Multiple cysts-what does it mean? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-23-2010, 02:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I am mainly a lurker and have only posted a couple of times before. I wanted to ask this question here because you ladies have tons of useful information and resources.

We have been trying to conceive #2 for five months. I had an ultrasound done today just as a check up and the Dr. found that I have several cysts in both ovaries. I left the office confused as there was little time for explanation, but he basically told me that the cysts are often due to insuline resistance and imbalance of androgens and that I should just try to eat less simple carbohydrates and more protein. I do not think he gave me a diagnosis, just mentioned the cysts and told me to eat better and exercise more. He didn't seem concerned about any impact on fertility (or at least he didn't mention and he answered "excellent" when I asked if I still have good chances of conception). So, I came back home and started researching on this and found PCOS all over the place and I'm sort of stressing out about this. I do not have any other symptom of PCOS and have very regular cycles.

So my question is, what would be other causes of multiple ovarian cysts and do they impair fertility? as I said, I have very regular periods which lead me to think I ovulate regularly, but I do not chart so I don't have "proof". Should I be concerned about these cysts? is it possible to have ovarian cysts and have normal fertility? do the cysts necessarily indicate anovulatory cycles or could they be extra follicles that did not mature (on cycles where another egg did mature and was released)? could these be follicles that have accumulated over several years or do they indicate a relatively new problem?

I realize these are many questions, but thought some of you may have had some experience with this or know of some resources I could look up.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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You can have multiple cysts and still ovulate. It sounds hopeful that you have regular cycles and no other PCOS symptoms.

My advice would be to start temping/charting to tell for sure.

I have cysts, somewhat irregular cycles, other slight PCOS symptoms, and have gotten pregnant 3 times in 3 1/2 years, with no problem. I have also noticed that symptoms decrease and my cycles are more regular with controlled diet and exercise.

As for what causes I'm still working on that myself.

Good luck!
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iot View Post
Hi,

I am mainly a lurker and have only posted a couple of times before. I wanted to ask this question here because you ladies have tons of useful information and resources.

We have been trying to conceive #2 for five months. I had an ultrasound done today just as a check up and the Dr. found that I have several cysts in both ovaries. I left the office confused as there was little time for explanation, but he basically told me that the cysts are often due to insuline resistance and imbalance of androgens and that I should just try to eat less simple carbohydrates and more protein. I do not think he gave me a diagnosis, just mentioned the cysts and told me to eat better and exercise more. He didn't seem concerned about any impact on fertility (or at least he didn't mention and he answered "excellent" when I asked if I still have good chances of conception). So, I came back home and started researching on this and found PCOS all over the place and I'm sort of stressing out about this. I do not have any other symptom of PCOS and have very regular cycles.

So my question is, what would be other causes of multiple ovarian cysts and do they impair fertility? as I said, I have very regular periods which lead me to think I ovulate regularly, but I do not chart so I don't have "proof". Should I be concerned about these cysts? is it possible to have ovarian cysts and have normal fertility? do the cysts necessarily indicate anovulatory cycles or could they be extra follicles that did not mature (on cycles where another egg did mature and was released)? could these be follicles that have accumulated over several years or do they indicate a relatively new problem?

I realize these are many questions, but thought some of you may have had some experience with this or know of some resources I could look up.

Thanks in advance!
If you went to an OB, you may want to consider seeing an RE for some bloodwork. OB's can be great, but are stupid sometimes when it comes to PCOS. And it sounds like pretty classic PCOS.

There are many different types of PCOS. Not all of them are "insulin resistant" strains. It CAN affect your ability to conceive. If the cysts are producing excess estrogen or if you are producing too much androgen hormone, or if you are simply not ovulating or ovulating too late, these can all affect your ability to get pregnant. Not impossible, it's just harder, and takes longer. I got pregnant on the first try with DS when I was 23 but now I'm going on a year and a half TTC #2 and FINALLY managed to get pregnant last month when they regulated my hormone levels (it ended up being a chemical). I, like you, don't have any of the "typical" symptoms of the disease, and I ovulate regularly. The only thing that clued me in to a problem was the hormone tests which showed increased dheas levels (normal for a woman, but too high for one TTC). Just because you're getting your period regularly, does not necessarily mean you're ovulating. I would see about getting some blood work, and start temping so you can see exactly where in your cycle you are ovulating. That might set your mind at ease. Try not to let it stress you out (I know, easier said that done)Feel free to PM me if you have any questions Good luck girlie!

Wife (32) of 8 years to DH (33), Mom to Logan geek.gif (7), and Tristan and Cael, twins.gif the wee ones, born 3/18/11! And OMW a surprise babyf.gif due 2/2013!
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:21 AM
 
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Definitely pursue this further & with another doctor if need be. Many women with pcos spend many years getting a correct diagnosis & treatment. It sounds like you're getting your first heads up & have the opportunity to start doing things to improve your health.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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Old 03-24-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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Hi Iot,

It can be so frustrating when you leave the doctors office with incomplete answers. It sounds like your doctor was refering to a diet specific for women with PCOS. Without begin diagnosed with PCOS this way of eating may or may not be what you need.

If you would like to learn more about this way of eating and to see if you experience any of the symptoms of insulin resistance go to this link: http://natural-fertility-info.com/pcos-fertility-diet

Ovarian cysts are the product of failed or disordered ovulation. One way an ovarian cyst is formed when the follicle does not release its egg and the follicle continues to grow forming a cyst.

Most ovarian cysts are normal and harmless but many women experience fertility issues if the cysts get too large, or are the symptom of a bigger issue such as PCOS.


If you are interested in natural ways to work toward getting rid of ovarian cyst and controlling new ones from forming you may want to read this article: http://natural-fertility-info.com/ovarian-cyst-remedy

This article may help you to learn ways of healing them yourself.

I agree with the other ladies in that it is important to have a good doctor that is going to communicate well. A Reproductive Endocronologist is going to help you know what your fertility challenges are specifically. I hope you can find someone good who can help you get some answers!

Best Wishes,

Dalene

Herbalist, CD Mother of 2 boys, age 11 and 9
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Old 03-28-2010, 02:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your replies!

Sorry it took me so long to follow up. It's been a busy week here...

MamaChe, it is great to hear that the cysts have not affected your fertility!

The Dr. I went to is an OB/GYN/Fertility doctor. I asked him to clarify via email (they are great about communicating this way) and he said that I have pco but not full blown PCOS, that it is "just a touch of it" , very common and not a big deal. He said he sees this several times a day on ultrasound and that the majority of women who he sees with them are able to conceive easily, and that just eating better and exercising should get rid of the problem. He also said that these cysts can actually be from very very long time ago, even years ago. I still don't see why he is talking about diet since it is not PCOS and like you all indicated, not all types of PCOS are related to insuline resistance. Seems like he was just grouping everything together, which made it confusing and I thought it was a little irresponsable.

I also called my OB back home (me and my family are out of state until the end of July) for her opinion and she said that the observation of these follicles is fairly common in ultrasound and that this observation, in itself, does not mean anything unless they grow too large, are too many, or are accompanied by irregular periods or other symptoms of PCOS. She said she had seen them in my previous ultrasound (about eight months ago) and that she did not even mention them to me because of those reasons.

So, I feel a little more relaxed about it, though I don't feel very trusting of my current doctor. I am the kind of person who would prefer to have everything checked though, including the hormones, but I don't think I am justified to go see an RE right now, since I have not been trying for that long (and my insurance doesn't cover anything until I reach my deductible, since I'm out of state and the dr is therefore out of network...). I certainly will follow your advice and start charting, and maybe try an OPK this cycle just to see if I can detect the surge.

Nanette56, I will send you a PM to ask you some questions about your situation. I do not know what dheas levels are, for example, and I would like to know if there is anything to watch out for even with regular cycles.

Oh, and I also found out that my ferritin and vitamin D3 levels are low, so I am now supplementing as I believe these are important for fertility.

Thanks again for your answers and support. Good luck to all and I'll probably be back with more questions as I continue to sort through things and start charting!
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