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Women Talk About Ovarian Cysts

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Updated July 17, 2009

Ovarian cysts occur more often than you may realize, often dissolving without the need for medical intervention and without symptoms. When symptoms do occur you may feel a dull ache or a sense of fullness or pressure in your abdomen; ovarian cysts are just one condition that may cause pain during sexual intercourse.

The formation of cyst-like structures is normal during your monthly menstrual cycle when a follicle forms inside the ovary. During ovulation the mature follicle ruptures and releases an egg; however, if this process does not complete itself appropriately the most common type of ovarian cyst is formed--functional ovarian cysts. Other types of ovarian cysts include dermoid cysts, cystadenoma cysts, endometrioma cysts, and polycystic ovarian syndrome which results in multiple cysts on the ovaries.

Ovarian cysts can be a frustrating experience whether your doctor takes a "wait and see" approach, prescribes oral contraceptives or other hormones, or concludes that surgery is the answer. How do you cope with the symptoms and treatments of ovarian cysts? Join one of these forum discussions or start one of your own and find the support you need to help you deal with ovarian cysts:

I Want Another Baby!


"I recently went to my doctor and had a pelvic and pap smear done because of a constant pain in my left side and really painful periods. He also scheduled me for an ultrasound, ...well I get a call back saying that my pelvic and pap were negative, but the ultrasound detected that I have a large cyst on my left ovary. My question is aren't the pap smears suppose to detect ovarian cysts? Because mine came back negative. Also is it a good idea to be put on birth control to shrink this or should I just get it removed? I am 27 and still want one more child; I have a seven-year-old son now :) Somebody help! Give me some advice if you have gone through this! I am really scared!" KRYSTYNA2

Could It Be Cancer?

"I just found out that I have a small ovarian cyst near my right ovary. Needless to say, I am scared. My doctor's suggestion was to wait and see if the problem corrects itself. I am willing to do that in order to avoid any type of surgery. But I am certainly worried about cancer. My question is, could this have been brought on by my sexual positions? I have always had sharp pains on the right side and only the right side of my pelvis when I am ovulating. But this time it was scary because I was doubled over in pain for about twenty minutes. I am fairly young, (24 years old), athletically built and have had no prior problems. There are no cases of cancer in my family." AMF360

What Is This Pain?

"I had my period about 2 weeks ago; I have been diagnosed with ovarian cysts and have ultrasound 3-month follow-up on Tuesday. My question is, I have read about ovulation pain, and it says pain on one side; my pain is on both sides (both ovaries) and it's really sharp stabbing pain, usually about 1 day. Does this have to do with my cyst, or is it ovulation even though it's only on one side? It hurts so badly I can hardly move. It hurts worse when I go to the bathroom (either way) and sometimes I don't want to do #2 because it hurts too badly. Any help would be appreciated." JDCHAMBERS

Are They Really Ovarian Cysts?

"I had a tubal ligation (laparoscopic) Dec. 20. Afterwards, the doctor told me he saw, through the scope, 'fairly large' cysts on each ovary. He was reluctant to remove them there because they may be too large to do laparoscopically, and it could have required a difficult emergency transport to the hospital, so he left them there. He indicated that because functional cysts on both ovaries that large are not that common, they are probably endometriomas or dermoid cysts, and that an ultrasound is the next step. He has told me to take it very easy in the meantime -- no active sports and no intercourse -- so as to minimize the chance of them twisting or rupturing. But the ultrasound is not scheduled for another couple weeks (it will have been almost four weeks since they were first discovered). I have had no discernible pain; two years ago I had a cyst and small fibroid found on an ultrasound (cyst must have been functional and dissolved, as the pain went away). I'm 42 and don't plan on having children. My questions: Can a doctor tell for sure by looking at these through the scope that they are not more serious (i.e., cancerous)? If these are bad enough to restrict my physical activity, how come I'm having to wait so long for an evaluation and probable surgery? Should I be seeking quicker evaluation/treatment, or is this timetable typical? I would like to have these taken care of and get on with my life!" NANCY12659

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