Ovarian Cancer Community
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Avatar universal

Lower pelvic fullness and discomfort, bloating

In June I started having pelvic pain (not related to my menstrual cycle) that lasted for 2 weeks.  It started as a dull, localized throbbing or tingling on my right side, but got worse with each day.  I also had to urinate constantly (twice a night in my sleep).  I went in to see my primary care physician, who told me I probably had IBS.  She did a regular pap smear, then later informed me I had Bacterial Vaginosis.  She treated me for that and I went on my way.

Throughout this time, I noticed that during my menses, it was painful to have a bowel movement.  Then, in November I started having the same pelvic symptoms again.  Only this time they were accompanied with gas, belching and bloating.  I scheduled another appointment and was given the same exam (pap smear), depsite listing all my symptoms.

Since the beginning of this month (almost three weeks now), I have had daily bloating.  Somedays I wake up feeling fullness or heaviness down there; otherdays I feel a tingling or throbbing on my right side, which sometimes radiates down my inner right thigh and anus.

I went to the emergency room on Tuesday because the bloating was scaring me and for the pelvic discomfort.  She took tests for pancreatis, pregnancy and h-pylori, then told me I need to schedule an appointment with a OBGYN.

I called the OBGYN, but now they aren't able to see me for another two weeks.

I am scared and anxious because I feel like no one's paying attention to me (I'm 29 years old), and this has been going on for 6+ months now.  I don't feel myself. Thanks for your insight.

17 Responses
Avatar universal
I feel your pain any type of pain or discomfort below is a red light go to google and question the site about cyst and overian cancer you will learn that you need to be alert.I cant see you will not stop me go further because it can be as simple as a cyst on your overy or cancer in your overies and the age part has no factor anymore,the earlier they see it the better chance it is for you not to lose your female parts.
Not to scare you just to let you no the seriousness of getting closer.
I for one am thirty and about to lose one of my overies.
You my friend have the same problems I do.They are none cancerious cyst as far as they can see now but they wont no for sure until its removed.
My advice to you is to go to the ER ask for the results of your scans they are yours and you are intitled to them.
Go from there and if your gyno cant make room if it is serious then my advice is to find you a new one.
keep us posted and have faith
Avatar universal
Hi there!  I was rushed to surgery within one week from some of the same symptoms as you. (just had my surgery this past monday) I even passed out while urinating one night.  On the ultrasound it looked like ovarian cancer and when they opened me up they found it was extensive endometriosis.  Which you might know is not life threatening but can mimic many things like ovarian cancer.  It is extremely painful and there is no cure only things to try to alleviate the pain.  Anyway just hoping to offer some hope.  Like I said they rushed me into surgery within a week and pushed aside 12 other patients waiting because of what my ultrasounds showed.  They thought they saw a solid mass on my ovary (it was a blood filled endometrioma) and lots of fluid in my pelvis plus endometrium thickening 5 days after my menstruation. I am only 37 and have otherwise been healthy.  My problems started back in June noticeably also.  Hopefully that offers something more hopeful (although painful not life threatening) to think about.
Lots of care to all.
Avatar universal
Thank you for sharing your personal experiences.  I appreciate it, as I am very concerned right now, especially when they put off seeing me.  I haven't had kids yet and want them, so obviously it's frightening.  I have to call tomorrow in hopes that I can see a doctor this week before everyone leaves for the holidays.

I have also recently noticed more discharge than normal and I feel like something's pressing on the right side...against whichever organ is down there-my colon?  That's been going on for three days now.

I woke up in the middle of last night to use the bathroom and when I laid back down on my side, I felt a "release" on my right side, like a burst.  Then I felt a tingling sensation go down both of my legs and across my pelvis.  I am so frustrated.

Thank you  :o/
Avatar universal
I'm sorry, did you get a diagnosis of cysts or just BV? I know internal infections can also cause painful symptoms.  It could also be cysts. Sometimes they aren't seen on US. Esp. if they've ruptured already. I know b/c I've been going through this myself since July. I had a CT scan in Sep. & they saw a bunch of small cysts at that time. DR said it was PCOS. Also have endo. Pain from these wake me so often in the night. You have to pee & then the pain comes, likes its triggered by peeing or pooping(sorry TMI!) Anyway does this come on during your cycle or b/f it? What treatment have you tried?
Avatar universal
Thanks for responding.

My cycle has been regular, and my last one was 12/5-12/9, so it's not been even two weeks since.  I've had bloating and tingling or pain sensations in my pelvic region since 12/2.

I also forgot to mention that when she did the pap smear, she had to use the pediatric-sized speculum because my vaginal canal was too sensitive.  It was also "red and inflamed" (her words), and every once in a while it burns, but not when I urinate.  I'm assuming these symptoms are the BV.

But all the others are what scare me.  Like I said, last night I had the urge to urinate in the middle of my sleep (this happens often now).  When I laid back in bed on my opposite side, I felt a weird sensation like a bubble or a burst, then tingling burning sensations down both my legs and across my pelvis.  It was odd.

Also, it does hurt to have a bowel movement during my menstrual cycle.  In fact I dread going because it's often excruciating.  I think I've just gotten used to it.

I am calling the dr. tomorrow and demanding that someone see me this week and before Christmas.  I feel it's getting worse, as I noticed the pressure, like something's pressing on Friday night, and it's been there ever since.

I'm going to just keep praying that everything's okay, but it's scary.  

Thank you.
Avatar universal
WOW, I am so sorry I hope you get there attention soon.
They need to examin you more, I understand the fustrations of  waiting you really have to be consistent with the docs.
Having pressure on the bladder does suggest that there is definitly something there along with your bowel problem.
You mentioned discharge, is this when you are menstrating does it seem tissue like?
I had those symptoms you were describing along with the menstrating problem I just asked you, in result it was a dermoid in ovary.
These symptoms you are having are similar to others and more serious diagnosis, please keep on it go to emergency and let them know what you've been dealing with and is unbearable.
Take Care
Avatar universal
Thank you for responding.  It helps to have people to talk to, as I feel foolish when I go to the doctor.  I've been there 5 times since June and still get an IBS diagnosis, despite the increase in intensity of my various symptoms.

There is no tissue in my discharge...just a lot more discharge than usual on a daily basis now.  Today I have pain radiating from the right side (near my buttocks) down my back and inside of my right leg, as well as burning.  I have been belching non stop all day.  This is crazy.

It's odd to me, when I look back in my journal from June...I had symptoms of a UTI, but none was present after examination.  I have had the lower pelvic discomfort/tingling/pressure/fullness off and on since then, as well as digestive issues (gas, belching and recently, bloating that has lasted for 3 weeks).

I have to call the doctor's office tomorrow morning for my appointment.  I know I need to get this over with before Christmas, so I hope they will listen to me.  I will likely have to demand a pelvic ultrasound, as they have done nothing but a pelvic exam/pap the last three times I visited.  The fact is, we know our bodies better than anyone.  My body tells me something's wrong, and I want someone to pay attention to me.

Thanks again.  I am so emotional right now.
Avatar universal
I for one understand emotional when I went to  the Dr they expected oc and sent me on my way.
Ask for u/s and ct scans.
go to google and question the site about the diffrent things you think it could be write it down and ask the dr when you go in an eleminate the pros and cons if they rule out expected illiness ask why and if there answer isnt 100percnt clear in eliminating it ask"Can you test me for it anyway?"
Dont be rude just let them koaw you need closier say Please and THank you they are not the enemy its just sometimes we as weman can make alot of our pain.
Get to the botom of whats going on with you

We pray for the best tomorrow
Avatar universal
I understand what you mean about feeling "foolish" at the dr office. I started to think I was a hypochondriac or something, going from dr to dr. I went to my gyn, primary, gastro. My GI dr orderd the ct scan after I broke down in his office after going through what seemed like "endless pain". He is the one who found my cysts. Not my gyn... crazy thing. I am not saying cysts are what you have, but I for one have all of the digestive symptoms you said. Excessive gas(he-he), belching, bloating (can't button my jeans!), pressure, constipation & diarrea. Also the discharge, kindof a wierd pinkish color. I have heard that PID can cause some of your symptoms. Have you had a WBC? I agree w/ hershe, insist on a CT scan & US. Just let them know you are in pain and want further testing to be sure.
Avatar universal
I've been going through what you describe, and more, since January of 2004, however, the bloating began long before then.  Problem is, I would get an appointment with the doc and by the time I got there, the bloating would be down.

Since January of 2004, I've been told I had rhuematoid arthritis, lupus, ruptured lumbar discs, pinched nerves, etc., etc., etc.  I even received two epidural injections, which of course, did nothing, because that isn't what was wrong.  I also had an endometrial ablation in July of 2004 which kept away my period for a whopping 60 days.  In April of 2004, I was put in the "wastebasket" being told I had fibromyalgia, IBS and chronic pain from unknown origin and due to psychological stressors.  They even put me through a five week long chronic pain program, very similar to what addicts and alcholics go through in rehab.  That completed in May of 2005.

Anyway, my reason for giving you this history, and I'm not trying to suggest this is what your problem is, but I would strongly suggest you have a full GI workup along with the gyn workup you may have.  In June of 2005, I spent 8 days in the hospital due to diverticulitis.  My sigmoid colon had a small perforration in it.  I had a white cell count of 22,000.  My temperature was 105.2.  I was extremely ill, septic really, and all those months, this was not found in any of the MRI's, CT scans, pelvic exams, nor during my endometrial ablation thing.  I had high white counts repeatedly during the entire time prior to this ER visit, and "nothing" was ever found.  In the ER, they diagnosed me within 35 minutes.  In September of 2005, after three months of extensive antibiotic (flagyl, cipro, bactrim, levaquin, etc.) therapy, over a foot of my colon was removed - all of the sigmoid and several inches of the descending colon, after having three more acute attacks.

All of my stuff was chalked up to me being premenpausal, stressed out and suffering from anxiety.  The only "anxiety" I was having was that I was physically ill, and no one would listen.  I'm really beginning to wonder if my "diverticulitis" may have been endometriosis.  Many of my problems went away after my surgery, but most are back.  The big difference for me this time is that my primary doctor is recognizing that I'm not an hysteric, and that he and half a dozen other docs completely dropped the ball with me, and I could have died.  I had asked to be referred to a GI specialist a good 15 months before I ended up there, and I ended up at the GI doc AFTER my June festivities.

All these different things have the same types of symptoms.  All of these things can mimic or mask each other.  I don't wish the GI problems on you, believe me, but please have it checked out.  I'm now dealing with the gyn layer of my illness.  And more and more, as I read about endo, I think that's where it all began.  My colon just yelled out for attention more quickly by perforrating.

Thanks for listening to my long, kind of rant.  Don't let the doctors say "it's just IBS."  I heard that for MONTHS.  Love, hugs and God bless.  Barb
Avatar universal
Yes I agree the doc here with me is trying to tell me its possible it could be IBS, when they do that and haven't done anymore tests on you that you should have done BE CONCERNED!!
you have a right to be concerned and ask for other testings.
Its obvious you are having a problem too with your digestion,
when I experience alot of gas and the bloating and shooting pain I went and seen an acupuncture.  I know alot of people won't consider it but it really takes the bloating down, obviously it will not solve the problem but for me it took the bloating down.  My acupuncturist said with the needles she created circulation of blood in my belly since there was a stagnation there( we could tell there was because when we touched my belly I was always COLD)therefor would cause the bloating,took 2 weeks one visit a week to see results.
I'm not sure what people would think of that but I considered it and it makes it much more bearable!!!!
Avatar universal
I too was diagnosed w/ IBS. Back in 1999! I have always wondered if it was something else though. You definitly need a full GI workup , just to be sure. This is your life. For so long I would accept what the dr. advised/told me. Drs are only human & makes mistakes or maybe they just aren't sure. Thats why you should insist they do more testing. Do let us know what happens w/you. I am new to this forum & I find it soo comforting & helpful. I have learned so much.  

Moosiebjm, I can't believe what you have been through...you poor thing. You are a survivor though!  Do your drs think that this stemmed from your colon or was it a result of something to do w/ your fem organs? I am worried bc my gyn & GI both are urging me to do the colonoscopy (finally scheduled for 12/30) as colon cancer runs in my family. I am scared that all of my problems could be the result of some intestinal problem. I also have endo & did not realize it could cause that kind of damage! That's something else for me to consider though.
Have fun on your your trip & Merry Xmas.
Avatar universal
Sound just like me.  Im 30 and had the same feeling but on my left side.  I went the GI route and not until a CT scandid I find I had ovarian cysts.  Ask your MD for an ultrasound.  That will get you the definative answer.
Avatar universal
hi, new to this sight, hope you can help. had a vaginal ultrasound done. was wondering what ovarian cancer looks like on an ultrasound.
Avatar universal
There is not any one appearance of cancer in an ultrasound.  

OVCA can appear in simple cysts, or complex cysts, or tumors, or  mixed solid and cystic masses.  However, these SAME types of simple cysts or complex cysts or tumors, or even  those mixed solid and complex cystic masses might also be found to be benign at surgery.

Basically, the ultrasound lets the doctor know if there is anything "abnormal" on the ovaries or uterus.  I used the term "abnormal" in quotes because the ultrasound also shows cysts such as the normal, functional cysts that develop during monthly cycles.  Sometimes the normal functional cysts do not resolve quickly, and can cause discomfort, or even acute pain if they rupture.

With a few exceptions, the only way to determine if any growth or cystic structure detected by the ultrasound is cancerous or not is to perform surgery.
Avatar universal
thanks for your reply. i see the doc in 2wks. will ask about surgery than.
Avatar universal
Please don't take this wrong but where do you all go to the doctor? I have been scouring the internet for days now. I know myself how doctors can be (I went through anxiety/depression with doctors like you all have/had).

Just Monday, I had my annual exam and the doctor noticed swelling in my uterus and, after hearing about my symptoms of the last 6 weeks ordered an ultrasound. He discovered an ovarian cyst and also discovered free fluid that came from when he accidentally burst a cyst. The pain started soon after that and has continued.

He has scheduled me for surgery on Thursday Feb 2, 2006 and seems to think I'm on the road to a hysterectomy. He has to do a D&C along with the laproscopy (which he'll remove the remaining cyst which is, according to him, NICE SIZED). He seems to think I will be back in his office within a short period to demand that he do more. While the risk of cancer seems to be small, I have all the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Fullness, bloating, pain in my lower back, occasional dizziness, pain in my pelvis, pain radiating from my right bottom down my leg, etc etc. And, the one thing that worries me most is I pick up on people and their behavior and the dr and his staff were all acting as if they knew something I didn't.

He did not give me an option of whether I wanted surgery, he insists I need it. He will do the minimum indicating to me that while he feels it necessary to look inside, he must know that it might not be what it appears to be from the ultrasound.

We DO know our bodies better and we as women are often told to suck up those vague symptoms because they usually are nothing. Men always seem to think we exagerrate or are hypochondriacs but I think that if we were listened to sooner, we might all be healthier. I'm so sorry for all the trouble all the rest of you are having but it is comforting to know others are out there going through the same thing. Not being alone is important. My mother had cervical cancer and after making several bad medical decisions involving her treatment, she destroyed her body and it gave out on her in Nov 2004.
Thanks for letting me go on....I will pray each of you finds the solution to each of your health issues and you are healed as a result.
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