Symptoms of an ovarian cyst is not a topic I thought I would ever be writing about. I do articles on golf and golf tips, not women's health issues. I'm no expert on ovarian cysts but if you are a guy searching women's health or you went to search Google for ovarian cyst, then I can share my experience with my wife's battle with these things and how we finally got back to normal.
Trust me, we are so lucky to be men. I'll take a prostate over ovaries any day of the week. Almost all women will produce ovarian cysts at sometime in their life. Most are no problem and will pass out of the body during her period. However there are some that may become problematic and that can be the beginning of hell for both you and her.
First a quick lesson on human reproduction . The ovaries create eggs and place them in fluid filled sacs called follicles. When everything works according to plan, the follicles will burst freeing the egg and also pour out estrogen and progesterone. The egg will travel down the fallopian tube into the uterus looking for sperm. The burst follicle remains on the ovary and will pass through the body within 1 or 2 menstrual periods.
Here's what can go wrong .
That follicle may not burst. The egg remains inside and fluids continue to build as she goes into the next menstrual cycle. Normally these do not represent a big problem and rarely cause pain.
Another scenario is the sac does burst, but rather than just remaining a burst balloon if you will, it seals itself and fluids once again start to fill the sac. This one is called a corpus luteum cyst and it also can pass normally in 4 to 6 weeks. However, it can also grow and may become as large as 4 inches in diameter.
Because of its size and weight, it has the potential to twist the ovary and cut off the blood supply. When this occurs there is going to be some major pain in the abdomen. If it fills with blood, it has the potential to rupture and then you have internal bleeding and that is not a good thing. How will the woman know if she has a ruptured cyst? She'll know it when she gets a knife like pain in her side.
Can you begin to see why this is a major issue for her?
But it gets worse.
Most cysts are discovered during routine pelvic exams . Others may be easily misdiagnosed because the symptoms mimic those of other conditions. If however the doctor picks up on the fact that a cyst is present, she will order an ultrasound and do a blood test. This will give her a view of the cyst and at least some guidance as to what to do next.
Do you know what that "something to do next" is? Well it's likely to be nothing. Watchful waiting is what they call it. Because so many cysts resolve themselves, doctors will simply monitor the cysts using frequent ultrasounds to track its progress.
Meanwhile your wife or girlfriend is still feeling like crap. She might wake up one morning looking like she swallowed a soccer ball during the night. Hair may start appearing where it should not, like on top of her toes. In short she will feel miserable and that feeling is going to run down hill if you get my drift.
And as a man you are having a tough time relating to the problem because we do not have anything like it. All you know is she is miserable and you're not having sex because it's too painful for her. Surely the doctors can do something else.
Well your right they have two more options. Hormonal therapy and surgery. Trust me neither one of them are pleasant. And guess what. If they do dissolve the cyst, there is no guarantee that it will not come back.
About eight weeks into this I decided there must be something better than what my wife's doctor was offering. I checked out my two favorite medical sites, Mayo Clinic and WebMd but did not find anything new. So I started looking for holistic cures.
My wife is really big on natural diets and she really knows that we can cure whatever ails us with the food we eat. I have to sneak double cheeseburgers while I'm out playing golf.
Obviously diet was not doing much for the ovarian cyst situation.
But then I found a resource that said the cysts could be the result not only of a poor diet, but stress and a lack of exercise. Bingo. My wife is skinny as a rail so she has no motivation to exercise. Stress however, had recently been a big part of her life. So I found a pretty simple video on Yoga and suggested we both give it a try. Really simple stuff like stretching and relaxation poses.
It actually worked. She was already eating healthy but she needed to get some exercise and manage her stress. What watchful waiting could not achieve, these simple exercises did and the cyst problem is gone. And, it has not come back.
So if you find yourself in a similar position , take the offensive and get her the resources she needs to fight this thing. She'll love you even more for thinking of her.