Ovarian cysts

Over the past few years I have posted about an unknown pain in my right side.
I’d been through a whole gambit of tests and scopes with nothing found out. And I’ve had alot of support from wonderful dopers.
Through all those tests two things have not changed. The pain is still there and getting worse and spreading, and a cyst that shows up that they have been passing off as normal cycling cyst.
Every time they would see it they would tell me that it was normal because I must be ovulating.
No matter what time of the month it was it was always there. Each time a little bigger.
Well, I was seeing a medical intern group at the time and had four different doctors looking at my results.
The pain got so intense for me a few weeks ago that I had to be sent home from work and go to the ER.
The ER doctor told me to stop goofing with residents and see one doctor. Rotating residents are good for small everyday kinds of issues or one time deals but not ongoing in depth care since they are rotating out at any given time and things are getting lost in the shuffle.
So, I went to see my sisters doctor and she started from scratch with an ultra sound.
The cyst is now a bit bigger than my right ovary. Three years ago it was almost unnoticable.
I go in on Tuesday to see what my options are. They are also thinking endometriosis that is causing the pain to now spread across from the right side to the left. And the normal cramping that is not so normal anymore because it burns like when you pull a muscle.

I have had nightmares about having everything removed and all my other organs sliding around and falling “out of place”. I’m worried about changes to my body if they take things out.
I guess I am asking female dopers who have delt with this, or even male dopers who have helped spouses/friends through this, for things to think about or what they went through.
I’m done having children but I’m worried about not feeling whole afterwards. I know it’s silly and I’m rushing things a bit since I don’t know what they are going to remove if anything but the thoughts and worries are there.

Oh, I feel for you. Please, however, try not to worry about things falling out of place. If you do end up having your ovary removed, because of the cyst, it is only the size of a walnut and there isn’t a lot of space going to be made by one ovary being removed. As far as feeling “whole”, chances are you will still have your other ovary. As long as you have one ovary, you will continue to produce hormones and will ovulate every other month. You will still be a whole woman. :slight_smile: That being said, I classify women who have had everything removed to be whole.

I hope you get some help with your problem. It looks like you’ve travelled a long road with this and it’s time to bring this journey to a close. Good luck and hang in there. I’m sure you will be just fine once things are sorted out, both physically and emotionally. :slight_smile:

I’m going through the same process at the moment Kricket, but I must admit that mine sounds a helluva lot less stressful than yours. I’m gonna be having my ‘ovarian freeloaders’ removed in about 8 weeks.

From what I know about functional vs other types of cysts, if they are present for more than two cycles, they need to be further investigated and probably removed (regardless of whether they appear to be ‘simple’ - fluid-filled) or otherwise. That you have had to put up with the discomfort for a number of years makes me wonder about the competency of your GP or Gynaecologist. ANY persistent cyst indicates grounds for removal.

Don’t panic though, they won’t be removing all of your innards! If the cyst is contained, they may be able to remove it without damaging the ovary itself. But even if they need to take out the ovary, you’ve got another one on the other side that will take over the hormonal functions very satisfactorily. Nothing will be sloshing around in your belly!!

Good luck, and if you need to talk about it, my email is in my profile thingy, OK?


If you’re not averse to hormonal therapies, remember to ask about it. There are lots of things for endometriosis.
You could have Depo, continuous OCP, HRT, Medically induced reversible menopause, there are lots of options available.

Don’t agree to anything unless you’re absolutley happy with it.

Good luck and Best wishes.

Kricket I had an ovarian cyst removed more than twenty years ago – actually, it was the size of a football, and encompassed the left-side ovary, so the ovary itself was removed, too. This occurred during my first pregnancy.

Luckily, we’ve each got a spare. Apparently, the remaining ovary takes over for the missing one. I (easily) got pregnant six years later, had a lovely baby girl, who’s about to finish high school. Life has continued.

A friend of mine also had an ovarian cyst (smaller than mine), with recurring pain (like you describe) until it burst on its own. She had no residual problems thereafter.

Hope that is somewhat reassuring. I promise your organs won’t “slide around” to fill the void. There is no need to feel “un-whole”.

Kricket, your experience sounds a lot like mine—various people hypothesizing that what I was experiencing was on the normal side, yet I was in ever-increasing pain.

I had 2 endoscopies to resolve cysts, neither of which involved removal of an the ovary. Then I had a 3rd endoscopy and during that they not only took care of a sizable cyst (again with the ovary left intact), they lasered off a whole lot of endometriosis. Following that, I had to get Lupron injections for 3 months, and those I didn’t like very much, but after it was all said and done, I had no problems. This after pain and frustration for 7 years.

Last September I had a baby, so evidently everything is functioning as it should be.

You’ve heard my sermonette before, Kricket, I think – Barb had multiple cysts on both ovaries as a result of blows to her abdomen during pregnancy (a long story, involving one of the few people in this world I hate).

Net result: she was 50% as fertile as a “normal” woman on one side, 10% on the other. Children were possible but with a reduced likelihood that we’d conceive.

We never produced a child of our bodies. The child Barb had at 19 and gave up for adoption is the only child of her blood; I am biologically childless.

But we ended up as parent figures to several score children and teens who needed affirming, compassionate role models. And we’ve started with the second generation, the children of our kids, who love us and who make our lives rich.

I dunno what the future holds for you, dear – but I know it will only be a disappointment if you let it be.

May God who gave you the unique childhood you had continue to enrich you as you pursue your happiness in a unique adulthood. :slight_smile:

I had polycystic ovarian syndrome and was not aware of it until I was 23. I had that horrible pain in my right side. The doc in the infirmary said it was nerves. The resident at the hospital took it more seriously and put me in the hospital for tests which didn’t determine anything. I was afraid that he was going to give up on me, but he performed exploratory surgery and found the problem: so many cysts on my ovaries, tubes and uterus that he couldn’t count them, my right ovary was twisted and my uterus was tilted back. Nerves, huh?

He removed the cysts, straightened my ovaries and brought my uterus forward. God rest his soul. He was the best physician I have ever had.

Twenty years later he discovered that I had two large cysts. One was the side of a soft ball and the other was as large as a soccer ball. The smaller one they were able to disolve with medication. The larger persisted.

I was in my forties and a newly wed who had never had children. I felt sad about not being able to conceive, but I had known that that was a possibility anyway.

They took everything with the surgery. I have not felt any less feminine because of it, but everyone is different. I will tell you that sex became more painful afterward and has remained that way. I understand that this is true with many other women also. You might want to look into that aspect.

At any rate, I’m certain that much medical progress has been made in the last fifteen years. But that was my experience. I hope that it gives you some insight.

Here’s hoping that you feel better soon!

My first wife had an overy removed due to a cyst, it was about the size of a grapefruit. She had no idea it was there. It was found during an annual pelvic exam. As it involved the entire overy, it was removed as well. She had no problems after that.
The really weird thing was when the ward nurse asked me “since they removed the overy, does that mean she’ll only have a period every other month?”

I know this is duplicating what others have said, but I’ll add one more voice of experience. Having one ovary removed should be no big deal as far as fertility. If there is no involvement with the other one, or the uterus (which from what you’ve said is the case) the only difference you will notice is that the pain is gone. I also had an ovarian cyst discovered during a routine exam; I was completely symptom-free, and the thing had grown to quite a large size. Other than normal post-op recovery, there were absolutely no other effects.

It is something to take seriously, though, because ovarian cancer is very, very difficult to diagnose, since the dear little things are so carefully tucked safely away where they are hard to damage.

Although it’s not what you’re facing now, I’d add that many years later, for completely different reasons, I had to have a complete removal of everything that was left. I started on hormone replacement immediately, and other than not having to deal with menstruation (yay!!!) I have also had absolutely no difficulties in any of the areas you mentioned.

Further, these days it is possible to remove the cyst, or if necessary the entire ovary, with what’s call laparascopic (sp?) surgery. This involves a couple of very small incisions that you won’t even notice, and a rather minimal recovery time.

Go to a good gyno, get everything checked out and attended to, and you’ll be fine.

Kricket, I had the pain and all the rest of the problems…and I kept getting “It’s a cyst” then “It’s polycystic ovaries”. After a number of years of pain and unpleasantness, I finally had to have a total abdominal hysterectomy (unrelated to ovarian issues) in which they found the totally different problem I have now.

When they do a removal of anything inside you, they reposition anything that might “slosh around”. They tidy up, tuck things back into place and anchor anything that might cause a problem.

What they take out will NOT leave you “less than whole”. Do you still have your tonsils and appendix? would you consider the loss of either of them a problem about the “less than whole” issue?

I consider my hysterectmy the best thing that ever happened to me. Sex is a LOT more fun without the pain that I used to have.

thatDDperson, I was thinking about some of what you said while I was at work tonight. You see everything else that they could possibly take out is gone. Appendix, gall bladder, I’ve had my tubes tied and also no tonsils or adnoids. Yes, I still feel whole.
I am done reproducing for the most part. I had mulled over the idea of surregot parenting. I mean I have a full and wonderful family and would love to share myself by giving someone else that chance.
I really do know that I wouldn’t be less whole but isn’t that one of the things that makes me female. Of course the outside anatomy speaks for itself. :wink:
Mostly just random “oh crap” thoughts that have been rattling through my brain.
As for the sex issues, sex is painful right now anyway. Hopefully when they do what they are going to do with the ovary it will improve.
Thank you everybody for your insight and telling me about issues that you have delt with. It’s helping me put things into perspective.
I will find more out on Tuesday on what we are going to do next. I have already been through the birth control shots and big rounds of Ibuprophen. The shots didn’t help anything but put weight on and the Ib just killed my stomach.

Hope all goes well for you.

Well, on July 1st they are taking everything but the left ovary.

oh dear :frowning:

I’m sorry Kricket - I know it must be a little hard to come to grips with, even though you’ve been thinking about it - but with the left ovary intact, you’ll still get all your estrogeny goodness and such.

hugs I hope that it makes life (and sex) better for you to finally get this resolved.

You’ll be rid of the pain, and think of it this way: No more period! You’ll be fine, honey, and we’ll be thinking of you.

I know you are all right and I’m hoping this was just a passing moment of I don’t know what. I mean I’m not really depressed, I’m not really angry, I’m kind of relieved, and quite a bit scared.
Venoma and Ginger Have pointed out two very good points to this. Something to look forward to. No more hassles with my cycle, worries about what I can and can’t wear at what time of the month, and I’ll be saving money to boot! It can get to be an expensive habit you know.
Polycarp, thank you for reminding me what is important in life. Helping others when, where, and how you can.
I had always said that when my children were all in school I wanted to start fostering children.
And actually I have helped a few teens over the past 12 years since I have had my own home. There is a decent age difference between myself and my sister and I actually at 21 fostered two of her friends and was always there for the rest of them. And a few years back I had guardianship of a friends daughter, and this summer I am taking in another teen who’s home life isn’t so wonderful.
You know, I knew this was an option but it was still kind of shocking to actually hear the doctor say it and have it become a reality.

Even when you are expecting that a hysterectomy may be a possibility it is quite a different feeling to actually hear the words. In my opinion there is nothing in the world that can prepare you for the reaction you would have once hearing it out loud from a doctor. Don’t fret too much until your doctor concludes with all the tests.

I’d like to recommend a site that you may want to bookmark and check the alternatives section once your doctor has made their diagnosis. As with any message board, this will be one where you could get overwhelmed. There are good references to sites about specific conditions and also people who have been through what you have, and give you the facts combined with a good ol Hug.


oops :smack: screwed up my link. oh well. you get the idea.

I have Polycystic Ovarian Disease. It was very distressing to find out when I was first told, but since I was not in a relationship at the time, it wasn’t devastating. Then I fell in love with a wonderful man and he wanted to marry me and have a family. That is what I wanted as well…I have always wanted to have children. LOTS of children. My Doctor said that it was possible, but not probable, that I would be fertile. He said that we would most likely need to use fertility drugs in order to have children. My fiance didn’t feel that he wanted to go this route…and he didn’t want to adopt. I couldn’t allow him to marry me, given this situation.

Kricket darling…I know your life is not perfect. But…you have all these beautiful children, and I want you to know that no matter how bad things are sometimes, you have been given the best gift that God can give. You have everything you will ever need, because you have love.

You will never EVER be empty…you are complete in and of yourself. Don’t grieve for your soon to be removed parts…bless the fact that they allowed you to give birth to your children. You don’t need these parts any more…and when something isn’t needed, you are justified in just tossing it away. When you toss something away, you are freeing yourself from uneeded baggage.

It isn’t going to change YOU, not at ALL. Trust me. Things will probably only get better.

My Love,