Saturday, March 19, 2011

My experience with an ovarian cyst

I went to the doctor Thursday for my ovarian cyst, and I have surgery scheduled for next month.

Manyy women get ovarian cysts, and most of them don't know it or have minimal signs. But sometimes, like in my case, they cause intense pain. It has been about an 8 month journey into discovering mine:

I began taking the pill in June. In August my cramps got really bad- to the point where I was rolling in bed crying, squeezing Chris' hand every few minutes. I had always had bad cramps, but never this clenching feeling that came and went.
Over the next few months, I occasionally experienced this stabbing pain in my lower stomach that would hit suddenly and make me double over, but would be gone in a matter of seconds. Once it woke me up in the morning, and for the next few minutes it felt like someone was putting a knife in my stomach every time I tried to sit up. Chris asked me to go to the doctor, but I always said 'next time it happens I will.'
In December, my husband and I had tickets to go back home for Christmas. The night before our flight, I had a constant ache in my lower right stomach that lasted the whole night. Chris decided it was time that I go to the hospital, and we went at 3:30 that morning. The doctors thought that it could either be appendicitis or gas (come on, really) and decided to do an ultrasound. After about 45 minutes, the tech was done taking pictures and went to show the head doctor. A few minutes later, he came back in and said the doctor wanted a few MORE pictures, and then told me the doctor would be in to tell me what he found. The doctor tells me they found a cyst on the OPPOSITE side of the pain, and the cause of the pain on the right side was blood leaking out. After giving me pain meds, they send me home and tell me to come back in 2 cycles. (And we made our flight!)
During those two months, the pain got worse. The 'crampy' feeling starts about 5 days before my period and lasts about 5 days after. Not to mention how intense my cramps are.. I have to be drugged up for almost a week. I had a sharp pain when I lied on my left side, like something heavy was pushing down and pinching my other ovary. I went to the doctor and had to wait for a referral from tricare.. One more unbearable cycle... A few days after I get scheduled for an appointment, I get the stabbing pain that I haven't felt in a while, but this time it lasted almost two hours.
After a month of waiting, I went to my appointment. They did an ultrasound, found that the cyst was still about 8cm, without any fluid leaking. The doctor showed me everything on the screen as she was doing the ultrasound, and it was pretty surprising.. My cyst is as big as my bladder. I can barely see my right ovary because it is so small, but I can't see my left ovary at all because my cyst, which is about 4 times the size of it, blocks the whole thing.
After consulting with the staff doctor, they decided that surgery would be the best option. I don't HAVE to choose surgery, but if I have to take vicodin for the pain then I shouldn't wait any longer. Plus, if the cyst burts on its own, I will have really intense pain for a long time while all the fluid flushes out, and theres nothing they can do about it. I'm nervous, but the surgery is laproscopic, and after a month I will be my normal self (and be able to run and work out again!). After the exam Thursday, it hurts to walk or sit up. That just reminds me that things are getting worse and that surgery is the best option.
I know that was pretty lengthy, but believe me, I left out some not so pleasant details for your sake. Who knows, maybe one of you have had a similar experience?


  1. hello ashley. Thank you for being a follower! :) I am your newest one as well! :)

  2. I hope the surgery goes smoothly for you and you are able to feel better soon!
    I have been struggling with similar symptoms and excruciating pain {and I have a HIGH pain tolerance} but I hate going to doctors. I keep telling myself next time I will. I need to be strong like you and just go and get it checked out!

  3. I am thinking about you, Ashley! You are such a strong person.

  4. McDancer- I hate going to the doctors also, which is why I waited so long!

    Thanks Molly : )