PCOS/Insulin Resistance Support Support for us with any of the following: Insulin Resistance, Syndrome X, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or other endocrine disorders.

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Old 08-29-2011, 05:25 PM   #1  
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Default What does a cyst feel like?

When my PCOS was diagnosed and they did an ultrasound, it looked like I was one of the types that did not present with actual cysts. That was 10 years ago, and I've never had any abdominal pain or anything to lead me to believe that I was growing cysts (doesn't necessarily mean I wasn't, but it was just never a problem).

My doc put me on a new BC pill with lower estrogen (Aviane) for three months to see if it would do anything for my slightly high blood pressure. I saw her a week ago, near the end of the 3 months, and we determined it didn't really have an effect on my BP (after logging it regularly before and during the Aviane trial), so I am changing to Sprintec, which has a higher (typical) dose of estrogen.

However, the last 2 weeks or so (i.e. last 2 weeks of the third cycle on the lower-dose estrogen BC), I started having dull, achey, consistent pain in my lower right abdomen. At first I was freaking out and thought I had apendicitis or a hernia or something, but then I realized duh I've got PCOS it's probably a cyst. I've put a call into my doc, but I'm just curious to know what others have experienced when it turns out they've got a big honkin' cyst down there. Is it painful? Does it feel like you've got a "fullness" on one side? Or is it something else entirely? (Do you even feel your cysts?)

I know this is not the place for medical advice, but it's a great place for pseudo-medical advice taken with a grain of salt to preface a legitimate chat with a legitimate doctor. Thanks!
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:29 PM   #2  
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Could be a cyst. Sounds similar to what I've experienced but I feel obligated to ask... are you constipated? Because that can certainly cause the same feeling too.

BTW, sometime the discomfort/pain associated with a cyst doesn't necessarily relate to size. I think I'm a relative sensitive person so I've felt pretty small cysts and even when I'm ovulating I feel it too. Other people don't seem to be the same.
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:37 PM   #3  
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Haha, I didn't think to mention that...but no, I'm as regular as clockwork.

So, what do you do with cysts? I've heard that sometimes they just reabsporb...and docs really only do anything (surgery??) if they are like ten pounds.

I'm hoping that the culprit was the lower dose of estrogen and that once I go up to the regular dose on Sprintec it will somehow balance everything out and the (potential) cyst will go away. Wishful thinking???
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:49 PM   #4  
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Typically they put you on BCP right away and wait and see. I've had cysts that go down on their own and everything is back to normal. I have also had a cyst that turned into a tumor and the entire ovary had to be removed. BUT I've been reassured by many medical professionals that that is very rare and unlikely to happen again. So far it's been 4 years and no more tumors!

Personally, I'd get it checked out just to be sure but BCP will most likely fix it. I had tend to cut down on caffeine/alcohol during that time because they tend to make them more uncomfortable.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:58 PM   #5  
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Hooray for no more tumors!! Thanks for sharing your story.

I have to ***** about the stupid health care situation I'm in. I am home from school (out of state) and my gyn (whom i like very much) is at the student health center, and I have crappy student insurance. I called up her medical assistant to see if the doc would call me back so I could explain this situation. The MA called me back, but she hardly let me talk or tell her all the details, talking to me like I was an idiot (she is this pushy old nurse lady who's rubbed me the wrong way before in person)...I got so frustrated I just asked her to have the doctor call me back. But I think the MA thought I was in severe pain and told me I must go to the emergency room right away. My doc just left me a message saying, "you could have a twisted ovary or something that would not cause a fever, I think you should see someone." I guess I should go see someone, but this seriously feels nothing worse than (not even as bad as) mild menstrual cramps...it's just that it's on one side and has been lasting a couple weeks (and I don't normally get menstrual cramps). Ugh!! I guess I did just want to hear that everything was ok and i didn't have to go to the hassle of finding a provider in another state that would take my crappy insurance just to tell me that there's nothing to do for this situation anyway...blaraghghgh
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:18 AM   #6  
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While I haven't had a cyst that I could "feel," back before I'd ever even HEARD of PCOS, I would get cysts that would rupture on their own.

Generally, it would happen if I exercised very heavily (i.e. walking 4 miles in one day when I usually only walked 2, etc.). When they ruptured it would just be a clear/bloody (if that makes sense) fluid that would gush out. Sometimes just a little, like a panty liner would absorb it, and sometimes more, like it would get my underwear & jeans wet.

After that had happened a couple of times, I went to the county health dept (no insurance at the time) and an APN told me I had a "strawberry mark" on my ovary (ruptured cyst, duh!) and not to worry about it.

When it continued to happen, maybe the 3rd or 4th time, I went back to the same APN, who treated me totally differently (she was kind of rude) and suggested I had an STD. Well I knew that couldn't be the case (impossible to say the least but still had all the bloodwork, etc. done.

Luckily, around that time, two things happened--1. I stumbled upon 3FC (back in 2002!) and 2. insurance kicked in at my job. I went to an OB/Gyn, who was FACOG certified and talked to her about the symptoms I'd been having, along with the facial "fuzz" and numerous skin tags I'd had removed over the years (they just keep coming back!). She told me that I probably did have PCOS, although there was no way to determine it for sure, and that the "strawberry mark" and fluid were probably very small cysts rupturing--not to be worried about it & it was something I may have to live with.

Hasn't happened to me since then, thank the Lord, because even though I knew what it was, it was still kind of weird to have that fluid just "showing up!"

Anyway, you didn't ask for a book, but I wrote you one That's my cyst experience! I'm on a low carb diet now, with a regular exercise routine--well, as regular as it can get with a 3 1/2 year old and an almost-2-year old--and I'm finally losing weight and feel better!
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:24 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoozlebug View Post
Hooray for no more tumors!! Thanks for sharing your story.

I have to ***** about the stupid health care situation I'm in. I am home from school (out of state) and my gyn (whom i like very much) is at the student health center, and I have crappy student insurance. I called up her medical assistant to see if the doc would call me back so I could explain this situation. The MA called me back, but she hardly let me talk or tell her all the details, talking to me like I was an idiot (she is this pushy old nurse lady who's rubbed me the wrong way before in person)...I got so frustrated I just asked her to have the doctor call me back. But I think the MA thought I was in severe pain and told me I must go to the emergency room right away. My doc just left me a message saying, "you could have a twisted ovary or something that would not cause a fever, I think you should see someone." I guess I should go see someone, but this seriously feels nothing worse than (not even as bad as) mild menstrual cramps...it's just that it's on one side and has been lasting a couple weeks (and I don't normally get menstrual cramps). Ugh!! I guess I did just want to hear that everything was ok and i didn't have to go to the hassle of finding a provider in another state that would take my crappy insurance just to tell me that there's nothing to do for this situation anyway...blaraghghgh
I'm sorry you're in a situation with crappy insurance. That really stinks. Could you call around to the local doctors and see if there is anywhere that could at least do an ultrasound/put you on BCP for cheap?

When do you go back to school? If it's only in a couple of weeks I'd probably just hang tight until then but if it's not for months then I'd really go in and see someone.
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:24 AM   #8  
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Originally Posted by runningfromfat View Post
I'm sorry you're in a situation with crappy insurance. That really stinks. Could you call around to the local doctors and see if there is anywhere that could at least do an ultrasound/put you on BCP for cheap?

When do you go back to school? If it's only in a couple of weeks I'd probably just hang tight until then but if it's not for months then I'd really go in and see someone.
Just an update! -- found a doc in my area who ended up being really terrific (and when I want to get pregnant I am totally seeing her!!!!) She did an ultrasound (first time with a trans-vag sonogram...whoa) and confirmed what my suspicions were, that I have a few tiny (3-4mm?) cysts on each ovary, but apparently this can be normal even in non-PCOSers. She said she saw a slightly larger one on the R ovary (1cm), the one that was giving me pain, and that it's possible it had been bigger and started to reabsorb.

So yes basically what I was feeling WAS a cyst!! Pretty relieved. And lately since I started the "normal" birth control (regular levels of estrogen) even just a few days ago, I'm noticing it less.

4myself thanks for sharing your story!! Sorry it had to be so dramatic. It's actually great to hear perspectives because if I ever do have a cyst rupture I know what it might feel like and I will try not to freak out so much.

At least now I know I should never listen to a doctor if they suggest a BC pill with lower estrogen, since it's probably going to make me grow cysts.

Now back to that whole weight loss thing so I can get off meds eventually...blehhhh
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