Simple ovarian cyst
February 20, 2017 2:40 PM   Subscribe

I got a vaginal ultrasound today and I was told my left ovary has a fluid filled cyst that is 6 cm. He said not to worry because they are very common and that it might spontaneously go away on its own. We just have to repeat the vaginal ultrasound in 4-6 weeks to see what it did. Did you have these chats before and did they go away? Mine is a simple type with fluid. Was told it could be from a follicle
posted by barexamfreak to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
I have one. Been there for years. Hasn't done anything that we know. I've only had a handful of vaginal ultrasounds for very different reasons. None had to do with the cyst. It just gets mentioned when I do have those kinds of ultrasounds but I forget I even have one until something prompts me to remember. Like a new ultrasound where I'm reminded it's there when the tech discovers it or this question. There's some thought that once in awhile it can contribute to some mild abdominal pain but no solid evidence that it does. Apparently it could come and go on its own related to my hormone cycle but as I'm not getting ultrasounds regularly enough to determine that, I don't know that it does. I've never been given cause to worry about it so I don't.

And that's it.
posted by zizzle at 2:52 PM on February 20, 2017

I had one, and it has disappeared. Maybe the doctor who made the first ultrasound also removed it (long story). Whatever, now it is gone, I am well, and the pain it caused has gone too.
posted by mumimor at 2:58 PM on February 20, 2017

Yep. What is more, sometimes I've suspected I've had one, had some acute pain which I assume was the rupture and not even gone to the doctor. Sometimes they go away without pain, though. Each time mine was ovarian pain that felt really off, crested over about 30 minutes and just as I was starting to think that I might need to go to the ER, tapered off and then went away. (I am not your doctor.)

My personal guess is that they are far more common than we even think, and that many women either don't have enough symptoms to warrant investigation or have symptoms but don't go to the doctor.
posted by Frowner at 3:24 PM on February 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

I had one visible on a CT for kidney stones. My primary care doctor noted its presence, but said nothing about it otherwise, and my urologist did the same thing. I haven't had another CT since, but I'm interested to see if it's still there.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:04 PM on February 20, 2017

I had one that was discovered via ultrasound five or six years ago, though my cyst was complex, not simple. Both my PCP and gynecologist assured me not to worry, that these cysts are incredibly common (which didn't stop me from a couple days of anxious waterworks initially!). That said, the physicians both reinforced that I needed follow up ultrasounds every six months. Once the cyst stabilized in size, that switched to ultrasounds on an annual basis. At some point I did also get an MRI because the ultrasound radiologists were at odds as to what kind of complex cyst it was (literally one ultrasound radiologist would say hemorrhagic! Then the radiologist for the next ultrasound six months later would say endometrioma! and so forth), though the MRI still didn't settle it!

Long story short, I just had a follow up ultrasound in December and poof, it was magically no longer there! So who cares now!

Best of luck going forward. Like other posters have said, I think these are more common than people realize, so you've got some sisters in arms!
posted by trampoliningisfun at 5:49 PM on February 20, 2017

I've had the exact same experience as Frowner above. After the first one I went to the doc and he suspected it was a ruptured cyst, mentioned how common it was, did an ultrasound that was clear and since i was no longer in pain that was that. I've had a couple more similar episodes in the last decade that literally resolved themselves right as i started having the 'maybe i should go to the ER' thoughts. I assumed it was just another cyst as the experience was so similar to the first.
posted by cgg at 5:54 PM on February 20, 2017

I had a 9cm simple fluid-filled ovarian cyst a few years ago. (Discovered because of an incident of acute pain that I actually did go to the ER for.) I initially saw a gyn who recommended surgery, but after seeking a second opinion, waiting for 4-6 weeks was also suggested to me. That's what I did, and it was successful! Within 6 weeks it was gone.
posted by snorkmaiden at 6:48 PM on February 20, 2017

I had a 4 cm complex cyst (an endometrioma, which was mostly blood) on one of my ovaries last year, and my doctor put me on hormonal birth control to get my system to "calm down" (I was also in a lot of pain), and we did the wait-and-watch approach. After 6 weeks, the ultrasound showed that it had grown very slightly, and my doctor recommended surgery. Since it's been surgically removed, I haven't had any issues.

And if your concern is that this is anywhere in the neighborhood of malignant, I will say that I was assured over and over and over again that cysts are normal while we're still menstruating (i.e before menopause). Someone, maybe even someone here, described multiple cysts they'd had and concluded that maybe they were just "cysty by nature." Sometimes that's just how it goes when you have ovaries n stuff!
posted by witchen at 9:01 PM on February 20, 2017

Ovarian cysts are totally normal yes! I've had ones that stuck around a bit, others that just went away, and only one that nearly killed me. I'll tell you about the one that nearly killed me so you won't worry :) and also so y'all know what to look for that means "hie thee to the ER now and not five minutes later."

What happened was my childhood GP, an awesome woman, strongly suspected I had endometriosis as a kid. Largely because I had unpredictable and super-heavy periods. It was like "floodgates open, wait nine days, floodgates shut. Oh and have fun trying to move while being stabbed repeatedly with debilitating pain!" She recommended my parents put me on birth control, but they were evangelical Christians (USA) so all that did was make my parents take me to the GP less often, sigh.

As a result, a cyst went unnoticed, we don't know how long, all I know is that one evening while eating dinner, I had the sensation of a really big fucking knife stabbing me in the side. I could hardly breathe or stand. But since I was used to that sort of pain(?!) I managed to walk to the Helsinki Women's Hospital a block away from where I lived at the time.

I had a large cyst that had torsioned and burst, which – because of its weird, twisted (torsioned) positioning – hit a blood vessel (I don't know which, they didn't explain) causing me to, well, be bleeding to death. They operated a couple of hours after I first arrived in the hospital and of course I am now here typing this comment so I did survive. It was an endometrial cyst.

So! No worries! Your body will let you know and your doctors will too. I've never had another torsioned cyst or anything like that, because thanks to the wonders of single-payer/socialized medicine, I get hormones aka birth control for free and only get little cysts now.

But yeah. Stabbing abdominal pain? Hie thee to the ER. Otherwise, don't worry.
posted by fraula at 2:52 AM on February 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I had a weird experience last month where I thought I had a UTI: frequent peeing, especially at night, and abdominal cramping. It was low-level for 3-4 nights and I ignored it. Night 5, it got so bad I considered taking myself to the ER. That's when it first occurred to me that maybe it's a UTI, even though I wasn't having other typical symptoms of one. Went to doctor next day; negative for UTI or any other type of infection. By the time I got the ultrasound a week later, the symptoms had already subsided. By the time I got the results a week after that, the symptoms were totally gone and the only thing that had showed up on the ultrasound was a "collapsed cyst." Apparently, sometimes they just grow and then go away by themselves. I was reassured by the nurse that it was "normal", and "nothing to worry about." In fact, the doctor didn't even tell me about it when she called; she just said the test results didn't show anything. It wasn't until I called back and spoke to the nurse that she even told me. So yeah, solidly in the camp of if they tell you not to worry, then don't worry.
posted by spicytunaroll at 6:43 AM on February 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've had multiple cysts. They all went away on their own (one, I suspect, ruptured--it was painful for a short while and then the pain disappeared). Totally normal!
posted by zoetrope at 7:45 AM on February 21, 2017

I was just diagnosed with a 5cm hemorrhagic cyst and the answer is to go on hormonal birth control to shrink it, and keep an eye out for signs of rupture (stabbing pain, then 1-3 days of some pain/bleeding). Otherwise, life continues as normal.
posted by bookdragoness at 10:46 AM on February 21, 2017

Few people would choose to have a cyst, yet few would choose to ~not~ know they have a cyst when they do. So put this knowledge to your advantage and be aware of any possible complications and what the symptoms are. Knowledge is human, self-knowledge is divine (or something)
posted by peterpete at 6:07 PM on February 21, 2017

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