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.
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.
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!
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...
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 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 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!
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.