Dizziness and ovarian cysts, whoopee!
April 19, 2010 6:33 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone had experience with ovarian cysts causing dizziness/light-headedness?

I've had irregular periods the last three months (but no pain,) and then starting last week, modest dizziness. Not vertigo (i.e. room-spinning) but more the feeling of having had 1 or 2 glasses of wine, even when I haven't been drinking. Also, it seems to get worse in the afternoons, but is barely noticeable in the mornings/at night.

Anyway, I went to my GP to get my blood tested regarding the dizziness (checking for anemia, thyroid weirdness, low vitamin D, etc) and will get the results back this week. My blood pressure is good, I keep myself well-hydrated, and my physical didn't show anything odd.

HOWEVER I also went to my gynecologist today and she did an ultrasound, and found a 2cm cyst which is what has been causing the irregular periods. She said it didn't look like something I should worry about, but that I should come back in 6 weeks to make sure it's not getting bigger.

I asked her if the cyst could be causing the dizziness and she sort of brushed off my question, so I'm wondering if you all had any dizziness relating to ovarian cyst experiences. It's my first time with this gynecologist so she is probably right, but I still wanted to consult the hive mind to see if anyone else had similar experiences correlating the two situations.

Thanks! (And here's the requisite YANMD)
posted by egeanin to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I get cysts just like that at least once a year. Dizziness is par for the course for me.
posted by TooFewShoes at 6:36 PM on April 19, 2010

Response by poster: Toofewshoes: do you mean dizziness is par for the course in that it comes whenever you're menstruating? Or is it whenever you have cysts?
posted by egeanin at 6:39 PM on April 19, 2010

I get dizzy all the time (low blood pressure), but it is much worse when I have cysts. I don't know what about the cyst causes it, but dizziness is always one of the symptoms that I have one. Nausea is also a symptom, usually with the dizziness. It comes and goes, and is usually worse in the afternoons. I occasionally feel the cyst even when it doesn't hurt, kind of a little twinge and sometimes a kind of heaviness on one side right inside my hip bone. Most of the time the only symptoms are the wonky periods and the nausea/dizziness.

FYI my cysts usually don't last longer than 90 days or so. I'll have three periods that are wonky and then the fourth is more painful. Then everything goes back to normal until the next one. Sometimes I do have a cyst go before my period and I'll have some spotting right before my regularly scheduled flow.

I've never had to have surgery, and the only treatment I've ever gotten was to get some pain meds when it started to get really uncomfortable. Usually I just apply heat and try to take it easy.
posted by TooFewShoes at 6:54 PM on April 19, 2010

Yep, the ovarian cysts I had (and eventually had to get surgically removed) definitely caused me dizziness and some nausea. Mine most definitely came with pain, though. Not to be rude, but maybe you should consider finding a doctor that doesn't brush off your questions, if by 'brushed off' you mean she didn't really give you an answer at all.
posted by rachaelfaith at 6:55 PM on April 19, 2010

Polycystic ovaries will do a number on your insulin resistance. I'd wait for your GP's labs to come back and see what they turn up (did they get a fasting glucose? an A1c?), and discuss it from there.

Also, find a better GYN; if you do have a cyst problem with your ovaries, you might want to find a specialist.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 7:01 PM on April 19, 2010

BTW I get lots of Ovarian Cysts but DO NOT have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, but I have to agree with everyone who says find a new OB/GYN and get tested.
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:17 PM on April 19, 2010

Response by poster: Just to be clear: my gynecologist didn't say I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, she just said I have the one cyst.

We didn't do any fasting blood tests since I didn't know about the cyst until this afternoon.
posted by egeanin at 7:36 PM on April 19, 2010

Response by poster: And I will look into getting a new gynecologist. But I still am interested in hearing other peoples' anecdotal experiences with cysts and dizziness-- especially if there's anything to be done about it!
posted by egeanin at 7:39 PM on April 19, 2010

A couple months ago I started having problems with cysts again after several years without any. (Lucky me!) A couple of cysts ruptured, caused a lot of pain and dizziness - which has never happened before (but then the pain has never been that bad before, so I blamed it on that).

OTC meds for motion sickness can be helpful for dizziness - you could keep some Dramamine on hand in case it happens again. The downside is Dramamine can cause drowsiness.
posted by chez shoes at 7:49 PM on April 19, 2010

Meclizine is the stuff for dizziness. In my twenties and thirties I used to get terrible dizzy spells that sometimes lasted for weeks and meclizine was the only thing that worked. I'm finding your question interesting, because although nobody ever made the correlation - I ended up at eye, ear, nose and throat doctors being tested repeatedly for Meniere's disease (I don't have it) - I have had repeated, painful ovarian cysts my entire life and my daughter was eventually diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. I still get dizzy spells, fwiw, and while they don't last as long as they did when I was younger, they do usually happen around ovulation.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:06 PM on April 19, 2010

Just a question (don't want to threadjack)- do any of you with ovarian cysts and dizziness have frequent ear popping as well? My sister is dealing with all of the above, and I was wondering if anyone else's experiences mirror her's.

I actually called her this morning after reading this questions to tell her that others have dizziness related to their cysts, which she had never heard.
posted by afton at 6:49 AM on April 20, 2010

As a frequent, long-term sufferer of ovarian cysts (but not PCOS), I am going to suggest that the dizziness is not related to ovarian cysts.

If your BP is fine, and you are in good health overall, it's far more likely that you just have an ear infection. Illness in the ear can cause you to be dizzy, feel like you can't get balanced and other sensations because it's disrupting the balance mechanism in your ear. And this isn't necessarily like an ear infection you remember from childhood--there may be no ear pain, no fever, no ill feeling.

The only time I've ever been dizzy with a cyst has been when I knew it was bursting. This is a very painful, acute event that cause dizziness, cold sweats and other unpleasant symptoms. However, everything went away after about 30 minutes and I felt fine.

Of course, if the dizziness gets worse or doesn't go away after a few days, a visit to the doctor should be made... you can also ask the pharmacist what he/she recommends. I know Dramamine can be used, but oddly, a side effect is dizziness. So YMMV.
posted by FergieBelle at 7:25 AM on April 20, 2010

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