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Severe sudden pain - large ovarian cyst
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Severe sudden pain - large ovarian cyst

Hi, I posted yesterday as I have what they call a large abdominal mass of 26cm x 15cm. The initial thoughts of the doctor is that this is an unusually large cyst as my CA-125 level was only 8 (and not 38 as the receptionist originally told me!)  The trouble is I'm now panicking because my abdomen is increasing in size, is very firm to the touch even though Im very slim and losing weight and last night I was suddenly doubled over with severe pain on the lower right side of my abdomen. I also have a constant dull ache in my lower and upper back. Should I be concerned and visit the doctor.  I do have a follow up appointment with the Gynaecologist on Tuesday but wondering what the h*ll this thing is growing inside me is driving me insane and I'm so worried with the size of it that it will burst. Any and all advice is welcomed, please let me know Im not abnormal in having a cyst this size.
Anne-Marie
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The pain, pressure, sense of fullness, and discomfort in the abdomen and the lower back is due to the fact that this cyst is taking up space in your abdomen.  So, everything in there is getting pushed together and against each other, and yes, it hurts.  A sudden, intense pain could be from the cyst leaking, or from the pressure against your intestines as food products pass through.

Also, I don't know where  you live or which measurement system is most familiar to you...but... in case you are more familiar with a system using inches,  you should consider that your mass is only in the range of 10 inches by 6 inches.  I have heard and read of larger cysts and tumors than that.  So, yes it is uncommon but not totally unheard of in the medical world.

Last but not least, I do not recall your other posts, other than that I do recall posting an answer to you myself,  and I do not recall what information we discussed.  So, in the case that I did not mention this previously, I should add this -  when I was going through my own cyst saga in 2004, I was told by a nurse that the very rapidly growing cysts are more likely to be the benign types like endometriomas and dermoids, that tend to grow very quickly.  

If you have an appointment on Tuesday, then you should be able to get more information then.
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I would like to share with you my story.  I'm 28 years old without any pregnanies and no longer use hormonal birth control due to intolerable side effects - (got a coppr IUD in 2003) which has prolonged my menstruation cycle to about 9 days monthly, with no additional problems.  This info useful below... I have a long-standing muscular back injury which becomes aggrevated about twice yearly for the slightest silly "tweek" and lays me up for a few days.  I have never correlated it to my menstrual cycle although when I was a teenager my back would be very sore during menses.  However, it was a different type of pain.  

In July 2005 I re-injured my lower back doing a moderate abdomnial workout and used Ibuprofen, ice and heat for a week.  The following week I went into my gyn for a routine follow up pap because the one in the previous 6 months was ASCUS (abnomal with no indications of cancer).  I have had every other pap or so abnormal since my very first one when I was 20.  No confirmed STD history. No apparent reason for the ASCUS results.  

Keeping in mind that a pap does not test anything regarding the ovaries, the follow-up pap was normal.  However, during the manual exam my gyn palpated an adnexal mass which was non-tender and fixed.  I was sent immediately for a trans-vaginal Ultrasound which revealed a baseball sized mass on my left ovary.  I was scheduled for abdominal surgery 5 days later and the mass had grown to the size of a large grapefruit by the time of removal.  There is no indication how long the mass had been there or if it had had occurred before and pontaeously resolved as they often do. It was a benign serous cystadenoma.  This is an overgrowth of the epithelial ("skin") tissue on the outer coating the ovary, filled with serous (liquid plasma type fluid).  My CA-125 was negative, all pathology and peritoneal (abdominal cavity) fluids were negative for cancer.  Praise God!

Since the surgery 5 months ago now, my abs have been understandably pretty flaccid and for 2 months I have sincerely been working hard at getting back into decent shape in general. I have been concerned and disappointed that I've gained 6 pounds since starting working out.  Just yesterday, like clockwork (every 6 months or so) I threw out my back bending over to pick up a (not heavy) shoe.  I am suspicious that the back pain and weight gain relate to another cyst. Being in the medical field, I do tend to get worked up when I do all kinds of research.  I have not found sound medical correlation to back pain and ovarian cysts.  

Any thoughts are appreciated.
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While getting wrapped up in my own story, I forgot about your specific concern.  

If you experience sudden sharp prolonged abdominal pain that doubles you over, causes a rapid heart rate, clammy skin, shortness of breath and/or dizziness you should go to the emergency room.  A large mass can twist and cause your ovary to lose blood supply. It can also burst which probably would not cause the above symptoms. It should be monitored closely for growth.  Apparently, some doctors elect to wait and watch. You are always entitled to a second opinion.
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Thanks everyone for your replies ....
I know I'm getting paranoid about this whole thing but thats probably more to do with my history too ...
I had a hysterectomy 8 years ago due to cervical cancer but as I was only 32 at the time they decided (in their wisdom????) to leave my ovaries which were apparently unaffected and healthy so I didnt go into an early menopause. I got the all clear quite a few years ago but then started noticing a swelling in my lower abdomen around 9 months ago. I put it down to overeating a little so started myself on a diet and exercise regime. The swelling did not go down, in fact it seemed to get bigger but STILL i ignored it (in hindsight I know that was stupid)  We have recently emigrated from the UK to Canada (Aug 05) so I didnt see my family for a while and I forgot all about my stomach with the excitement of our new life in Canada until family came to visit at Christmas and they were stunned by the size of my abdomen as I'm naturally quite slim and toned.  I'm 5'6" and usually weigh in at around 140 but have gradually gone down to around 120, my arms, legs etc are skin and bone but my abdomen has the definite 'pregnant' look.  It is now so high up that it almost feels like I'm about to give birth, my abdomen is firm to the touch and is making me miserable and very uncomfortable.  I can eat very little (I suppose everything is pretty cramped in there)and when I do I get hearburn. I vary from bouts of diarhoea to constipation and my bladder feels full all the time.  Are all these symptoms usual of an ovarian cyst?   Do cysts usually grow this big (26cm x 15cm) Is it likely to burst ?? My CA-125 level was 8 which was a relief but I really dont know what to think and I must admit to being very frightened at what's going on inside. I've scoured the internet for info (as everyone seems to have done)and from reading postings on this forum I'm inspired and encouraged to know there are other women who find themselves with similar or much worse conditions than mine. My husband and daughter are obviously worried and dont like to see me so uncomfortable. Is it likely this thing will burst ?  Will I have to wait a long time for surgery to have it removed ?  My husband has just said he would like 'the alien' when its removed so he can blow it up! I just want it out, the sooner the better.  Sorry to ramble but I feel better just getting my thoughts and feelings out.
Thanks for the postings, they are encouraging ..... Anne-Marie
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The questions posted above relate to liver and/or gallbladder involvement which can cause abdominal fluid collection and "congestion".  In complicated cases it can be related to the stuff going on in your ovaries.  Although, it really is not likely.
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Anne-marie, Have you mentioned the diarrhea and urinary frequency to your gyn? Is your urination difficult or painful, or dark in color? Do you have any right upper abdominal pain?  Ever had a history of hepatitis, liver disease?  Have you noticed changes in the color of your skin, nails and whites of your eyes?  Has the doc mentioned "ascites" to you?  Have they tested your blood for a complete metabolic panel or an AST/ALT? I don't mean to sound be alarming.  How was your cyst diagnosed?  And, how long ago?
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Hello Annemarie

This sounds very similar to what I go through monthy. It happens around the time I ovulate.  I'm a very slender gal and I swell up so large, it scares my hubby - I look pregnant. We actually measured it, I increase 3+ inches.  It is scary!  Along with the pain. I think I'm dying every month!  I tell everyone it's a awful pain that feels like a ton of bricks on my right side only.  Within days, I'm normal.  I've gone to several dr.s who say it's cysts. Sent me for an ultrasound and within days it's dissolved....only to happen again a month later...ergh.  I've been suffering from this for years...just had a laparoscopy which came back "normal".  Now we've hit a brick wall and wondering if they're something else...okay, okay, I'm rambling.  Yes, large cysts are serious!  They can do damage.  Your pain may go away within days (mines usually 4 days) or consider going to the ER or getting in the dr. sooner...good luck!  

Oh, the dr.s have said to take ibuprofen...what a joke!  ALEVE has worked much better.

I don't know if this is similar to what your are experiencing.  

Becca
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Yes, I agree with your husband that you should go to the hospital even though to you, it does not seem like an emergency.  Make sure you are drinking fluids.  You could easily become dehydrated, further complicating your condition.  You are certainly not wasting the time of any healthcare professionals.  As I mentioned before, the larger the mass, the higher the chance of it twisting and cutting of it's own circulation or the circulation of your ovary and fallopian tube.  The pain you are having in your side and back could be what is called referred pain. You should go now!
-Amery (pronounced similar to AnneMarie)
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Hi Nurse and everyone else who has replied ....
I've woken up today with a pain in my back, left hand side around the kidney area. I've also got diarhoea (again!) and no appetite so my husband is nagging me to go the the Hospital. I know he's only worried and concerned but I cant see the point in bothering them as I dont think they will actually do anything if i do go, they'll just tell me to wait for my appointment on Tuesday with the Gyn.
To answer a few of your questions .... No I've no history of liver problems nor have i noticed any colour change in the whites of my eyes, my skin or nails. There's also no history of Hepatitis. I've had lots of blood taken over the last week but the only result I've heard about is the CA-125.  The diahorrea has been worse over the last couple of days although I feel constipated (wierd or what ???) I havent noticed that my urine is darker but then then to be honest I've not really looked and even if it is that's probably due to the dye they injected into me on Thursday for the cat scan.   Should I listen to my husband and go to the hospital or am I just wasting my time and their time ??  I'm supposed to start a new job tomorrow too but I feel so tired and completely washed out I'm not sure how I'll be able to appear normal and healthy!
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Anne-Marie;
How are you feeling?  I hope you rpain is more controlled now.  Are you going to start that job today? Either way, I hope you have a much better day today than yesterday.  Take care...
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Hi Amery

Yes I went to the hospital last night and was there for nearly 7 hours!  I was apparently dehydrated (diahorrea??) so they put an IV in and gave me some pain relief.  My blood tests were fine so the 'alien' wasnt leaking but the Gyn on call said this thing needs to come out sooner rather than later as its pressing on my bladder, bowels and making me uncomfortable and nauseous.  I see my own Gyn tomorrow so I'm going to push him for a date even though the thought of surgery scares me, at least I'll be on the road to recovery and I'll have my body back (dont like sharing it with 'masses')
I also started my new job today, the pain relief is working so work was OK, I'm sat at a pc most of the day anyway.
Will post tomorrow and let you all know if I get a date.
Thanks for the posting ... Anne-Marie
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So sorry you had to wait so long at the ER!!!  I bet you felt better after the drip was infused.  See, you needed pain meds too and it was not a wasted trip. You got theough the night and day.  Praise the good Lord!  Keep up with the fluids, jello, sports drink (for electrolyte replacement).  Glad you are doing better.
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Glad to see you got to the er and everything should move a little faster now.  You should be feeling better too.  God Speed and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
~Tascha
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Right back at ya, girl!
~Tascha
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Thank you Tascha :-)
You dont know how much it means to me being able to get my thoughts and feelings out to women like yourself who know exactly how I feel. My husband is very supportive but doesnt truly understand the feelings that go with something like this, I'm so glad I found this forum because all the scary statistics I found scouring the internet for information was starting to really freak me out so it was good to find you all, in fact I'm now addicted to this site just to keep up to date with how everyone is coping both pre and post surgery.
A little over a week now and I'll hopefully be on the road to recovery myself, it cant come soon enough now.

Take good care of yourself and I'm sending you a big hug :-)

Anne-Marie
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HI there! I'm so excited that I found you ladies. My name is Karlie from WV! I'm 31...will be 32 in 10 days! :) I've been having serious back problems too. I even went to physical therapy recently. At one point I couldn't even get out of bed or tie my own shoes. It was the worst pain I've ever experienced. I thought I kept pulling a muscle but I realized this week that it seems to happen just prior to and during my mentral cycle. I also have gall bladder issues, gas, bloating and diarrhea often. A few years ago I gained 20 lbs in 3 months and since then have gained another 18-20...Do you think this could be hormonal issues or ovarian cysts? I also take lexapro for stress and anxiety. I have sleep apnea, with which I was just recently diagnosed and I have a rapid heart rate (tacchycardia). I thought maybe I had irritable bowel syndrome or something...I also felt like I had a bladder infection last week but I took an AZO tablet and it went way. HELP! I'm sleepy a lot and always used to be VERY energetic. I appreciate your help!!! :)
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Hello ladies.  I have been searching for related articles about ovarian cysts.  Sunday evening I suddenly got terriable sharp pains in my lower abdomen.  Today after seeing my family doctor, who thought I might have appendicitis sent me to the hospital for a ct scan.  Come to find out I have a ovarian cyst.  My doctor told me to take naproxen for a few days and I should feel better.  Naproxen does not seem to be helping the pain.  I have more extreme pain whenever I urinate or have a bm.  I was wondering if you or anyone else has any suggestions for pain relief.  I have been in extreme pain for four days now.  I would appreciate any info.  geminifrnd
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I've just been diagnosed with an ovarian cyst 8cm x 9cm.  I went to my primary because for the last several months I've been having severe cramping about every month which feels like gas.  It is so bad for about 3 days on average I can't sleep or do anything.  Due to my explanations and the pain being on my left side I had a CT looking at my colon.  The Dr. thought it may be Diverticulosis...which is unusual for 34.  I just saw my Dr today and have to go for an ultrasound and follow up with my OBGYN.  I'm glad my colon and all is clear because I have a family history of colon cancer but now anxious about what this cyst is.
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