Large ovarian cyst found during early pregnancy u/s - Mothering Forums

Large ovarian cyst found during early pregnancy u/s

nukuspot's Avatar nukuspot (TS)
01:16 AM Liked: 29758
#1 of 24
09-18-2008 | Posts: 1,341
Joined: May 2007
Hello everyone.

I just had an early u/s today (9 weeks) and the baby looks fine and healthy...A big relief to me. For some reason I was really stressing about this.

However, they did find a large (9cm) ovarian cyst on my right ovary. The tech indicated that was quite large for a cyst and it is pressing right on my bladder!!! I could easily see it on the ultrasound pressing on my bladder, and causing the bladder to be compressed and small. Perhaps this is the cause of the increased urinary symptoms I have been experiencing for the last few weeks?

Anyway, I started googling "ovarian cysts during pregnancy" and just freaked myself out to no end. After evil google convinced me I'd have to have surgery to remove the cyst during the 2nd trimester and recommended a c/s (which is not gonna happen if I can help it...I'm dedicated to homebirth.) I did the sensible thing and called the midwife. She did not seem very concerned about it, though she did say that 9cm is large. She will call me when the radiologist faxes her the report so she can go over it with me.

So I banned myself from the trauma of google and thought I would post my very first post here...To ask if any of you experienced ovarian cysts that were found during pregnancy? If so, were they as large as mine? What was the follow up? Did it cause increased bladder symptoms like low bladder capacity, very frequent urination and urinary urgency (I don't have a UTI, just got tested last week due to my bladder sx.)

Thanks in advance for your responses. I am happy to also post my very first post on here too...Though I wish it were cheerier.
nighten's Avatar nighten
01:47 AM Liked: 15
#2 of 24
09-18-2008 | Posts: 5,727
Joined: Oct 2005
Oh mama, bless your heart. I had a subchorionic bleed early on and it was such a scary and panicky thing. I feel for you.

I don't have experience with ovarian cysts in pregnancy, but I do have experience with them outside of pregnancy, some very large and extremely painful, even, and ALL of them resolved on their own. It took a while for some, but they did.

That may not be very reassuring, but it's my experience, and while I absolutely understand the concern and worry you may have, try very hard to focus on the baby, not the cyst, if you can.

I would also drink plenty of water and cranberry juice (not the cocktails as that's too much sugar -- but cranberry juice) or take encapsulated cranberry if you can't tolerate the juice, to help keep your bladder healthy, since it's getting a little more pressure than usual in pregnancy. And don't delay when you need to pee. Bladder infections have different symptoms in pregnancy, and since you're aware there's some additional stress going on there, being proactive is a great approach I think (plus cranberry's totally safe in pregnancy).

Now this may be a dumb question, but was it the Corpus Luteum or some other cyst entirely? I'm assuming a different one, yes? In which case there's a really good chance it will be reabsorbed on its own.

I've read that flax seed oil (and other GLA sources) can be helpful, as can vitamins E, and C. Flax seed oil is great during pregnancy for the essential fatty acids. I've heard False Unicorn Root is also helpful but haven't tried it when pregnant. I'm not sure which other herbs might be helpful and are safe in pregnancy. Hopefully some other mamas here can help. ETA: Evening primrose oil is recommended as well by some when dealing with ovarian cysts, but because it can ripen/soften the cervix it is NOT recommended until after 36 weeks. Flax oil capsules however are fine. (Tastes like crap though so I take the capsules. )

Good luck to you and welcome! And remember, focus on the baby. It's hard, I know, but it can help when you're freaking out a bit. s to you.
kalirush's Avatar kalirush
10:27 AM Liked: 0
#3 of 24
09-18-2008 | Posts: 1,319
Joined: Jun 2005
I had ovarian cysts early in my first pregnancy, and they went away on their own (none of them actually ruptured that I can recall), but they were smaller and didn't cause me any trouble.

Cysts suck, good luck. 9 cm is huuge! I had one that size in my early twenties, and it actually made a lump you could see through my skin. I can tell you, though, that even a big cyst like that will probably go away on its own. Mine didn't- I had surgery, but it also looked unusual ("thick wall, complex mass") on ultrasound.
Mrsboyko's Avatar Mrsboyko
12:13 PM Liked: 12
#4 of 24
09-18-2008 | Posts: 1,702
Joined: Nov 2007
Oh, cysts suck . I have had one rupture (not during pregnancy) and i had pain for over 6 months afterwords. Pretty sure i have scar tissue from that one. I got another that was getting just as big much faster so I did have them remove it. It went from 3cm to 7 cm in less than 48 hours and i just couldn't deal with the idea of it rupturing again. They did a quick laproscopic procedure and i was back to normal in 3 days with little pain before then.

All that said, I will share a scary story too. Stop reading if you don't want to hear it:


My SIL had a cyst that was found when she was about 6 weeks pregnant. The MW said it was pretty normal in early pregnancy, don't worry about it. She had a scare at 10 weeks and went to the ER. THe cyst was seen again and it was much bigger. Again, normal, don't worry.

At 15 weeks she had an MD consult. He saw the cyst and it was huge (over 20 cm) He said it was going to have to come out during the 2nd tri. 4 days later she woke in extreme pain. She went to the ER and they had to do an emergency removal of the cyst, the ovary (because it had been completely destroyed by the cyst) and her Left tube. The cyst ahd twisted and it was cutting off the blood supply, thus the pain.

Since it was am emergency, they cut her from belly button to hair line, vertical. Once she was out of surgery, they were keeping a good eye on her. It took 5 long mins of doppler use to find the babies heartbeat, but there it was, strong and loud for everyone to hear.

She went home a few days later and healed up. Since she was still growing, her scar got very wide, but she did end up having a vaginal birth. She was even induced at 37 weeks (due to her mom pressuring her doc, more than i can get into here).

Now the really scary part. Again, don't read if you don't want to know.

The cyst they removed ended up being about 28cm across and weighing nearly 8 lbs. They did all the normal screening on it and found that it was cancerous. My SIL was 19 at the time. The doc said that the hormones that flooded her system during the pregnancy made it grow so fast, but no matter the size, it was cancer. If she HADN'T gotten pregnant, she never would have known as it would have grown much slower. Her son was her life saver. It was stage one and she never needed any chemo or radiation or any of that because it had been completely removed. She still gets checked every 3 month (for a total of 5 years) just to be sure, but it is gone.
nukuspot's Avatar nukuspot (TS)
01:53 PM Liked: 29758
#5 of 24
09-18-2008 | Posts: 1,341
Joined: May 2007
Thanls for the replies. Even the scary stories make me feel better because I know that others have gone through this. I still have no idea what sort of cyst it is or what the follow up will be. I am waiting for the MW to call me back with the u/s report when she gets it.

Has anyone of you who have experienced cysts experienced severe bladder pressure due to it? The u/s tech said it was pressing on my bladder, and I have such discomfort. I had to urinate 10 or more times last night, it was exhausting. I also was dx'ed 4 years ago with a bladder disease called Interstitial Cystitis, which is a non-bacterial chronic inflammation of the bladder. So I am sure that my bladder already being irritated cannot be helping this situation. But the frequency is miserable. As soon as I pee I feel like I have to go again...Each time it is just a trickle. (I don't have a UTI, btw, I got checked twice in the last month d/t the symptoms.) I am not sure how I can go through the rest of preg this uncomfortable, especially when the uterus grows and baby also puts pressure on the bladder.

I can only hope that it does in fact resolve with pregnancy, and not get bigger due to the hormones. When I look online, it seems that cysts less than 5cm have a good chance of resolving during preg, while over 5cm usually need to be surgically removed. Has anyone had a cyst over 5cm that spontaneously resolved?
phatchristy's Avatar phatchristy
02:18 PM Liked: 14
#6 of 24
09-18-2008 | Posts: 9,037
Joined: Jul 2005
My doula had a client with a rather large fluid filled cyst that was found during an early ultrasound. In her case, they did multiple repeat ultrasounds, and apparently it did resolve uneventully during her pergnancy.

As a weird side note, I had thought I was having a UTI here as I was having irritation that would last for a few days, kind of go off and on. I was doing the cranberry and it didn't do anything. The MW suggested probiotics and interestingly enough the irritation went away. Apparently I was a little yeasty because of pregnancy and they said that can also irritate the urinary tract. Just a side note because pro-biotics are always a good thing regardless.
coyotemist's Avatar coyotemist
03:50 PM Liked: 19
#7 of 24
09-18-2008 | Posts: 1,761
Joined: Aug 2007
As others have said, a lot of it is determined by what sort of cyst you have. Most cysts are fluid filled structures-similar to a water balloon. If yours is the remenant of your corpus luteum, most likely you will be fine. If it starts to hurt A LOT go to ER. They can, very very rarely, twist the ovary (as in the story above).

A few years ago, I found myself with a dermoid cyst. They are yucky, but not generally life threatening. After it grew for a few months, it became stable, but then leaked fluid and caused pain. After a year of coping with the pain, I chose surgery. It was definately the right choice, I woke in the hospital after surgery for the first time pain free. I do have some scar tissue from it, but as the years go by, that tissue has relaxed and caused very few problems.

Many women have cysts, and probably 99% of those ladies are completely fine.


Congrats on your pregnancy!
FondestBianca's Avatar FondestBianca
03:59 PM Liked: 36
#8 of 24
09-18-2008 | Posts: 2,592
Joined: May 2008
typically your monthly cycle will eventually get rid of a cyst and surgery is only needed if they do not burst or reabsorb on their own. I personally had a cyst larger than the one you're describing (11cm if I remember correctly... large grapefruit sized) and it ended up going away on it's own. Hormones are so insane during pregnancy that I'm be pretty certain it will work itself out. The do get painful and I'm sure some of yur bladder issue can be blamed on the cyst as well but, really it isn't damaging anything in there.

Pregnant or not a cyst is no more likely to have to be surgically removed. I've had over 15 or 20 ovarian cysts and none had to be removed. The larger one I spoke about was diagnosed and my doc simply said they would watch it for 2 more months. If it wasn't gone by then we would discus possibly removal. If your doc didn't say anything about a timeframe I imagine they aren't even concerned about it getting too terribly large.

no worries. most cysts are fluid filled and won't do any damage. only once did I have a blood filled cyst (that I know of) and when it burst I had no problem with internal bleeding. I did have some massivly painful cysts that led me to the ER but most of the pain was just from the process right before, during, and after one would burst (rather than just reabsorb). I think a cyst has to be pretty darn huge to twist anything up or crush something. mine was the size of a freaking large grapefruit and it did no damage!
orangeiron's Avatar orangeiron
10:47 PM Liked: 0
#9 of 24
09-18-2008 | Posts: 160
Joined: Oct 2004
I have heard that dairy can irritate cysts and make them grow larger. A friend of mine had a cyst (before getting pregnant) and the midwives told her to stop consuming dairy. She got pregnant with twins soon after and the cyst didn't seem to show up again, she never had an ultrasound, so didn't really know.
rahans's Avatar rahans
11:20 PM Liked: 11
#10 of 24
09-18-2008 | Posts: 254
Joined: Feb 2008
During my 18 week u/s with 1st pregnancy, the tech found an ovarian cyst the size of a plum. Dr told me not to worry about it (I didn't). Ended up with an emergency c/s and asked them to look for cyst and remove it. OB couldn't find it - said pregnancy hormones usually get rid of them. Forward 7 months later after months of horrible on and off back/hip pain (was sure it was disk or muscle in back), I ended up in ER with the cyst twisting around the ovary - had to get both ovary and tube removed. Cyst was the size of a grapefruit by the time they got it.
So, it didn't effect my pregnancy in any way. Considering the size of your cyst, I would make sure it was monitored.
alleybcat's Avatar alleybcat
11:47 PM Liked: 0
#11 of 24
09-18-2008 | Posts: 367
Joined: Aug 2005
I had a dermoid cyst in my left ovary throughout my first pregnancy. These are cysts that do not resolve themselves as they are filled with gross stuff. BUT, I was able to just watch it through my pregnancy (with many ultrasounds) and wait until I was about 2 months post-partum to have surgery. The surgury wasn't that bad and I have had no complaints since.

All that being said, it never compressed my bladder or did anything else except give me some pain.

Oh, I had a total natural childbirth with my son.

Good luck!!
BlueWolf's Avatar BlueWolf
03:10 PM Liked: 10
#12 of 24
01-09-2009 | Posts: 661
Joined: Jul 2008
I hope you don't mind that I bumped this back up...

I just found out I have a 12cm cyst, and I'm 12 weeks pregnant. They want me to go to a specialist to find out more information, then monitor the cyst to make sure it doesn't grow or rupture. My doctor wants me to have a c-section so the cyst can be removed at the time of birth.

To the OP - how is your cyst now?
PaigeC
04:54 PM Liked: 30
#13 of 24
01-09-2009 | Posts: 695
Joined: Nov 2008
I'm sorry both of you are experiencing this! I'm an IVF patient so cysts are part of the works for us - after our ovaries product 10+ eggs the remaining cysts are huge and painful but normally resolve on their own. We are told to eat a lot of protein and drink gatorade to balance the fluid. So, that might help.

I think it is important for you to find out if it is a corpus luteum cyst or another type. CL cysts are much more likely to resolve themselves. Also, if they do continue to grow and torsion is suspected you can have them aspirated. They do this by using a long needle through the vaginal wall and draining the fluid. Although that sounds awful (a needle where???) it is better than surgery.

It also sounds like offering a c/s for this is a matter of convenience? Because you are already cut open? I would encourage you to birth vaginally and then deal with the cyst.

Of course, if it isn't a CL cyst then I don't have much experience with those!
nukuspot's Avatar nukuspot (TS)
12:28 AM Liked: 29758
#14 of 24
01-10-2009 | Posts: 1,341
Joined: May 2007
Hi bluewolf,

I also sent you a reply to your PM. My cyst was monitored through my first and second trimester, I had a follow up u/s at 13 weeks and one at 20 weeks (coinciding with my fetal survey u/s). By 13 weeks it was around 4.5cm, and at 20 weeks it was even smaller at 2cm. At every u/s they also confirmed it was a "simple" cyst, that is one that is fluid filled with no walls or seperations in it. A cyst that is solid, or has chambers is more likely to be associated with cancer (but not always!) While a simple fluid filled uniocular cyst is usually benign. I no longer am being monitored by u/s, and the follow up is that I will go back postapartum to make sure it resolved.

2 points.

Firstly (for me) I would have NEVER agreed to a c/s just because of the cyst. If they were really worried about it I would probably have them wait until pp and then go into surgery. But I am totally hellbent on vaginal birth for myself. But I would have only agreed to surgery if it had a suspicion of cancer, such as if it was solid or walled. There was another woman in my MW's practice who had a solid, walled cyst found on u/s during her pregnancy. The MW referred her to an OB, who did what yours suggested, a c/s and cyst removal at the same time. In her case, the cyst was benign, but since it was solid, it is best it was removed, but I wonder if she now regrets the c/s since was not an immediate urgency because it was noncancerous? You need to find out what type of cyst it is. Ask if it is "simple" or "complex." If it is simple, I would feel that you had good grounds to refuse the c/s (IMO...)

The other thing is that with a cyst that large you want to make sure it does not cause ovarian torsion or rupture during pregnancy. If you have severe pain in the area of the cyst, go to the ER. I had alot of pain from the cyst from about 8-13 weeks, but the pain subsided as it started shrinking. At one point the pain was so bad I couldn't sleep so I did take myself to the ER. Everything was fine in that case, but it was a painful experience.

Keep ups posted...Ask if you can have your cyst monitored by serial u/s before agreeing to a c/s...And find out what type of cyst you have!
catters's Avatar catters
11:40 AM Liked: 22
#15 of 24
01-10-2009 | Posts: 897
Joined: Nov 2007
I had a cyst the "size of an orange" (more like a tangerine) and they worried about rupture with DS but it went away before I delivered him. It was fine. Don't freak out! From what my OB told me, its not all that uncommon.
BlueWolf's Avatar BlueWolf
01:39 PM Liked: 10
#16 of 24
01-12-2009 | Posts: 661
Joined: Jul 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by nukuspot View Post
Hi bluewolf,

I also sent you a reply to your PM. My cyst was monitored through my first and second trimester, I had a follow up u/s at 13 weeks and one at 20 weeks (coinciding with my fetal survey u/s). By 13 weeks it was around 4.5cm, and at 20 weeks it was even smaller at 2cm. At every u/s they also confirmed it was a "simple" cyst, that is one that is fluid filled with no walls or seperations in it. A cyst that is solid, or has chambers is more likely to be associated with cancer (but not always!) While a simple fluid filled uniocular cyst is usually benign. I no longer am being monitored by u/s, and the follow up is that I will go back postapartum to make sure it resolved.

2 points.

Firstly (for me) I would have NEVER agreed to a c/s just because of the cyst. If they were really worried about it I would probably have them wait until pp and then go into surgery. But I am totally hellbent on vaginal birth for myself. But I would have only agreed to surgery if it had a suspicion of cancer, such as if it was solid or walled. There was another woman in my MW's practice who had a solid, walled cyst found on u/s during her pregnancy. The MW referred her to an OB, who did what yours suggested, a c/s and cyst removal at the same time. In her case, the cyst was benign, but since it was solid, it is best it was removed, but I wonder if she now regrets the c/s since was not an immediate urgency because it was noncancerous? You need to find out what type of cyst it is. Ask if it is "simple" or "complex." If it is simple, I would feel that you had good grounds to refuse the c/s (IMO...)

The other thing is that with a cyst that large you want to make sure it does not cause ovarian torsion or rupture during pregnancy. If you have severe pain in the area of the cyst, go to the ER. I had alot of pain from the cyst from about 8-13 weeks, but the pain subsided as it started shrinking. At one point the pain was so bad I couldn't sleep so I did take myself to the ER. Everything was fine in that case, but it was a painful experience.

Keep ups posted...Ask if you can have your cyst monitored by serial u/s before agreeing to a c/s...And find out what type of cyst you have!
Thank you for the update and explanation It helps relieve some of the stress!

I'm not sure what type of cyst it is yet. The doctor did refer to it as a "complex" cyst but not because of walls (if I remember correctly). He said he would consider it complex because it was obviously blood filled and very large. He said he thought it might be a "chocolate cyst", filled with old blood. I'll find out more once I see the specialist.

I'm on the fence about a c/s, but what I'm really worried about is the cyst rupturing. I can deal with surgery, even though I'd prefer a vaginal delivery. Rupturing scares the jeebers out of me though.
Ginadido's Avatar Ginadido
09:24 PM Liked: 14
#17 of 24
08-08-2013 | Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2013
Hello everyone, Im 9 weeks pregnant with 9cm cyst my Dr seem concerned,I have an appt for when am 13 weeks.She told me i will probably have a C-section as cysts larger than 6cm normally wont go away and if keep growing may make it difficult for the baby to turn for vaginal delivery,how did it go with your case?am terrified this being my first pregancy
bruebee's Avatar bruebee
10:27 AM Liked: 66
#18 of 24
08-09-2013 | Posts: 70
Joined: Feb 2012
Hi ginadido. I had a 6 cm ovarian cyst when I was pregnant with my son who is now 18 months. The doctors found it at my 8 week dating ultrasound. My doctors said it needed to be surgically removed in my second trimester. It was removed via a laparoscopy surgery when I was 15 weeks. I was put under general anesthesia and baby was continually monitored throughout the surgery. He is perfectly fine and had no ill effects from the general. I'm kinda suprised your doctors are willing to wait until delivery to remove it. I was a repeat c-section and they were not willing to wait. My cyst was pushing baby down into my pelvis and they felt the cyst could restrict his growth. They also said the pain from it bursting would horrendous. In my opinion you may want to get a second opinion. If you have any questions feel free to ask. It is very scary to have surgery while pregnant but I truly believe that it saved my baby. Good luck in your decision.
Ginadido's Avatar Ginadido
04:39 PM Liked: 14
#19 of 24
08-12-2013 | Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2013

Thanks Bruebee for your reply,Am glad to hear you had a perfectly health baby.Congratulation Am happy for you.

I was suprised too when told I have to live with it,I will probably ask more questions on the next appt,I will also look for the second opinion.

Again thanks alot for your reply it has encouraged me alot. I will keep you posted.


JenVose's Avatar JenVose
02:08 PM Liked: 318
#20 of 24
08-13-2013 | Posts: 185
Joined: Jun 2013

While it is possible that surgical intervention may be necessary for the treatment of your cyst; it is also possible that it will cause no further issue and will resolve on its own. It is good that your doctor is alerting you now of the possibilities, but considering that the possibility of a surgery during pregnancy in order to remove the cyst hasn’t been discussed, in all likelihood, the concern is not as large as you think it might be.

 

Obviously, any surgery on your reproductive organs (any abdominal surgery at all, really), is an absolute last resort measure during pregnancy. Really, due to the anesthesia, etc., any surgery at all is. And barring surgical removal, there’s not much to be done about your cyst. Depending on the cause/type of cyst, sometimes hormonal BC pills can cause fewer cysts to develop in the future, but again, not an appropriate course of action during pregnancy. With that said, if surgery is the best option, I'm very glad you've already had an answer from another woman who has had a positive outcome!

 

I had ovarian cysts on a few occasions before pregnancy (including one during a miscarriage that was already hemorrhaging and was allowed to bleed out on its own with no intervention – wasn’t even given pain meds although the pain levels were mind-numbing!), but never during pregnancy, and never in the 13 or so months between (to my knowledge).  I used information from this site - http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/ovarian_cysts.html

 

What I used and found beneficial were the beets, carrots, non-alcoholic wine and molasses. None of these are dangerous in pregnancy (actually, the beets and carrots are great!), although depending on your own feelings, you might want to steer clear of the non-alcoholic wine. There appears that there might be some “recipe” for amounts of these and a way to incorporate them together into some sort of “sludge” that is taken like a medicine, but I simply incorporated them into my normal diet and got results. Honestly, as I didn’t like the taste of the non-alcoholic wine since I wasn’t able to find a really good brand in my area, and only had a single choice of brand, I actually used very little and so I would say that the other ingredients were more beneficial. I do believe they helped me.

 

You’ll likely receive more ultrasounds during pregnancy than most women, simply to keep an eye on the growth of the cyst and positioning. It is possible you won’t, if they can determine what they need to know by palpating the cyst during exams if it is in an area where that is possible and won’t cause problems and based on your pregnancy weight gain vs. uterine growth.

 

I continued to measure a bit ahead of expectation during my previous pregnancy, and my midwife sent me for two ultrasounds to eliminate the possibility of cysts. With that being said, she indicated that she had assisted several women with natural, out-of-hospital births despite cysts, if the cyst was not in a position where the baby would be placed at risk. There are many possible outcomes, so no need to assume the worst-case scenario. I would simply relax, take what measures I can naturally to treat, and continue to follow the doctor’s recommendations regarding continued monitoring of the situation.


lightgarden's Avatar lightgarden
10:04 PM Liked: 34
#21 of 24
08-13-2013 | Posts: 63
Joined: Apr 2013

I just had my first ultrasound yesterday, at 6 w 6 d. There was a big black blob on the screen and the tech asked me if I had experienced any pain during this pregnancy, and I said yes, I had been experiencing funny bone pains on the left side, and Sunday I had sharp pains on the left side. She pointed out the cyst on my left ovary and said that it was something to watch. I can't remember how big it was but I think it was 3cm. Crossing my fingers it doesn't end up being a problem.


Ginadido's Avatar Ginadido
06:06 AM Liked: 14
#22 of 24
10-17-2013 | Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2013

Hi everyone,i remember posting two month ago that i had a 9cmx4cm cyst which my doctor told me it probably wont go away,she gave me DUPHASTON for progesterone as cyst tend to make estrogen when i went for my second appointment my cyst was 6cmx3cm  and when i went last week i was 18 weeks pregnant and they couldn't find my cyst,i couldn't believe how lucky i was.

To every women who have problem like mine hang in there just stay positive and ask for PROGESTERONE it might help.

Thanks for the support everybody 


bruebee's Avatar bruebee
06:33 AM Liked: 66
#23 of 24
10-17-2013 | Posts: 70
Joined: Feb 2012
Wonderful! Thank you for the update. I'm so glad things went well for you. Many blessings for you and your sweet baby!
lightgarden's Avatar lightgarden
09:35 AM Liked: 34
#24 of 24
10-18-2013 | Posts: 63
Joined: Apr 2013

Awesome to hear that! I just realized I haven't even really thought about that cyst they found in the ultrasound back then. I'm 16 weeks now and I think it must have gone away on its own. Thank goodness!


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