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Ovarian Cysts Community
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Avatar universal

Ovarian cyst

I am 46 years old  and my periods have always been like clock work until Feb 2017 I think.  I had two period in two months and went to my gyn.  They found a ovarian cyst and have been watching it.  Just had another ultrasound in June and it had double in size I think it was 4.5 or something.  Anyways this month I have missed my period, I’m having dull ache in pelvic region and I’m swollen like I’m 6 months pregnant.  Called my gyn and I have appt next week to discusss options.  Hate to have surgery but I believe it’s growing more.  I’m trying to decide since I’m  so close to menopause do I have one ovary removed or do I have full hysterectomy?  Anyone been through this?
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Avatar universal
I lost an ovary in my 20s.  Your ovaries continue to make smaller amounts of hormones after menopause.  If you have a full hysterectomy you'll feel the effects of the hormone loss.  I wouldn't do it.
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I wouldn't even have the one ovary with the cyst on it removed if they could possibly just remove the cyst itself!  I'm 53 and post-menopausal, and had a large complex cyst on my left ovary 7 weeks ago.  It had basically "killed" my ovary so they had to remove that one.  I had told my gyno to go ahead and remove the right one as well, just so I wouldn't have to go through this again, but after doing a bunch of research (and talking to my primary care doc), I found out that we need to keep as much of our female parts as we can!!!!!!  So I kept my right one.  Even after menopause, your ovaries are still producing much-needed hormones.   Check out "old before my time" - she had a terrible experience with basically being forced into having a total hysterectomy before menopause and she so regrets it.  I'm sure she'll probably weigh in soon with her experience; if not - she's listed under "Top Women's Health Answers" on the right side of the screen - send her a message and she'll tell you all about it.  
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Thanks DMSing. By all means, Mya, you do NOT want to have any of your sex organs / "reproductive" parts removed (absent cancer of course).

What type of cyst do they think it is? 4.5cm is still on the small size and may very well resolve on its own as most do. I have to wonder if it's a different cyst from the one you had in February 2017 since ovarian cysts are common and usually come and go.

Although women's sex organs are treated as disposable, they have lifelong functions and they all work together. So removal of one (an ovary, the uterus, even tubes) has been shown to cause permanent harm.

The uterus has anatomical / organ, anatomical / skeletal, sexual and hormonal functions. That is why its removal is associated with bladder and bowel problems especially in the long-term. The uterine ligaments are the pelvis' support structures keeping the spine, hips and rib cage where they belong. That's why hysterectomized women have shortened, thickened midsections and no curve in their lower backs. This not only destroys our figures but also leads to chronic back, hip and leg pain. The uterus plays a key role in sexual desire and response. And it works along with the ovaries to produce hormones which are the "essence" of life and being as well as health powerhouses for all organs and tissues. Numerous studies show that removal of one or both ovaries does more harm than good when done for benign conditions. One study showed that removal of both ovaries even at the age of 75 was associated with earlier mortality.

This website is a good resource about ovarian cysts and how skilled surgeons can do cystectomies that preserve the ovary (if you end up needing surgery) - http://ovaryresearch.com/ovarian_cysts.htm. This "Ovaries for Life" website is a good resource for the importance of our ovaries and the overuse of their removal - http://www.overy.org/. It links to a lengthy list of medical study (and other) citations. The HERS Foundation is a good resource for understanding the many adverse effects of hysterectomy.

I hope this helps! Please keep us posted on what you find out at your appointment.
9 Comments
You seem to have a lot of info, I appreciate it.  I'm fighting an uphill battle right now, and have been for years.  I had a huge dermoid cyst and lost an ovary at age 26, now 10 years later I can't get pregnant, have no drive, and am anxious.  It's getting worse.  I've told gynecologists for years that my hormones aren't right, and am not given treatment.  I'm fed up and don't know how to fix things.  Hormones keep testing in the "normal range", but I think this must be low normal even for a 50 year old, as I'm always straddling the lower limit.

Mya, don't give up your organs if you have any other options.
Thank you for your response.  This is same cyst and they’ve been watching it for changes and it’s not resolving only growing in size.   After the repeat ultrasound in June I talked to my gyn and we both agreed that if it wasn’t causing any problems we would just do another ultrasound June 2018.  After the last 4 days of not starting my period, a dull ache in my lower pelvic region and bloating like I’m 6 to 8 months pregnant I called and schedule a sit down with him on Wednesday of next week.  I’ve did some research and that’s actually signs that’s growing.   I really don’t want a hysterectomy or my ovary removed but I’m just scared that I will keep having issues and keep ending back up in surgery.  
It may need to be surgically removed but you shouldn't need to lose any organs. A surgeon with good cystectomy (cyst removal) skills should be able to remove the cyst and save your ovary. That is what's done when cysts develop elsewhere in the body. They don't typically remove the organ or body part. Let us know how your appointment goes.
Removing 1 ovary is different than removing everything, or maybe they can save your ovary and only remove part of it.  
Mary - So no doctor has offered to let you try taking hormones?
No, and I have specifically asked.  At this point I'm taking a large amount of DHEA and having a hormone recheck in August.  At least I've finally been tested, but only due to going to a fertility clinic.
I've heard that DHEA can convert to both estrogen and testosterone. I'd be curious what your hormone recheck shows in August. Are they also going to check your thyroid levels? It's good you're going to a fertility clinic. I had secondary infertility and was on Clomid (which didn't work) and then did a round of shots (don't recall the drug). I wish you the best!
I didn't find the fertility clinic helpful.  I'm going to try another one.  Were you ever successful?
Yes. I got pregnant after one cycle of shots. I don't know the cause of my infertility. I always had regular periods but my family has a lot of hypothyroidism so I may have had an underlying thyroid problem. I don't recall having my thyroid checked back then but when my TSH was checked when I developed the large cyst, it was in range but not what some consider optimal.
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