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Complex Ovarian Cyst (5cm)

Hi, everyone.

I'm fairly certain that I'm worrying over nothing, but I've seen a lot of sense in this forum, so hoped that someone could spare some for me! I'm 30 years old and have recently been diagnosed with a complex ovarian cyst measuring 5cm. This followed an ultrasound done in early Dec to determine the cause of excruciating pain I've been having on my right side. At that time, the cyst measured 3.2cm & was found to be complex, and my scan this week has shown that it's grown to 5cm in a little over a month.

I've read lots of information on this & can see that this is clearly not a big cyst in the grand scheme of things, but I've been in complete agony & hospitalised three times since October because of it. For awhile they were treating me for appendicitis, but then the scan revealed the cyst. My blood tests were poor (although I don't think that the 125 test was done, to my knowledge) & I was fasted whilst on IV antibiotics. For several days after each episode, I can't stand up straight.

What's worrying me is the lack of urgency. I understand this is very likely NOT cancer given my age, but to wait until the 26th Jan to see my consultant seems a long time considering I've been experiencing this since October - isn't it?

It's put a bit of a hold on my life. The pain strikes without warning, so I'm a little uneasy about being alone or travelling far from home, in case I'm hit by the pain again. To date it doesn't *seem* to be connected to my cycle, as it's occurred in 6, 4 and 3 wk intervals.

Can anyone offer any insight or guidance about this? Thanks!
132 Responses
Avatar universal
p.s. I've read that 20% of complex ovarian cysts in pre-menopausal women are cancerous, but this seems very high to me. Can anyone shed some light on this?
Avatar universal
Hi there!  I'm 47, was not in menopause before surgery.  I had a 4+ cm complex cyst on my right ovary.  Oddly, I didn't have pain on that side, mine was all on the left.  I had laparoscopic surgery to remove the cyst and ovary on 11/13.  The cyst was the size of an orange.  It was found to be endometriosos.  For about 6 months before surgery I would have horrible pain on the left so much so that I'd take pain meds for it.  Also, I was noticing some change to BMs, had hip and back pain and periods were getting irregular.  I was attributing all this to peri-menopause.  I had and MRI (for back pain) in Sept and it caught the cyst.  My Dr did a VUS and saw it, I waited a month and it had grown so surgery was scheduled.  

The wait and see limbo land is horrible b/c time seems to be in slow motion.  It does seem odd that, given your history and the fact that they know you have a cyst, they are making you wait.  Hopefully at your next appointment they will get you scheduled for surgery so they can get in there and see exactly what's going on.  Surgery is the only way to really know.

Good luck to you!
Avatar universal
I'm having the same issues.  Extreme pain, irregular periods, major bowel problems - gas, bloating, constipation.  And they found a 2 cm cyst on my right ovary about a month ago (thought it was a kidney stone).  My pain is almost like a burning pain in my lower back, right side, groin area, and legs.  It has gotten a little better since it started, but still taking pain meds (alot).  I need to schedule to see a gyno/onco and would advise the same for you.  My regular gyno wants to just wait and see and doesn't care about the pain.  But then again, I have three girls to take care of and don't know when I'll find the time for myself.  Good luck to you and don't wait until the end of the month if you don't have to.  Also, that 20% is very high and I believe it's more like 1%, but read the other posts; these women have had it all!
148354 tn?1211233906
I also have 5cm ovarian cyst right ovary (not sure what kind of cyst it is,it is fluid filled and not a mass or tumor) it is really painful!gas,nausea, stabbing,hip and leg pain is worst! had appendix oct 27 and  found cyst week later,history of kidney stones,I can honestly say this cyst is more painful than appendix or kidney stone attack.I've had this cyst 2 months,dr's reassure me should dissapear (or rupture)within 2-3 months.5cm is a fairly good size,been told it's between size of golfball(4cm) and softball(6cm), keeping in mind your ovary is size of an almond,so its big enough to cause severe discomfort especially if its pressing on bowels and nerve's.I've made many trips to er for pain but nothing seems to help and they wont admit me, but heating pad and resting helps when it becomes unbearable.They will usually try hormones if it wont go away ,Id rather have laparscopy and just get this "alien" out than to risk it rupturing.Just only if men could experience the joy of being a woman...!! Good luck to you,God Bless
                         Stephanie
Avatar universal
Well, well, well, it's nice to hear that I was not the only one with similar symptoms.  I had a 2.5+ complex cyst on my left ovary.  It had a single septation in it, and is why it was complex.  The Dr. thinks I had 2 cysts that came together, that was the reason for the septation.  But I too had all sorts of sporadic pain, bowel issues (not fun!), trouble sleeping on my left side, general stomach upset.  The good news for me after the wait and see (it was 2 months later that I went for the 2nd V/US)approach, was the cyst did resolve itself. But I too was worried, it is not fun.  But do remember, MOST of these cysts are non-cancerous! Remember the odds are in your favor that everything is fine!  BTW, I am 42.
Avatar universal
Hi, I had an complex cyst the diam of 7cm when I was 33.  I was told it was unlikely to be ovarian cancer because of age and they were wrong.  I was diag with LMP ovarian cancer.  Normal fluid filled cysts have about a 1% chance of being cancer in pre-menapausal women, but complex cysts have a higher chance of being cancer.  I would suggest that you follow up with a gyn-onc because they are specialists in all cysts (cancer and benign) and their removal.  If by the small chance it is ovarian cancer you want a gyn-onc to be there for the original surgery to do de-bulking if necessary.  It sounds like it definitely needs to come out though - especially since it's grown.  I was lucky LMP ovarian cancer rarely returns and if it does surgery is usually all that's necessary - chemo is not used at all.  But I strongly suggest you see a gyn-onc for your next appointment (not a gyn) so they can give you their opinion, they may request other blood tests such as the CA125 or you can request it too.  
Take care,
Debbie
148354 tn?1211233906
Hi there!just read your post.How do they tell what kind of cyst it is,ultrasound that reliable? I'm 28 yrs old and have 5cm cyst on right ovary,noone can tell me what type of cyst it is, dr's say its just filled cyst (simple,complex?)how many types are cysts are there and which are likely to be most cancer? last trip to er,er dr suggested gyno appt (jan 11th)since I have worrism symptoms (almost 100lb weight loss within 10 months,hair loss,chronic severe pain,bowel probs) then dr tell me it's nothing to worry about, how did you find out it was cancer? Ty and God Bless!
                             Steph
Avatar universal
Isn't it strange how differently these little alien (cysts) affect each of us. I have two 5-6cm complex cysts one on each ovary. They are suspected endometrioma's. While I'm aware of them, they aren't all that painful.
Avatar universal
Hi Steph, I had an ultrasound and the radiologist described it as a complex cyst. A radiologist can tell from blood flow to the cyst whether or not it's troublesome.  But they can't tell for sure until pathology is completed on it if it is cancer or not.  The drs did a scope first to decide what they were going to do first and they didn't believe it was cancer.  Thankfully I asked for a frozen section biopsy where they take a piece of the cyst and test it immediately while you're still on the table.  Because the drs didn't "think" it was cancer they closed me up before the results came in.  I found out it was cancer by the time I was back in my room.  Thankfully, it was treatable with surgery only.
Steph, I got copies of the radiologists report which was helpful to me.  If you don't have it yet you should request it.  I also made a point of getting copies of my bloodwork, the surgical report and pathology report.  Always good to have these on hand in case you see another dr and the paperwork didn't come through.  I don't know how many times I heard that "oh, I didn't get a copy of that"!
If the drs suggested a wait and see approach I'm sure that's fine - just keep on top of it.  Although I didn't have one they say a transvaginal ultrasound is the best for seeing cysts clearly.
Take care,
Debbie
Avatar universal
Thanks for everyone's comments. (Sorry I'm late in responding - I forgot my password!!)

I'm not getting bowel problems or anything else that really affects my day-to-day life other than this agonising pain every few weeks. As Lissy said, it's amazing how differently we're all affected by cysts.

I'll come back when I find out for sure what is going on. I did have a transvaginal ultrasound in addition to the usual one, so hopefully my Consultant will be able to offer me some further information when I see him in a few weeks time.

Thanks again - good health to all. :)


Avatar universal
Let us know how you make out after your appointment.
:)
Debbie
Avatar universal
Reading everyone's stories has been very helpful, thank you all.  I had a 6cm complex cyst found just today in an ultrasound on my left ovary.  I am 36 and had a partial hysterectomy in 10/04.  I was diagnosed "peri-menopausal" at 32.

Now they want to send me to the hospital for a stat CT scan (with contrast) to rule out "adnexal" bleeding.  Does anyone know what this might be and what the contrast part of the scan will show them versus the ultrasound?  My PCP seems to think the ovary will have to come out.

Thanks, M.
Avatar universal
Hello everyone...1st of all I would like 2 say thank u for this forum...I have suffered with ovarian cysts for 20 years...I had several operations (laparoscopies) 2 remove cysts, scar tissue, leisons, endodometriosis etc....In 1995 1 hour after my baby boy was born, my uterus died..Don't remember the exact medical term but it happens in 1 in 2 million women, supposedly...Anyway they did an emergency hysterectomy and took everything but my ovaries....Because I was only 25...Now Im almost 38 years of age and because of ovarian cysts have been in and out of the hospitals for ct scans, sonograms, etc...I went 2 hospital last friday again for the 3rd time this month and they said my 1.3 cm ovarian cyst had not changed..Take meds go home and call dr. on friday...Well I called my surgeon who had scheduled a laparoscopy feb,20th pending getting 20 year old medical records from another state...Ive been in so much pain since last friday I just lay and cry...So I scheduled an appointment and saw my regular dr. today and she had not even been sent my test results...When she got them, she came out to the waiting room with a look of shock on her face and told me that not only do I have the 1.3 cm cyst (no big deal)Ive had it since dec...but I also have another cyst measuring 3.2 cm on the same ovary...Im sorry 2 have given my lifes history, but didnt want 2 leave much out...I guess my question is now that I have 2 cysts on the same ovary what r if any complications could come from them bursting and what have ur  experiences been in dealing with the pain, fustration and home remedies 2 help the pain????I'm currently living on a wet heating pad and that helps alot.... My thoughts and prayers r with each and every woman and her family that suffers thru female medical issues...
Avatar universal
I am so thrilled to find this site.  I too have been experiencing increasing pain and gastrointestinal issues.  This morning I found the culprit - a 5 cm cyst on the right ovary.  However, the technician would not tell me if it appeared to be complex, chocolate, etc.  Nevertheless, I know surgery is in the future.  When I was 28 I was diagnosed with endometriosis and lost 1/2 of my left ovary and 3/4 of my right.  I had been fine for almost 10 years, until now.
Avatar universal
I came across this thread when I was looking for anything regarding this cyst that i have on my right ovary.  It is over 5 cm in size , there is another one that is 4. I have had severe pain . They did the ct scan thinking i had a kidney stone. that's when they found the cyst. I had an ultrasound and the pelvic probe too, the radi. wanted the ca-125 test done.  Came back neg. i am 42 had a hystorect. 8 years ago.i am on pain killers and the surg. has a wait and see additude. i am terrified. What could he be waiting for? I have long been done having kids and the uterus is gone.  Should i wait for the next ultrasound or be looking else where for another doctor?  Any help or reasurrance would be great! thanks
Avatar universal
JUST FOUND OUT TODAY THAT I HAVE A  5CM  CYST ON MY LEFT OVARY. WOULDN'T HAVE KNOWN IT IF I HADN'T HAD A PET SCAN.
I HAVE NO SYMPTOMS AT ALL. I HAVE READ ALL THE COMMENTS AND EVERYONE HAS HAD PAIN. I HAVEN'T FELT A THING.ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE WITH THE SAME STORY? IF SO WHATS THE OUTCOME?
THANKS FOR ANY INFO.I'M FEELING QUITE SCARED TODAY.
I'VE BEEN DEALING WITH THYROID CANCER BUT THIS IS MUCH SCARIER TO ME!!
TC
Avatar universal
Cysts and Pain.  Please be aware that cysts can become strangulated/twisted and/or hemhorragic (filled with blood) and can be very painful, irrespective of their size. I had a ruptured cyst at 20 that caused me to lose 20% of my entire volume of blood.  I was bleeding internally and required surgery to save my life.  I suffered for over 1-1/2 years from painful cysts and was told that they weren't painful, just middleschmertz (pain for one day, mid month).  I tried desperately to convince my ob/gyn that I was in continual sharp stabbing pain.  Long story short, I went to another ob/gyn who found a lot of scarring on my right ovary. So much so that my right fallopian tube was attached to it.  When she went in to remove the right ovary and tube, there was a very large (5 cm) hemhorragic cyst on the ovary, and she exclaimed to the resident assisting her that "this was one time the patient was right".  Understand that this doctor was the first and only one willing to hear me out and investigate this problem.  She didn't tell me how I felt, I told her and she listened.  She gave me a better quality of life back and I will always be grateful for her "bedside manner", competency, and compassion.  These are vital components to any good doctor.
I am now 49 years old and dealing with a septated cyst I've had on my remaining ovary for over 2 years.  It is slowly growing, and I am becoming concerned because I have had 2 battles with cancer in my life.  There are still some very good doctors out there that are worth their weight in gold.  Don't allow anyone to bully you into thinking you're over reacting to a health concern.  If I had believed that, I would not be here today to type this post.  All the best,
Avatar universal
I was going through ICSI last year and mid treatment they found a cyst on my ovary, this was back in April.  I had to stop treatment and had scans and tests.  I was given the option of having the cyst removed or continue with ICSI.  I opted to continue ICSI.  I was in so much pain. ICSI(ivf) didnt work as i was left in continuous pain day and night, tearful helpless.  Finally a date came to see consultant about having cyst removed it was October by the time they took it out.  It was detected at 5cm, but in Oct it had grown to 8cm.  I had cyst removed along with severe adhesions on my bowel which were clinging onto my left ovary, over time adhesions shrink which was causing me so much pain, when i say pain, i mean it was so bad i just wanted to get a knife and rip the cyst out myself.  After the op i was left painless no painkillers, (i was taking 2 paracetamols every 2 hours which wasnt right but i was prescribed anything decent).  After my op i had my period and i was again in pain but just slightly, it was annoying i was scared.  so i went to see dr after leaving it a month, she sent me for a scan where they told me i had cyst again which was 2.5cm.  I was given a date 6 weeks later in Jan.  I went for scan and i was told the cyst had grown considerably to 7cm.  During this time I had apt with my consultant who said he'll make apt for me to see him in 6 weeks once i'd had my second scan (consultant for ICSI (IVF).  As time went on the pain was getting worse.  I rang Dr and she called me in as i was feeling light headed for a week and i was having weird side affects, my hearing would go and i'd see bright light for a few seconds then i'd be ok, i went to see her in Feb and i was rushed to hospital and they drained cyst.  3 days later i came on my period, wen i wen i went to see my consultant 2 weeks after op they kept me in again, my cyst had come back this time it was 5cm in just 2 weeks.  My period was leaking into the cyst.  I am now on Prostap, just had 2nd injection going for my scan on tues.  after my 3rd injection they should be removing my left ovary.  Then hopefully i can carry on with IVF.  I am going to be 38 in june have no children time is ticking away.  But i've been painfree for the last 9 weeks and it's heaven after being in constant pain for over a year.  It's like being born again.  I'm enjoying gardening at the moment helps me take my mind off things to come.
1069658 tn?1255324246
Hello everyone.  In Feb. 2009 I had an orange sized cyst on my left ovary. They did surgery and removed the ovary as well as my fallopian tube. Recently I have been experiencing extreme pain on my left side.  Ive been to the ER twice.  First time, the ultrasound came back showing no cyst :/  so I was sent home with pain meds. Today, I was in so much pain it was doubling me over.  I have bowel problems as well on occasion. I went back to the ER had another ultrasound done and it showed that I have a 5cm by 6cm complex cyst on the right ovary that is bleeding. Something about blood coming out but not going in?? Beats me.  Anyway, I was given IV pain meds for aboout 3 hours.  The OB doctor came and talked with me and said that maybe it needed to be removed and made an appointment with my regular GYN for NOVEMBER 5TH!!  Ok, Im in serious pain and really dont want to keep running back and forth to the ER. I have had multiple abdominal surgeries and therefore have a lot of scar tissue which make laparoscopic surgery impossible and a more complex surgery a must.  BUT really, I cant go on like this. I doubt it will just "go away".  I dont want surgery anymore than the next person, but I think it needs to be done.  Any suggestions? BTW, I am 36 and have two kids. 18 and 11 so Im done.  I know removing my ovary will put me into early menopause and I dont look forward to that, but I dont know what else to do.
1069658 tn?1255324246
Whoops!  That should read experiencing extreme pain on my RIGHT side.
1069658 tn?1255324246
Well after multiple ER visits, ultrasounds and being sent home with pain meds, I have been scheduled for surgery Oct 26.  I am relieved but at the same time, I am sad.  I am 36 and have two boys 18 and 11.  I was not planning to have any more children, but its different when it is my choice rather than being told that I will not be able to have kids.  They are going to remove my uterus as well as the right ovary because I am considered a high risk patient due to a lot of scar tissue I have in the abdominal area.  This way, in the event something were to go wrong in the future, I will not have to go through another surgery. Please pray that all goes well for me and I come out of this ok :(
Avatar universal
Hi just reading your post today Oct 27th.  I wished I read it earlier I would have wished you luck.  Sorry to hear about your problems.  though I am a few years older at 40 going thru something similar,  telling me I need a hyst. and ovaries removed.  thinking maybe they can save one.  though not sure am scared to death myself of all this.  I hope when you reading this you are feeling wonderful.  Please let us know how you are doing.  my surgery is coming up on Nov 17. though I have  second opionion coming up.  take care and hope when you are out of the hositipal all things will be wonderful.
Avatar universal
I am so sorry for everyone's pain and anguish. I haven't been on in a while; I'm doing very well after my total (cervix too) hysto almost two years ago.  Also, about the menopause question above, I was put on estrogen and it has proven to be an excellent option for me.  I actually have my sex drive back and feel "normal" again.  I hadn't had a sex drive for so many years b/c of all the adenomyosis, ovarian cysts, etc. that was messing terribly with my system.  Reading your posts brings me back to those darkest days of all of my illness.  I wish you all the best with your health.  Please post a question to me, if you'd like - I have been through it ALL and it was no fun going it alone, and I would have gone crazy if it weren't for these forums with such wonderful, caring people helping each other!  Be well!
Avatar universal
I just got back from the hospital and after being there for hours i found out i also had a 5cm cyst on my right side and fluid (whatever that means) Ive never been to the gyno and tomorrow will be my first trip. After reading the majority of these stories i noticed you guys are a littler older than me and if i should be worried? Im 18 and none of my friends have ever delt with this before but some of there moms have. Is this normal?
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