10:09 pm - 07/23/2011

Complex Ovarian Cyst - 6 cm/2 inches.

Hey VPers.

I'm kind of worried right now.

I went to the ER today because of pain I was having on my left side that radiated down my entire left leg.

I already knew I had a cyst there, but didn't know it was as huge as it had gotten. The last time I had it looked at (which was around 6 months ago or so), I remember my gyno saying it was small. But now it's 6 cm and that is actually pretty big for a cyst, right?

I'm also worried because it's complex, so it's part fluid and part solid. I am not sure what to think about this. I'm scared - does that mean it could be cancerous? I've looked around on the internet, but all it has done is scared me that this is not something to mess around with.

I plan on calling my gyno on Monday. I wish this hadn't happened on a weekend.

Have any of you out there had complex cysts and did you HAVE to have surgery to get it taken out? Can birth control be a treatment for complex cysts or is only simple cysts okay to treat with birth control? And besides birth control and surgery, is there anything else to shrink them and get rid of them?

PS - I'm not on birth control.
I'm 27.

Would like to hear from anyone, but for sure want to hear from those of you who have had complex ovarian cysts. Anyone have any as big as mine has gotten? :-\

Any reassurance?

storychick 24th-Jul-2011 02:44 am (UTC)
I had one a few years ago, it was hemmorrhagic and complex and sized about the same as yours (they said my ovary was bigger than my uterus at that point, and had pushed over to the other side. No wonder it hurt!). They advocated watchful waiting and I had a repeat ultrasound after my next period, by which time it had gone. I suspect it burst about a week after I got diagnosed, when I had sex even though they said I shouldn't (oops), and was horribly nauseated and in pain afterwards for a few hours and then had some spotting for a few days. I felt much better after that.

I can't take hormonal BC so we just crossed fingers that it wouldn't recur, and it hasn't since (this was... 2/06?).
disturbedme 24th-Jul-2011 02:49 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, I've had this for longer than 6 months... maybe even a year or more (can't really be sure how long I've had it). And having my period each and every month regularly has not shrunk it or made it disappear at all, though I wish it would.

Can I ask why you can't take hormonal BC?

Also, since yours was complex, how did the doctor know it wasn't cancerous? I have read that most cysts aren't cancerous, but some can be. Can a doctor look at a cyst and be pretty sure of it being non cancerous or cancerous?
storychick 24th-Jul-2011 03:15 am (UTC)
My CA-125 came back normal, and it went away with my period, I guess.

I am guessing that if it has grown for 6 months they will want to do laproscopic (I can never spell that right) surgery to remove it and make sure that its benign. I am surprised they let you go 6 months without a follow-up? My doc was very intent on getting me in after my period and would have done surgery at that point if it hadn't gone away on its own.

I can't take hormonal BC because I have migraine with aura (no estrogen) and the progesterone in Mirena (supposed to be localized) gave me migraines.

Good luck.
creativexangst 24th-Jul-2011 05:17 am (UTC)
My mother had a cyst the size of a cantaloupe on her left ovary that was removed via surgery on the 3rd day of her honeymoon with my dad. She was in excruciating pain before it was removed but within a week felt great. When she finally decided to get pregnant, it took longer then it might've normally, but it still happened without the need of doctors interference.

Anyway, Ive had cysts, but none quite as large as yours, but my mother had one 3 times larger and yes, it had to be removed by surgery, but it was really pretty easily done (and this was in '83! Imagine how much better we are now!) and she recovered and was able to have kids (if thats what you'd like to do one day).

Good luck to you, Im sure your doctor will review all options with you and help you find whatever will keep you healthiest :)
io2012 24th-Jul-2011 02:14 pm (UTC)
I had a complex cyst - does not always mean they are cancerous. I believe the stat is something like 1% of complex ovarian cysts are malignant.

Mine was 4cm across, so a bit smaller. True, usually over 5cm they do not go away on their own very well, so surgery may be an option. Fortunately the surgery is very non-invasive. They are able to do a laproscopic port surgery, introducing instruments through a few small holes near your belly button and your bikini line. Usually you are back on your feet within a day or two!

With respect to hormonal birth control - it is a MYTH that HBC will "shrink" cysts. What HBC does is prevent you from ovulating. Most cysts start at ovulation, and just grow because they never fully deflate/reabsorb. In other words, at best HBC will prevent you from forming a NEW cyst, but will do nothing to shrink your existing cyst.

If your cyst is causing you daily pain and has been there for over 6 months, I would think about talking to your GYN about having it out, then starting HBC to prevent a new one from forming. Unless you have another health condition that makes surgery risky, it would be a couple of days of discomfort (which you deal with daily already!) to have the peace of mind that it is out of your body and non-cancerous (they will test it when it is removed).

My cyst lasted 2 months, then went away. However, it caused scarring/adhesions so I will be going in to have surgery anyway!
sandi1743 24th-Jul-2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
cyst have three measurements "x*y*z" and you need all three of of those numbers.
i have had a 8x10x6 cm cyst (it was a "chocolate cyst") that was shrunk down with HBC before it burst. i did not want to have it removed as it was in the middle of the ovary and there was a high risk that the whole ovary would have to be removed. talk to your medic on Monday and step away from Dr. google - it is a freaky thing!
disturbedme 24th-Jul-2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
Is a chocolate cyst considered a complex cyst?

I don't know all the measurements. Unfortunately, all they told me at the ER was that it was 6cm... so I am assuming that is the largest of the 3 measurements.

I was wondering if HBC would shrink it since someone else above said that HBC does not shrink cysts. Maybe it depends on the type?

Yes, I will be calling my doctor tomorrow. And hopefully seeing them this week sometime. I've been having this pain off and on for quite some time, and always wondered what it was and why I'd have cramp-type pain when I wasn't having my period. I shouldn't have ignored it. :-\ Because now I'm having the pain almost daily from it.
sandi1743 24th-Jul-2011 11:19 pm (UTC)
HBC does shrink cysts, but not all the time. IMHO/E it is a very reasonable thing to consider before under going major surgery. the reason why it does work is that it over takes the ovaries job of producing hormones and allow your body to reabsorb the cyst and the materials in the cyst.
Chocolate cysts are a type of complex cyst as they contain blood (endometrium, they most often found in women with endo) fluid and various other cells.
the 6 cm is most likely the largest of the three measurements.
beach_justice 25th-Jul-2011 05:59 am (UTC)
I had a 4cm cyst on my left ovary when I was off birth control and then after a maybe 4-5 months it went away after I got back on BC. I don't quite remember what it is about BC but it was recommended by my doctor to make sure the cyst didn't get any bigger.
(i had really negative side effects to a birth control i was on and stopped it immediately before being seen and switching to another one. in between I found out about the cyst)
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