TLDR: Ovarian cysts are pretty common, and usually benign (not cancer!) here are the main symptoms of ovarian cysts you may have
Back in 2017, I had pain in my stomach, bloating (scroll down for the pic!) and just felt full all the time. I also was trying for a baby and not having much luck.
I’ve always been pretty good with going to the doctor since someone said this to me:
‘If your car was broken, you’d go to the garage and get it fixed, but people don’t do that with their bodies’.
It’s true, isn’t it? Too often, we let our health problems slide. Afraid of being a nuisance or creating something out of nothing.
But the thing is, sometimes it isn’t nothing.
Sometimes we need to listen to our bodies, feel what we feel and get it checked.
Thankfully, the doctor listened to my problem and ordered some tests. I was found to have a large ovarian cyst (12x12cm!) that would need to be operated on. At the time, they believed this may be what was causing fertility struggles. We later learned that it wasn’t, but that’s a whole other story.
My Symptoms Of Ovarian Cysts
My main symptoms were bloating, stomach pain, and feeling full. There are more symptoms you can experience though.
The NHS writes the following symptoms that someone with an ovarian cyst might experience.
- pelvic pain – this can range from a dull, heavy sensation to a sudden, severe and sharp pain
- pain during sex
- difficulty emptying your bowels
- a frequent need to urinate
- heavy periods, irregular periods or lighter periods than normal
- bloating and a swollen tummy
- feeling very full after only eating a little
- difficulty getting pregnant – although fertility is usually unaffected by ovarian cysts
What is an ovarian cyst?
An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on the ovary. Sometimes they go away on their own. If the cyst is 5-10 cm, then it’s likely that you’ll need to have surgery to remove it.
Is an ovarian cyst cancer?
When I saw my doctor about my symptoms, I did worry that it might be cancer.
Ovarian cyst symptoms are very similar, and sometimes they’re cancerous. The doctor did a blood test to see if any markers were up. They were quickly able to tell me at this point that it wasn’t cancer. If it was, I’d have been rushed through the system and looked after under a different umbrella in the hospital.
For this occasion, I was an ovarian cyst patient.
Ovarian cyst diagnosis
My doctor did blood tests and sent me for an ultrasound. During the ultrasound, the sonographer got a good look in the area to see what the problem could be.
For some people, the cyst is just monitored. However, because mine was so big (12x12cm), we decided surgery was the best move.
Ovarian cyst surgery
Ovarian cysts are pretty common, so you can imagine the surgeons do lots of these procedures. They do it keyhole too, which is minimally invasive and has a recovery time of about a week.
The worst symptom post-surgery was probably shoulder pain from the gas. For the keyhole, they blow up your abdomen with a gas to work inside it. Post-surgery, this gas gets trapped in your body, and you can feel it all over. For me, it was my shoulder. You can read about my experience recovering from keyhole surgery here.
Let’s talk ovarian cysts
I posted a little video talking about my experience with ovarian cysts. I was blown away to hear from many people having similar issues.
All I’ll say is see a doctor. Get the tests. Don’t lose sleep worrying what it might be when you could easily find out from your GP.
My inbox is always open, catch me over at @itourremedy on Insta and TikTok.