say, scared the hell out of me. I went to my doctor and he pooh poohed it all away and said I needed a stronger pill. I went home and low and behold I began to experience weird tummy aches and even stronger pelvic pain. At the end of the pack, I stopped taking the pill and asked to go in for an ultrasound. At the ultrasound they found a 7.5 cm simple cyst on my left ovary. Will go away in three cycles they said .. here we are a year later and the cyst is still there relatively unchanged (about 7.8 cms now). At the time, I thought the cyst was causing my bleeding and cramping problems. I spoke to my doctor who wanted to put me on a stronger pill. I asked him if by stopping the pill would the bleeding return to normal and he said yes so that's exactly what I did and my cycles returned to normal IMMEDIATELY. I still had the cramps and pains for a while but after about 3-4 months everything quietened down and now I only experience pain at ovulation for about an hour or so (ie. I know EXACTLY when I am ovulating). A couple of Advil or a heating pad usually relieves this pain. The cyst is STILL there and yet the pain and bleeding are gone !

I found out later that the Triphasic formulations of oral contraceptives have quite a strong progesterone component which can, over the long term, cause what is called endometrial atrophy. This is where your lining becomes ever so thin that it begins to develop veins that bleed (like hemorrhoids or varicose veins for example). The fragility of the lining that causes the excessive bleeding also causes the pain. My endometrial lining was at about 3 mm which is very thin. The newest generation of oral contraceptives contain the lowest amount of estrogen ever but the progesterone component seems to have been kept the same. The reason estrogen was lowered is because the earliest birth control pills from the 60's (which contained something like 100 mcgs of estrogen compared to say 15 mcgs in the lowest dose pills) were found to be related to certain hormone related cancers such as breast cancer. So ever since, they have been constantly trying to lower the estrogen component of the pill. The progesterone component, on the other hand, has some protective properties such as keeping the endometrial lining thin which in turn helps to lower the risk (significantly) of uterine cancer (when women's linings are over 1 cm, they are usually sent in for a D & C in order to clean out the endometrium and to test it for endometrial hyperplasia, or changes in cells which can signal something sinister). A thin lining also keeps you from getting pregnant even if you are still ovulating (recent studies have shown that overweight women are more likely to become pregnant even while on the pill .. the risk is still very low but higher than in women with lower BMI's).

My own personal belief (and it is only that .. a belief .. no scientific backing whatsoever) is that the newest generation of pills are more likely to cause cysts and this is because the estrogen component is now so low that follicles are still developing on women's ovaries but the pill interferes with the follicle stimulation that makes a cyst burst open to release the egg. In my own case, I had tried to switch from my older generation Triphasil (30 mcg of estrogen) to the newest generation Alesse (15 mcg of estrogen) a couple of years earlier and I experienced a lot of weird pain and sensations in my pelvic area. After three months of trial, I switched back to my Triphasil. I seriously suspect that this is when my cyst originally developed but of course I cannot prove it. Also, many women are diagnosed with ovarian cysts in the early stages of pregnancy and hormonally speaking, the birth control pill essentially makes your body think that it is a "little bit pregnant" so this is why you don't become pregnant. Again the progesterone component of the pill is what keeps the body from continuing to ovulate and release eggs (and in pregnant women they release progesterone to keep from continuing to ovulate, otherwise, they would have a problem wouldn't they ?). I have also noticed that certain hormonal birth control methods, such as the Mirena IUD, which release progesterone directly, have been found to be related to ovarian cyst development. Like I said, I am only grasping at straws here and I am NOT a medical professional.

I have not been on the pill for over a year now and I don't miss it at all. On the contrary, I now no longer have constant urinary tract infections that I have to control, and I don't get that occasional breast tenderness that would take my breath away when I was putting on my bra in the morning (estrogen does this). I am hoping that my body will take care of the problem, although at this stage, I am not sure if this cyst is beyond its capabilities. We shall see. My doctors have all said that it is not dangerous so I am simply keeping an eye on it.

I hope all of this information will be of use to you. I know how pelvic pain can scare the hell out of you and how doctors cannot understand this (same thing goes for irregular bleeding). Only YOU know what is normal for your body and only YOU can be your best health advocate. If you keep experiencing this irregular pain, think about it possibly being caused by the pill .. it could be as simple as this.

All the best to you.

Estria

 
Old 12-04-2008, 10:10 AM   #9
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Re: Ovarian cyst and cramping. On pill.

wow that you so much for sharing your story. Im still having the stupid aching on and off. I cannot tell you how many times I have thought what if its this pill.. I have no way of knowing for sure. You shared some good information. I had ran across some info on the net about how the BC helps. My Gyno still believe that because at my apt me was even almost excited in his telling me about how well BC helps prevent cysts. He said it has kept thousands of women out of the hosipical and doctors for cyst complications..

besides this there is other reasons I want ot get off of it. I think it makes my skin look bad. veiny. I dont tan well. etc.
crazy thing is I just today ordered my refills.. wonder if I can cancel. AH! I dunno what to do.
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:04 AM   #10
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Re: Ovarian cyst and cramping. On pill.

Lkk,

Just be very careful if you do go off the pill, that you use some other form of birth control. Unfortunately, the pill is one of the most effective birth control methods of our time. I personally have managed well by having sexual intercourse without penetration with my husband and this has actually IMPROVED our sex life because before it was sort of repetitive and boring whereas now we are forced to be "creative". I think that after 20 years of my taking care of birth control with possible health risks (even though they are low they are still there), it is now time for him to get the snip snip. Otherwise we will continue in this way until I am in menopause and cannot get pregnant (which is about 8-10 years or so). I am quite satisfied with this. Others might not be however and it is up to each woman to decide what she is comfortable with.

Yes unfortunately our doctors are really prescription happy and are dying to medicate us for our problems instead of first trying something simple and straightforward. This is unfortunate as it is creating a world population who's advancement in health is controlled by the pharmaceutical industry instead of by changes in behaviour and nutrition.

All the best,

Estria

 
Old 12-30-2008, 08:20 AM   #11
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Re: Ovarian cyst and cramping. On pill.

To give an update. I had an ultrasound 3 weeks ago today and they said my cyst is gone. I had my period, few days after and still had strong cramps, so I was conviced it was the BC. I stopped taking it 2 weeks ago today. I still have the mild cramps and also bloating which Im not sure I mentioned above. The bloating is so bothersome! I NEVER had bloating before even with my regular period before being on Birth control. Both the cramps and the bloating comes and goes.

Do you think it can still be the Birth Control? I would think after 2 weeks I would be adjusted. Then again I was on it for a year and 1/2.
Im SO SICK of this. Atleast with the CT Scan and ultrasound within the last couple months I can rest assure I dont have a tumor or whatever. I GUESS.

Any insight on if the BC could still have me out of wack would be appreicated. I just dont know what to think and Im afraid that if I go back to the Gyno he will so oh no its not YAZ.. yaz and all birth control are WONDERFUL!!!! bleh...
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:09 AM   #12
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Re: Ovarian cyst and cramping. On pill.

I've read on the birth control board here that tons of women who quit taking the pill have had all sorts of strange withdrawal symptoms for a while before their bodies got regulated again. I think I read that it can take anywhere from a month to two to six to a year to get back to normal after quitting the pill. From what I'm reading in your post, it's very possible that you're going to have to wait a while to get fully back to normal after quitting the pill. There's no way to know for sure how long it will take, because it seems to vary from person to person.

 
Old 12-30-2008, 09:17 AM   #13
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Re: Ovarian cyst and cramping. On pill.

Thats good to hear, well good and bad. ha. Where is the Birth control forum? I cant seem to find.

Thanks for your response.
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