Is this an ovarian cyst? And does it need removing because so large?!

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Hi all. I've just got back from a full abdominal ultra sound scan. For the past year or so, I've needed to pee on a regular basis that seems more often that others, for example I can't hold for very long, and need to pee 1 or 2 times at night. I thought maybe I have a small bladder and so went for a scan to check.

To my complete surprise, a large cyst was found!! It measures about 14 x10 x 9 cm, she said the size of a grapefruit sad On the scan you could clearly see it pressing on my bladder, which was full as I had to drink for the scan. She was not certain what type of cyst it is, but it is blood filled but no blood flow. 

I was really shocked because I never have any pain, I do a lot of exercise, and eat healthily. I'm in my early 30s. My periods are regular and not painful, and I never have tummy pains before/during or after my period. I dont have bloating, and my tummy is flat so no external signs. So I am unsure if this is an ovarian cyst or something else? And I'm really anxious that because of the size it is ovarian cancer, yet I have no associated symptoms (I have a large appetite, normal weight, not fatigued). 

I have a referral to a specialist soon, but just wanted any feedback as I am so scared now to know there is something that large inside, yet causing no issues other than frequent peeing! I am also terrified it will affect my fertility (no kids yet but planning to with my hubby). I am unsure if it will need removing, and if so, how. 

Please let me know if you have any info or advice!! Thanks so much!

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    I wonder if you have a vaginal cyst. A cyst originating in the vaginal ducts (ie. Gartner cyst) can result in large amounts of fluid collecting, like you are describing. Symptoms of vaginal cysts include painful intercourse.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Christy, I will look into this. The sonographer mentioned it could be endometriamo, but wasn't sure given I have no symptoms. I dont feel pain during intercourse, so really the only thing that is unusual is the frequent need to pee. The scan suggests the cyst is near the bladder, not connected to an ovary. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Anna, I am in a similar situation.  In early January, I started experiencing urinary frequency and ended up with a referral to a urologist and a gynecologist.  The urologist ordered a CT scan that revealed an enlarged right ovary, and the gynecologist confirmed a mass contained within the ovary via ultrasound and ordered lots of blood work on hormone levels and cancer markers, including the CA 125, all of which came back normal, but I'll be having the ovary removed in four weeks, along with a small uterine polyp that also turned up.  Like you, I've had no pain, no external signs, and the mass appears to be solid.  My gyn said it could be full of blood, but they can't tell for sure until it is out.  I had functional cysts in my early 20s that came and went on their own but had no further issues until now, and I am almost 45 and in perimenopause.

    You mentioned that the cyst is not connected to an ovary, which sounds like good news, but that it is near the bladder.  I would think that the specialist will get more scans that will give a clearer idea of where it is located; I had both vaginal and pelvic ultrasounds.  In the meantime, take deep breaths and try to keep positive thoughts.  A cyst that large may need to come out in order for it to stop putting pressure on your bladder, but it may very well be benign.  Take care of yourself and keep us posted!

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    • Posted

      Hi Elizabeth and thanks for your comments and positive words! I'm all in a state to be honest. My mum has been critically ill for the last few months, which was totally unexpected, and then to discover this about myself was quite a shock. Have only told my hubby, as I dont think my poor mum can handle it, at least not until I have seen the specialist. It is ironic, because I am usually the positibe person for everyone else, and now I feel so stressed. Thank you again! 
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    • Posted

      Hi Anna, I am very sorry about your mother's illness and will keep you all in my prayers.  I was just thinking this morning that the timing of things is so unpredictable.  My sister has recently been through a rough divorce and is raising her two boys now with the help of my parents, and my mom is in her fifth month of recovery following a total knee replacement.  So I understand in a way how you feel about this happening to you while your family is going through a bad time.  I'm glad you have your husband for emotional support!  Take care and keep us posted!  Elizabeth x
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  • Posted

    I was diagnosed with a 14cm dermoid cyst and the only way I knew I had it was when I woke up in excruciating pain one morning and ended up in A&E even then they misdiagnosed me 3 times and it wasn't until 3 months later they discovered what it was. So most people won't know or have mild symptoms until it grows too big or something happens to it like a twist or torsion.

    I had mine removed October 2014 via open surgery and had 8 weeks off work to recover. I still have problems now with pain and I had blood cysts that weren't going through as they should after surgery but now I am having further problems with pain and great discomfort I feel there could possibly be another cyst 😕 but until I get to GPS and get referred which takes so long!! It's a guessing game.

    My surgery itself was great I had an amazing surgeon who took pictures of my cyst to show me which I took a picture of to show those who wanted to see. An I was out of hospital in 2 and a half days! ☺

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  • Posted

    I have a question....I've been having a dull achy pain in my left lower abdomen since january when I was doing lower abdominal exercises, first thought I pulled a muscle. No fevers/chills, pain with urination, normal periods, no pain during sex but this pain is there almost all the time for the last 2 months. I literally feel like there is a "ball" in that area. I dont actually feel a ball but the sensation is as if I had a golf ball in my abdomen (again, I dont actually feel it with my hands). I am having a scan soon but I wanted to know if anyone else with a cyst has this same sensation. I have the dull pain (4/10 in intensity) almost daily. I do have days with very minimal pain (2/10). 

    Thank you all in advance. 

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  • Posted

    I haven't experinced any pain, which is why I am so shocked that something so large has been found. I saw apelvic.gynecological specilaist, he confirmed the mass with a pelvic examination. He said not 100% sure what type of cyst it is, except that it has septe (2 compartments) and possibly a blood clot. Thankfully, he said it is unlikely to be cancerous becuase there is no blood flow or pain. He indicated that syrgery (lapascopy) is best option to remove it, but comes with risk of the ovary being taken out (50/50 chance,,,which has made me so upset). He said that there is still a chance I would be able to get pregnant after the operation.

    I also have a referral to an endometiosis specialist in about 2 weeks, for a clearer diagnosis. I am wondering, rather than removal, perhaps the cyst could be drained (or at least the largest compartment) so that I can then try for a baby. This would reduce the risk of having an ovary removed. Also, I have nevver had gyne issues before, and then after surgey they may start, which is what I am afraid of. I guess my biggest fear is infertility. And I keep thinking, what if I had become pregnanct before knowing about this cyst...would it have affected the prgnancy, and if not, then maybe I should leave it and try for a baby?!

    So many questions!! I am so grateful to my wonderful husband, I am also really grateful to everyone here who takes the time to read and comment xxx 

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  • Posted

    Anna, my cousin had a cyst this size. They were able to drain and remove it. She has both of her ovaries. There are different types. A chocolate cyst can be small or big and are easy to remove. I have a 8 cm endometrial cyst and they say these are tough to remove. I think what type of cyst plays,a big role. You sound awesome if you have zero pain and your not bloated. This sounds to me like a basic chocolate cyst. Hope this helps.
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  • Posted

    Hi and hope veryone is well. Just wanted to update you on the journey so far.... I saw the specialist, who conduct a pelvi exam eek and confirmed there was indeed a 'mass' on the left ovary. He said that it was mobile, which is a good sign apparently. He ordered some blood tests to check for cancer/tumour, which was very scarey to hear, and referred me to their specialist sonograpger for another US. He said at this point he is unsure what type of cyst it is, but will most likely need surgery due to its size. A week later I had the ultra sound, internal and external. The doctor confirmed the cyst, and also said my right ovary had signs of scarring and adhesions (which has upset me even more), and that possibly my womb lining is slightly thick. She said taken together, this looks like endometriosis, however I have no pain symptoms, and my CA125 level was at 36 (normal range up to 35). She moved the internal US a lot asking if I felt any pain, but nothing! She said it is definitely not cancer. And that it looks like endo, but she cant tell for certain. She also said, if I want kids, I am now quite old (I am 33!) and should start as soon as I have had surgery. She has referred me back to my specialist for further discussions.

    So overall, I am still in a state of sadness and feel very upset, for now being told it may be endo, and that I should have had kids many years ago. I feel like I have done something wrong! And that all I have done to be healthy by eating and exercising has come to nothing. Sorry, feeling pretty desperate and upset. So I will see my specialist end of the month, and this will probably be to talk about having a laparoscopy to remove the cyst and reduce the scaring on the other ovary. I am so scared my ability to have kids will be reduced or non-existant. I didn't think 33 was that old, but now I feel ancient and helpless!! 

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    • Posted

      Hi Anna!  It is wonderful to hear that you don't have cancer.  It sounds like you are in good hands regarding the endometriosis, just take it a step at a time.  Keep us posted and take care!  Elizabeth
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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear Anna. That's pretty insensitive for her to say you're old. I don't think you are. In this day and age, that's pretty average age to decide to have kids. This isn't the 1940s anymore.

      Do you have any updates on your case? I too was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst that's fluid-filled. I'm a nervous wreck. I don't even know what to think anymore...

      Sending hugs your way...

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  • Posted

    Thanks jm35710 for your message, that's really sweet of you. And I totally know what you mean about freaking out!

    My updates so far......I've got a laparoscopy booked for 25th May. So nervous of my first every surgery! This forum has been amazing in helping to prepare.

    I saw the consultant again. He said we need to take a 2 stage approach because of the endometrioma/cyst size (14cm). He said it is most likely an endometrioma, although there is slight chance it could be a 'mucous filled' cyst, but unlikely. 

    So in lap 1 surgery, he will drain the cyst and attend to any adhesions, as it looks like my other ovary is stuck to my uterus.

    Then for 3 months I’ll have hormone injections (zoladex I think) so the cyst can shrink and not be agitated by having periods. 

    And then another lap to remove the cyst. The consultant said this approach is the best one to try and minimise the chances of needing to remove the ovary, and protecting as much ovarian reserve as possible, However, he did warn me the ovary might already be damaged (which was difficult to hear).

    Honestly, I don’t know what to be more nervous of, the surgeries, the hormone injections and side effects, or the possibility that my chances of conceiving might be significantly reduced! So worried about all of it but aiming to stay positive and optimistic.  

    Has anyone else followed this approach for a large cyst? 

    Thanks again and I hope everyone is well! 

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