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Ovary Pain After Menopause
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Ovary Pain After Menopause

I am 55 years old and in good health other than newly diagnosed high blood pressure (which is under control).  In the fall I had my annual pelvic and noted to my doctor that I had some very faint spotting.  He explained that any spotting or bleeding after menopause had to be checked and ordered an ultrasound.   I had the test and he said that he believed everything was okay but because i had so many fibroids I needed to have a D&C just to be safe.  He knew I was dealing with some dental issues and said I could wait to have the test until after the first of year.  As I was starting to look at dates for the D&C, I continue to have light spotting occassionally.   And when I say light... I mean really light.  Barely something one would notice but because I am post menopause it was something that sort of jumped out regardless of the minute amount.   In the meantime, I started having pain in my left ovary.  The same ovary where I had endometriosis.  I am now having the same type of symptoms I had when my endo was in full swing.  Ovary pain, back pain, bloated and gas.   Now that these symptoms have arisen along with the faint spotting I am very concerned.  I made a doctors appointment and will be on pins and needles.  I don't think he can calm the fear without tests but I guess I just want to know if there are benign conditions that can cause these symptoms.  Right now I'm convinced I have ovarian cancer.   If anyone has insight... it would be appreciated.
Thank you
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Avatar_f_tn
One possible benign condition would be an ovarian cyst.  I am also post-menopause and just had a benign softball sized cyst removed.  Silly me, after menopause I figured my need for routine pelvic exams decreased.  Wrong!  I could have had that cyst for as long as three years and thankfully it remained benign after all that neglect.  Since I didn't get annual exams, even the doctors can't say for sure how long I had it.
  
For those of us past menopause: doctors are much more concerned about cysts and will want to take a more proactive approach to remove them, especially if they are large.  If you do end up needing surgery, don't panic! There's a lot of us here that went through it that can get you through it.  Also don't worry about having both ovaries removed.  In fact, insist on it so that these problems won't come back to haunt you in the future.  I feel no different without them than I did with them.  That's the beauty of being past menopause.  It might be a return of the endo, also.  Fibroids are supposed to decrease after menopause and if they don't, that's another potential problem.  So far, all these possibilities are benign until proven otherwise.

Believe me, I asked my doctor a ton of questions and make sure you do, too.  Get your money's worth from that doctor's visit.

It will drive you mad to guess at a cause.  Leave it to your doctor to put your mind at ease.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so much for the response!  It was heartening to know that it's possible to have a benign condition.  I have been seeing the doctor annually, so I suppose that is helpful even if it's the worse case scenario.   I wish they'd be a little more pro-active in telling you to have the CA-125 blood test as a precaution.  I know I will be asking for it when I see him on Friday.  I plan to have a thorough discussion.   But again, I'm glad to hear that it's possible... everything that I have read that is spotting + ovaries seemed to really point in a scarey direction.   After reading everything, I have no problem with letting go of the ovaries... in fact, I pretty much feel like that is the route to be taken regardless of the outcome.   Thank you...again!!   It does help to think there is a possibility that it can be managed without it having to be a death sentence.  I'll post after my visit on Friday.
Denise
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Avatar_f_tn
CA-125 is one tool, but it's unreliable.  You can get false positives and false negatives.  My CA-125 result was 34.  Normal range is zero to 35.  The main reason I even got the test was because the doctor was desperately seeking a way to calm me down.  I was on the verge of hysteria.

My gyn/oncologist/surgeon said that since it was on the high side of normal, he went into surgery giving me an 85% to 90% chance of having benign conditions.  But he still did a full exploratory looking for cancer (none found!!) and follow up pathology confirmed no cancer.  That was one of the greatest pieces of news ever, but it could not be obtained until I took the big surgical plunge.  

I am the biggest coward I know and all I can say....my anxiety pre-op was far worse than anything I experienced post-op.  Get the anxiety under control because it's the worst thing we do to ourselves!  By all means, please let me know what you learn after you visit your doctor.  I'll be praying for you to get good news!
Marie
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Avatar_n_tn
Again... many, many thanks.   I am trying hard to control my fear.   I have a big vacation to the Mexican Riveria planned in two weeks and this was the last thing I wanted to be dealing with prior to my departure.  But on the other hand, maybe with the vacation coming up it'll help to keep my mind on more pleasnt things.  I am hoping my condition does not affect my plans.   You have been so helpful at providing some comfort.  I will take your advice about trying to keep the fear at bay.  Not much we can do...just trust God to be beside you no matter what, research the condition throughly, and trust that the doctor will make sure that every possible avenue is explored to assure the best outcome.   Boy... I almost sound like I can get through this one...:)   And thank you for the prayers... I can use all the help I can get.
Have a good day.  Back to you on Friday afternoon...
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi... well the doc visit went well... I was unusually calm.    I made a point of trying to stay that way because you made the point of it being worse than what you had to go through...and then with all of prayers (my boyfriend and his good friends... too kind) So you see, I think I didn't have a choice...calm was inevitable...;)  Needless to say my doctor did an exam and reviewed my ultrasound I had in the fall.  He said the ovary was not enlarged then nor is it now and that the last ultrasound showed normal.  So he said he thought that the pain was inflamation (inflammation) of some sort.  He still ordered the CA-125 as well as other blood tests and I had a urine analysis as well.   I guess for the moment I wait on those results.  He seemed confident that it wasn't my worst fear.  He did say the inflamation (inflammation) could be bowel.  So who knows.  Maybe I'll be going down a different road next.  But I will continue to post because thus far my experience has been a different outcome than I expected, and anything I can do to help others is what's important.  Your quick reaction to post was heartening.  I was pretty concerned and just knowing that your outcome was a positive one was helpful.   So we'll see.  I will get the results next week.  He told me to go on my vacation...drink lots of margaritas ...and when I come back we'll do the D&C like originally planned to address the spotting.  I will keep you updated... And again...thank you very much for the support!
Denise
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Avatar_n_tn
one more thing... i LOVE Nashville... I am a transplant in Atlanta (5 years).  I am from Chicago.  Believe it or not.. i write songs and have a friend I collaborate with there.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for checking back in with us!  I truly was thinking about you all day yesterday and did pray for you, too.  You may not have all the answers yet, but at least the doctor ruled out other possibilities and gave you the green light to go on vacation.  That's very positive news indeed.

Yes, Nashville is a great place!  My hubby is a retired musician, now working at something completely different.  It's funny how many people have some kind of musical involvement here.  We are transplants from the northeast and since marrying have moved to 10 different addresses in 4 different states in a 21 year period before finally settling here. I don't ever want to move again, but if I do, I think I'd want to move closer to the great hospital that just recently got me through the ovarian cyst ordeal in Nashville.

As for the bowel thing, do you eat yogurt at all?  I've cured myself and hubby of what we thought were serious intestinal disorders simply by putting us on the 2-week Activia yogurt regime.  It may not be the answer, but it's a remarkable way to keep the doctor away if it's something you can actually fix yourself.
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Avatar_n_tn
Interesting on the yogurt thing.   I, of course, am now pondering the doctors suggestion that it could be other various issues and never even thought about an intestinal issue being the problem.. I jumped right to my ovary... I guess I thought it was that type of pain but how would I really know for sure?  Anyway, after thinking about it a little more it did seem as though that very well could be a possible issue.  I did feel very gassy, back pain, and I was relieved when I had a bowel movement.  But truly never associated it with that... which is odd.  But I guess I just kept going back to how I felt with periods...and that was how it felt... but since I don't have a period that type of symptom surely could be an intestinal problem.   I thought I was free and clear and that when I went and had the colonoscopy... That was about a year and half ago and I just went and had it because I knew I needed to.   I know two people who've had colon cancer and knew that I couldn't let that one go by if it was just a simple test and one of the more curable problems.   Anyway, I hope you are feeling good and recovering well.   So wonderful that you have a passion for the hospital that got you through your ordeal.   Sometimes are situations bring us closer to the place where we're supposed to be.   Thank God for those people!    So what instrument does your husband play?  My ex-husband was a bass player.   Music has always been in my life.   Interesting that I'm so passionate about it but can't play.   But, like I said, I write.  And it's been a wonderful creative outlet.  My profession is a facilities manager for a building developer.  What do you do..?  And when do you expect to be able to go back to work?
Have a good Sunday.  We hit church today.  Awesome message.   It's interesting how it seems like the Lord is knocking on your door (or maybe it's my head!).  Thank God for God!!
Pleawse write when you can.
Denise
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm a big believer in situations bringing to to places and/or to people that are going to be instrumental in helping you or visa versa.  We always felt that we were guided to move to the Nashville area (or should I say moving BACK to Nashville in my husband's case) even though moving here had nothing to do with music.  My husband also used to be a bass player, but has nerve damage in some fingers that now make playing impossible.  I used to write lyrics back in our musical days, but I'm useless in writing melodies.  Words/writing are my gift and I used to think I'd be a writer (i.e. novels) someday...then got too busy with work.  I work in a TV/video production in Nashville and I miss it.  Many of the productions are music related, but not always.  Sitting home waiting to heal is a rare treat for me (especially in winter since it's my least favorite season) but it's making me stir crazy.  I haven't driven a car in nearly a month and it's going to feel weird when I get out there again.  My religious beliefs are what got me through the surgery.  I had so many people praying for me, I just knew I was going to be OK.  I wouldn't have felt that way otherwise.  If you'd like to chat more offline from this board, please email me at nashvilletvperson [at] yahoo.com   I don't want to give more details about hubby's musical past here or my TV job.  

I am healing well, thanks for asking, but still a little tender by the incision.  I had an absolutely excellent gyn/oncologist who performed the surgery -- the gyn that referred me to him sent her own mother to him, so I knew already that I was going to a doctor's doctor.  Everyone in the hospital (before and after surgery) were raving about what a great doctor I had.  I'm very grateful I had such an admired doctor taking care of me, especially since I had only just met him 3 days before the day of surgery!  It was a nerve-wracking whirlwind between the time I was told I had a huge cyst that needed to be OUT and the day it was removed....and I didn't know about this forum until after the fact.  I might have been calmer if I had made this discovery sooner.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi... again.  Would love to chat more so I'll write you at your email address.   I too have deep spiritual conviction.   I, like you, have been amazed by how things can actually turn out based on relationship, and know exactly where that guidance comes from...:)

It was good to hear you are recovering well.   I will look forward to communicating further.

Denise

P.S.  Symptoms are back today...not too thrilled.   I'm about to see what other types things could cause the symptoms.   I"m waiting on the blood tests, so there is a good possiblity I'll be able to derive a diagnois.   Although I prefer they come back perfectly normal ....:)
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Avatar_m_tn
Any updates? I have had similar symptoms..I realize this post is 3 yrs old..but plz reply if you can.
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