Cysts

21 Replies
linds99 - May 4

I notice alot of people on the forum talking about cysts...here is some information I found. Functional cysts fall into two categories; follicular cyst, and corpus luteum cyst. Follicular cyst: The pituitary gland in your brain sends a message, by increasing luteinizing hormone (LH), to the follicle holding the ripening egg. This is called a “LH surge”. Normally, the egg is released from the follicle and starts down the fallopian tube where it may then become fertilized by a sperm cell. If the LH surge does not occur, the follicle doesn’t rupture or release its egg. Instead, it grows until it becomes a cyst. These cysts seldom cause pain, are usually harmless, and may disappear within two or three menstrual cycles. A Corpus luteum cyst: When there is a successful LH surge and the egg is released, the follicle responds by becoming a new, temporarily little secretory gland called the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum produces large amounts of progesterone and a little bit of estrogen, to prepare the uterus for conception. But occasionally, after the egg is released, the escape hatch seals off prematurely and tissue acc_mulates inside, causing the corpus luteum to enlarge. This type of cyst will usually disappear after a few weeks. Rarely, a corpus luteum cyst can grow to 3"-4" in diameter and potentially bleed into itself, or twist your ovary, thus causing pelvic or abdominal pain. OTHER cysts: 2) Dermoid cyst. A dermoid cyst is mainly fat but can also contain a mix of different tissues. They are often small and usually don’t cause symptoms. Very rarely, they become large and rupture, causing bleeding into the abdomen, which is a medical emergency. 3) Endometrioma or "chocolate cyst". These are cysts that form when endometrial tissue (the type that lines the inside of the uterus) invades an ovary. It is responsive to monthly hormonal changes, which causes the cyst to fill with blood. It’s called a “chocolate cyst” because the blood is a dark, reddish-brown color. Multiple endometriomas are found in the condition called "endometriosis". Although often asymptomatic, chocolate cysts can be painful, especially during your period or during intercourse. 4) Cystadenoma. Cystadenomas are cysts that develop from cells on the surface of your ovary. They are usually benign. Occasionally, they can become quite large and thus interfere with abdominal organs and cause pain. 5) Multiple cysts – the polycystic ovary. Women who don’t ovulate on a regular basis can develop multiple cysts. The ovaries are often enlarged and contain many small cysts clustered under a thickened, outer capsule. There are many factors causing a woman to not ovulate and develop polycystic ovaries.

 

jeanette - May 4

Wow....lots of great info....thanks Linds!

 

Lin - May 4

Good wealth of info. It's good to see someone put it all in one place. Can someone please tell me which type of cysts they are in pcos?

 

AshleyB - May 4

Thanks alot. I posted about cysts about a week ago. My doc found a large cyst that was 9cm and tomorrow morning I"m going in for another u/s with a high risk obgyn to check it out. I"m 8wks along, so i've been a bit worried about it. Thanks for the post. Great timing and maybe I'll understand better tomorrow when the doc tells me whats up.

 

Lin - May 4

Thanks, linds, but which kind of cyst are they? Obviously not endometriomas, dermoids or fibroids, right? But what? Follicular? Luteal? Whathahuh? Yes, before you ask, I am in an inquisitive mood!

 

linds99 - May 5

It would most likely be categorized as follicular cysts since no progesterone is produced since there is no ovulation with the imablance of hormones. In a non-normal cycle when no egg is released there is no progesterone secreted and more estrogen is released, which matures the follicles into fluid-filled sacs or cysts that will grow larger every month until progesterone is secreted. (That is why they go away on their own sometimes after you finally get your period when progesterone kicks in) With PCOS many fluid-filled cysts are present and male hormones are excessively high. Too much luteinizing hormone increases the production of male hormones. If left untreated, PCOS can lead to cancer of the uterine lining. Women with PCOS also are at increased risk for development of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension....Another thing, I was told by my gyn that the risk of cancer increases when cysts become solid, which is why you need to get them checked out if you have sore or burning sensations in the abdomen, located in the lower abdomen off to the right or left. You also can get pain during ovulation or intercourse. If you get a a cyst in the pelvic area, blood and fluid will discharge, possibly causing pain. The ovarian cysts occur in the first place when there is a hormone imbalance...so get your hormones checked. Estrogen dominance brought on by poor elimination of waste by the lymphatic system, colon, liver and kidneys is a factor. Emotional or physical trauma, prolonged stress, and even heavy exercise can cause increased estrogen. A diet rich in meat and dairy products is also responsible for elevating estrogen. (The risk of ovarian cancer is increased with the use of fertility drugs or birth control pills, or if you have never been pregnant.)

 

linds99 - May 5

One more thing, so as to not freak everyone out about cysts, I want to add, because of the usual monthly process of egg development and cyst formation, it is perfectly normal for a woman to have small fluid-filled ovarian cysts at almost any time throughout her reproductive life. In fact, ovaries nearly always have small cysts in them.

 

Lin - May 5

Thanks very much for the detail. That's exactly what I was looking for.

 

jeanette - May 5

WOW...i have just learned alot of stuff I didnt know....thank you Linds.

 

linds99 - May 8

bump

 

anon - May 8

LInds I think I know some of the signs and symptoms of PCOS,but some people say they get diagnosed with just an irregular cycle or infertility. I am not trying to conceive so I am worried about PCOS in general. I know you can get diagnose with it and not have the cysts on your ovaries, but can you not have the male hormones in your blood and still have PCOS. I know that irregular cycle and lot of cyst could mean something different. Isn't the male hormones in the blood the real factor in determining PCOS.

 

linds99 - May 9

Anon, you can have too much male hormones (testosterone) and not PCOS..there is two types of hormonal problems. The first type happens when you have too much of a certain kind of male hormone that comes from the ovary and occasionally comes from the adrenal gland that sits in the kidney. If you don't get your period, then you have too much of the hormone, if you do, then it is not that bad. The other type of hormonal problem occurs when your brain suffers confusion and your body literally gets its signals crossed in coordinating the menstrual cycle. Your hormones can be disrupted in the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland in the brain, and the ovaries. The hypothalamus sends signals to the pituitary gland, then sends signals to the ovary. I read that the signals are sent from the brain every 60 to 90 minutes. You know you have a hormonal problem that needs to be fixed when you have acne and excessive hair growth..When you have too much of the male hormone, you may find that your hair is thinning in a way that resembles male pattern baldness or that you may be gaining weight. Did you have an ultrasound done that revealed the polycystic appearance on them? Doctors can give you drugs containing progesterone to combat it. Noone knows why a woman gets too much male hormone....some say its from stress exhausting the adrenals. Others say its due to increased amounts of insulin, which causes the ovaries to make more male hormones than they should. On rare occasions, a tumor growing in the ovary or adrenal gland can make male hormones. Sometimes the adrenal gland may lack enzymes, which cause it to make more male hormone.

 

Keeli - May 9

Oh, I just noticed this thread. Thanks Linds for all of this good information! I have PCOS and you definitely taught me a thing or two! Another coulple of things I'd like to add is that you don't have to have many of the symptoms of PCOS when you have PCOS. Symptoms may include: no ovulation, irregular af, weight gain no matter what you do, excess facial and body hair (from the male hormones), acne, wacky horemone levels in the blood, and cysts on the ovaries. You don't have to have all of these symptoms to have PCOS. I actually ovulate every month, but it is not a very strong ovulation. I have regular af. I'm not overweight, don't have acne, and no excess facial or body hair. My blood work came back fine. The only symptom I have is the cysts which looked like tiny bubbles all over my ovaries on the u/s. This condition has been linked to diabetes since many PCOS women have high insulen levels. Some studies have shown that it may be either hereditary or caused by the preservatives and horemone additives in regular food. My doctor recommended a BIG change to my diet. Very low sugar. I limit the meat and milk since those are often pumped up with hormones and various preservatives and such, and I have to eat a lot more veggies. Since I LOVE milk, I didn't give that up, but switched to organic milk, which is much more tasty anyway!

 

linds99 - May 9

Hey Keeli, you are a lucky suffer of PCOS from what I read. It seems you too have learned to "beat" it in some ways. Thank God your symptoms aren't bad (and at least you are getting your period!) Do you know whether you are ovulating too? Do you temp or have a monitor that you use? You know, I read like you too, that a lot of doctors will see that a woman has a few symptoms of PCOS, maybe just acne or hair loss but with no cysts on ovaries, and they still diagnos them with the disease. I'm not sure if that is a cop-out to finding out a specific problem and it is easier to just lump it all together? What do you think?

 

Keeli - May 9

I really think my PCOS was caused by my poor, poor diet in my 20s. I'm lucky with the number of symptoms I have, except that I can't seem to get pg. Not even 6 months of IUIs did the trick. I used to have bad acne, but found a really good cleaner for that, and it is all but gone. I'm also excessive with the exercise. Dh and I are big outdoorsey types. That has probably kept me from gaining weight. I do ovulate, but the doctor thinks its not very strong and may not be producting good eggs. I think the doctors tend to lump all these symptoms together since so many women who have bad cases of PCOS have most if not all of these symptoms. Those of us with just a few are in the very early stages. Here's to eating well and exercise, because if I just stopped trying I'm sure I would be a lot worse off!!

 

linds99 - May 9

I don't believe I myself have PCOS, but I am not ruling it out until I have these tests completed this month with the endocronologist. I suspect that I do, but I don't know. I was super skinny in my 20s and never had an weight issue, I've always eaten real healthy, almost too healthy I think because I think the soy I've been eating as thrown my estrogen balance off kilter and caused an overload which caused a long follicular phase...so now I am abandoning all soy and herbs, etc for now...(I've be TTC for 7 months)...DH just got his swimmers checked and he is fine...so I know it is me. Perhaps I am not producing good eggs either like you because I ovulate late in my cycle like cd 22-24...(36-37 day cycle) How did the doctor come up with that idea for you???

 

Keeli - May 9

I think my weak ovulation is an educated guess from my doctor, since there was a small part of my ovaries that were not covered by the cysts. But because the space not covered is so small, he thinks ovulation is not very strong with me. Did you have an u/s? What other tests did they run for you?

 

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