Share Your Story: T.E.

 

T.E. was diagnosed with Endometriosis when she was 28 years old.  Now 31, she shares her story with us:

T.E.’s Journey: I was diagnosed with Endo around 28. I saw my gynecologist for painful sex and cyst rupture after sex and he recommended me seeing an infertility doctor for possible Endo. I saw the specialist and he said I did have chocolate cysts and suggested surgery to get a good look at what’s going on. I had the surgery; I did have lesions and my chocolate cysts were drained. I also had a low count of eggs at the time so I had to decide if I wanted to have kids now or never so I never started the pill after surgery.

Fast forward six months, I was back in pain and now till this day, I have had new symptoms arise. Hip pain and the bottom of my feet are new symptoms. I walk for a living so it’s been difficult. I still get leg pain, which is not even around the time of my period and mood swings. I also get lower back pain and severe cramps. My infertility doctor says he can’t do anything else for me so I have been trying other ways. I saw a holistic doctor and went that way and it did help, but the pain came back. I’m going to try acupuncture soon. Wish me luck!!

 

I want to send a special Thank You out to T.E. for being brave enough to share her personal story and struggle with us today.  Wishing you the BEST of luck with acupuncture!! You are a beautiful, brave, and strong woman.  Thank you!!!

 

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And if YOU would like to share your story, you can do so by clicking here.  The best part about this disease is the strong network of love and support from our fellow EndoSisters, and our friends and family, too.

Yours, Lisa.

Reader’s Choice: Small Endo, But Big Pain?

causes

One of our readers, Jocelyn, emailed me this question:

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for doing this! I was diagnosed with Endo in May 2017. After of course many ultrasounds, bladder scans, colonoscopies… you name it. The laparoscopy in May only revealed 2 very tiny cysts on my ovaries. My doc was able to get a tiny sample sent it off and then after much debate, they gave me the Endo diagnosis. My pain was very severe. I could barely complete normal activities without taking either 800 mg of ibuprofen every 2-4 hours, tramadol, rest, etc. With that being said, my question is even if the Endo is so small can it still cause a great deal of pain? I’ve heard women who have Endo all over their bodies. I tend to question myself because the cysts were so small. I apologize for the ridiculously long response. It’s just been very heavy on my mind. Thanks for listening and all that you do!

Best,
Jocelyn

~

Hi Jocelyn!

Thank you so much for responding!  I’m glad you received a diagnosis; helps to know that the pain isn’t normal!  AND your response was not ridiculously long at all.  So there! 😛

To answer your question about heightened pain levels, even though your Endo is “so small”…it doesn’t matter the amount of Endo you have.  Pain is pain is pain.  And this disease can cause havoc!  I did a bit of research about this topic after my 2014 diagnosis and women with Stage 1 Endo (which sounds like what you may have) can have extreme pain…while some women with Stage 4 Endo (which is as bad as it gets) have little to NO symptoms or pain.  Isn’t that bizarre?  Some women with Stage 1 Endo have NO pain while some do…the amount of the disease found in your body DOES NOT dictate the level of pain.  The presence and ferocity of the pain of the disease is different for every person, regardless of their “Stage” level.  Do not let your “small cysts” devalue your pain or belittle your illness or suffering.  Never let anyone tell you otherwise.  If you’d like to read more about my research from back then, please check out https://bloominuterus.com/2014/11/19/endoinvasion-stages/.

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If you have an Endo-related question you’d like me to delve into, shoot me a note here.

Permission was granted by Jocelyn to use her name and publish this Q&A.  Hoping this Q&A session helps answer some questions that other EndoSisters or their support systems may have.

Guyana : Endometriosis Care & Treatment

guyana

**Updated 10/29/16: If you live in Guyana and have (or think you have) Endometriosis, there IS an online support group created by a woman living in Georgetown:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/330769713952617/**

Guyana is a small English-speaking country located on the northeastern coast of South America, next to Venezuela and Brazil.  For a size-comparison, it’s slightly smaller than the state of Idaho.  It’s estimated that 736,000 people live in Guyana, most of whom reside in or near the capital, Georgetown, .  The majority of the country is covered in dense tropical forests.  The rest is grasslands, marshes, and cultivated urban areas.  Guyana has an 11% unemployment rate, and 35% of the population lives below the poverty line.   Unfortunately, nearly 155,000 residents live without electricity.

According to the C.I.A., nearly 2% of the Guyanese population is HIV positive, the Zika virus is actively transmitted throughout the country, and the citizens face a high risk of diarrhea, hepatitis A and typhoid fever due to poor water conditions.  In the past, there has also been a high mortality rate for mothers giving birth and/or their babies.  Guyana’s healthcare system is a blend of private and public (free) clinics and hospitals, located throughout the various regions of the country.

There are approximately 383,500 women in Guyana.  If one in 10 women suffer from Endometriosis, that means 38,000 Guyanese women may suffer from Endometriosis.  And I have been contacted by many asking questions about symptoms, diagnostic tests, and best ways to help with the pain.  It’s what spawned today’s blog.  And if you’re reading this and don’t know what Endometriosis is, but you suffer from painful periods (among other symptoms), please click here to read about the symptoms,  And, please, talk to your doctor.  If you don’t have a doctor, please try to make your way to a clinic or regional hospital.  And if you’d like, sign up for this Endometriosis Disease map and find women near you who also suffer from Endometriosis!

Due to the very rural areas of Guyana, many people are unable to seek appropriate medical care.  Some walk for miles though, others travel by canoe or small plane, and yet others simply do not have the means to travel to the more-populated urban areas for medical care.  The physician-to-patient ratio is staggering : less than one doctor for every 1,000 patients, and statistics show that there are two hospital beds to every 1,000 patients.  A study published in 2015 stated that out of nine hospitals across Guyana, there were less than 1 (0.7) OB/Gyns, 3.5 non-OB surgeons, and 1 anesthesiologist per hospital.  That same study found over half of those same hospitals reported routine water and electricity shortages.  There are also numerous reports of severe understaffing for specialists, nurses, and midwives throughout the country.

Although the economic and medical state of Guyana may sound grim, there are people and agencies trying to make a difference.  The Guyana Chronicle has published several health-related articles, including ones that focus on painful sex, Endometriosis, dioxin awareness, and cancer.  It’s so wonderful to see the media truly pushing to increase awareness and improve medical care.    The Government of Guyana is continuing to take steps to improve the quality and availability of healthcare throughout the region, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on upgrades throughout the country, as well as recruiting physicians from abroad (and encouraging local physicians to stay and practice in Guyana).  The country also receives extensive aid internationally.  Several doctors and organizations have devoted their time and energy into helping train medical staff in Guyana.  Guyana Medical Relief, a non-profit organization based out of Los Angeles, California, secures medications and diagnostic equipment for the hospitals of Guyana.  Since 1984, GMR has provided $60,000,000 worth of medical supplies and equipment to Guyanese hospitals and healthcare centers.  They have also provided shoes to thousands of Guyanese children in need.  GMR is just one of many organizations helping Guyana’s medical crisis.

I had the pleasure of speaking with a young Guyanese woman whom we shall call “C.S.”  Five years ago, she began to have horrible cramps, heavy bleeding, and a swollen abdomen.  Painkillers would help ease her pain for a while, but her body eventually rejected them.  Then in 2015, the first day of her period became unbearable, nearly causing her to fall.  She rushed to the Woodlands Hospital, explained her symptoms to the doctor, was given Morphine for the pain (which helped a little), and was whisked away to an ultrasound.  She had cysts on her ovaries and surgery was recommended.  Woodlands Hospital was too expensive, so C.S. was transported to Georgetown Public Hospital’s gynecologist clinic.  There they prescribed her a birth control pill, Diane-35, for June through August of 2015.  On November 4, 2015, she had the much-needed surgery, which took approximately 45 minutes.  The cyst on her left ovary was 13.5cm and the one on her right ovary was 12.5cm; her surgeons were able to save both of her ovaries.  Biopsies confirmed Endometriosis.  One month after her surgery, she had her cycle, and has been monitoring her symptoms ever since.  She continues to feel good today, her periods only have slight cramping, and her tummy is once again flat.   C.S. has a 5-year-old daughter (whom she loves very much), and she may be her only child – the doctor explained how difficult C.S.’s chances of becoming pregnant may be.  She urges any women who have any symptoms of Endometriosis to see a gynecologist early, go with friends or family – it could save a life.  She doesn’t know of anyone else who has been diagnosed with Endometriosis in Guyana.

In July 2014, Miss Guyana Universe 2013 (and Miss India Guyana 2013), Katherina Roshana, addressed suicide, depression, and mental health issues. She also stated that Endometriosis may lead to depression, urging people to become aware of suicidal signs.

Many women around the world claim a decrease in their Endometriosis symptoms, simply by altering their diet to include less inflammatory foods.  If you’d like more information on dietary changes, I have posted several articles that I’ve written (click here).    Guyanese diet mainly seems to consist of rice, beans, fruits, vegetables, and curries. A traditional meat dish, Pepperpot, is a stew made with either beef, pork, or mutton, and is considered the National Dish.  Chinese, Indian, and some American (Kentucky Fried Chicken) restaurants are also becoming popular in the more urban areas.  Coffee, tea, juice, and alcohol are well-loved in Guyana; however, tourists are discouraged from drinking the tap water.

I assume the steps to diagnosing Endometriosis, hormonal treatments, and surgeries are comparable to healthcare around the world.  I have emailed various hospitals and physicians in Guyana to see if they could shed some insight as to how they handle Endometriosis.  If any respond, I will update this blog and let you know.

I have gathered a list of hospitals throughout the country.  Should you need to speak with a doctor about Endometriosis, or any other pelvic (or other) pain you’re enduring, I hope one of these can help you:

Bartica Regional Hospital in Cuyuni-Mazaruni is nearly a 12-hour drive from Georgetown.  It lies between the Essequibo and the Mazaruni Rivers.  In 2016, the hospital received major renovations, including to the neonatal intensive care unit and their operating theater.  BRH went from having four doctors, to having 16, and they’ve seen a dramatic increase of surgeries in their region of Guyana.

Davis Memorial Hospital & Clinic in Georgetown is owned by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, is staffed primarily by missionary doctors, and boasts of 40 hospital beds.  They are equipped to perform laparoscopic surgeries, as well as other procedures.

Diamond Hospital is the East Bank Demerara Regional Hospital and is 25 minutes south of Georgetown.  It treats nearly 100,000 patients each year and has been around since 2007.  Over the years, it has seen medication shortages (including allegations of an internal medication theft ring), personnel shortages, and broken equipment; so much so that the Public Health Minister declared the hospital “a disaster.”  A lot of the medical staff were imported from Cuba, which created a language barrier between doctors and patients.  The government has promised to get Diamond Hospital running up to par.

Fort Wellington Community Hospital in Fort Wellington and is an hour-and-a-half-drive to Georgetown.  It’s a small hospital with only 22 beds, although in October 2016 they received an ultrasound machine and have scheduled pending laboratory upgrades.  They are also trying to obtain a psychiatrist and are striving to improve the healthcare for those residents in their region.

Georgetown Public Hospital in in Georgetown, has 600 beds, and is a free, government-run hospital. No payments are collected from the patients. It’s the main hub where most patients in need of extensive medical care are transferred to throughout the region.  In 2016, they received much-needed critical care equipment from the Fyrish Support Group.  Many employees have stated they love(d) their jobs at GPHC; however, did complain of a lack of adequate tools and information.   One report stated there were only two nursing assistants available for 45 patients in the Georgetown Public Hospital’s Female Surgical Ward.

Leonora Cottage Hospital in Uitvlugt is a small hospital 48 minutes west of Georgetown.  In 2009, there were no midwives available and a young mother-to-be was turned away in the middle of contractions – she ended up having to give birth to a healthy baby at a private hospital in Georgetown.  There were over 17 maternal deaths in 2015 at L.C.H.  In 2013, it made the local news due to an ongoing drug shortage, non-functoning toilets for patients or staff, and the discovery of a stillborn fetus in the nurse’s fridge.  However, in 2016, the Public Health Minister pledged that the hospital was to receive a complete renovation of their maternity unit – to make it a safe and healthy place for women to give birth.

Lethem Hospital in Lethem, and is roughly a 10-hour drive to Georgetown.  In mid-2016, the government decided that Lethem Hospital was to become the region’s hospital, but in order to achieve this status there needed to be more specialists and the staff must learn to work together, learn team protocols, better record keeping, etc.  If patients need surgery, they are tranported to Georgetown or Brazil.  And many residents fear inadequate medical services as well as the language barrier of Brazil.  And, like much of the hospitals around the country, there are complaints of medication shortages at Letham.

Linden Hospital Complex in about an hour-and-a-half south of Georgetown.  In July 2016, it hosted a National Women’s Conference.  Some even claim it is the best hospital in Guyana; although, it may be facing a government audit.  L.H.C. also opened the Laparoscopic Surgery Center in 2014, working in collaboration with specialists from China.

Mahaicony Hospital in Mahaicony is about an hour from Georgetown.  In February, 2016, there were reports that the hospital did not have a functioning paediatric ward, despite a paediatrician working there.  Residents claimed they needed to travel to Georgetown for paediatric care and are requesting the governtment’s help. The facility received a $2,000,000 ultrasound machine in August of 2016 thanks to the efforts of Guyana Medical Relief.  The donation will save patients of the area the drive to Georgetown for ultrasound imaging studies.

Mahdia District Hospital is a six to nine hour drive on dirt roads from the capital.  The hospital has limited power every day linked to a small grid (6pm-6am), as well as the use of a generator  (10am-2pm) and solar power (only powers the radio and vacinne fridge). You could imagine the difficulties a lack of power presents to the hospital and patients.

Mibicuri Hospital in the Black Bush Polder area has less than two dozen nurses and doctors to serve approximately 4,000 area residents.  Efforts are ongoing to increase the staff size at several region hospitals.  Albeit small, M.H. is commended for the friendly attitudes of staff, their professionalism, and the cleanliness of the facilities. Praises aside, it also faces periods of darkness if there are power failures and the emergency generator does not work (apparently, this is more often than not).

New Amsterdam Regional Hospital in New Amsterdam and sees 20,000 patients per day.  It has increased the services it provides, but has not had a significant increase in staff members to provide those services.  The lack of adequate staff may cause treatment delays and/or the need for medical transport.

Port Mourant Hospital and Ophthalmology Center in Port Mourant (a 2-hour drive from Georgetown) boasts of 53 beds and offers primary healthcare, minor surgeries, and pediatric services.

Skeldon Hospital in Berbice is a three hour drive to Georgetown provides care to 200-250 people per day.  In 2015, the hospital received major renovations, including the addition of an operating theater, recovery room, and intensive care unit.  However, some staff members have complained of dirty well water, including reports of worms and moss passing through the faucet taps.   Many nurses also complained of bats infesting the ceilings of their dormitory.

St. Joseph Mary Hospital in Georgetown is a non-profit hospital.  It offers 67 beds, has 200+ staff, and is available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Suddie Public Hospital is along the Essequibo coast and staffs 30 physicians.  In 2015, an overhaul was announced to repair shoddy electrical work, roof leaks, and water damage, as well as restore function to the operating theater and upgrade equipment.  The doctors have complained, publicly, about the conditions they continue to work with: clean drinking water is not provided, broken toilets, no air conditioning, the high risk of contracting mosquito-borne disease, and a lack of sleeping quarters and restrooms for staff, just to name a few.  S.P.H. has also suffered drug, supply, and staff shortages.  However, the Guyanese government promises to bring change to the lacking hospital.

West Demerara Regional Hospital in Vreed en Hoop is a 30-minute drive to Georgetown.  It’s also slated to undergo major upgrades to end drug and equipment shortages.

Woodlands Hospital is a private hospital in Georgetown, which offers a broad range of medical services to the people of Guyana, including Zika testing, specialty surgeries, and full diagnostic imaging studies.  Unfortunately, it has been the target of a robberies in July 2013 ($1,100,000 was taken) and again in October 2016 (undisclosed amount was taken).

If you have any additional information to any clinics or hospitals in Guyana, please feel free to let me know in the Comments section below.  Also, if you have Endometriosis and want me to share your story, I’d be happy to! Just let me know!   And I’d like to extend a very special thank you to “C.S.” – thank you for being brave enough to step out of the shadows to shed some light on your story.  And for giving others the courage to do the same. ❤

Let’s connect the women of Guyana – you are NOT alone in this!

Yours,

Lisa

Resources:

Best Country Reports – (Graphic; 2007) Population Density Map of Guyana

Caribbean Medical News – (Article; Oct. 2013) Diamond Hospital Guard “Unearths” Drugs Racket, Ejected from Compound

Central Intelligence Agency

Citizens Report – (Article; May 2016) Major Shortage of Drugs at Lethem Regional Hospital

Cleveland.com – (Article; May 2013) University Hospitals Program Making Strides Training OB-GYNs in Guyana

Country Meters

Davis Memorial Hospital & Clinic

Guyana Chronicle – (Article; Aug. 2010) Explaining Your Medicines

Guyana Chronicle – (Article; Jan. 2014) How the Flames of Burnished Trash Raise Hell for Humans

Guyana Chronicle – (Article; Aug. 2016) Mahaicony Hospital Ultrasound Services Upgraded

Guyana Chronicle – (Article; Feb. 2014) Mibicuri Hospital Staffers Lauded for Patient-Friendly Environment.

Guyana Chronicle – (Article; July 2014) Miss Guyana Universe 2013 Shares her Ideas on Suicide and its Prevention

Guyana Chronicle – (Article; Feb. 2015) Port Mourant – a Thriving Community Where Humble Residents Appreciate Gov’t Efforts

Guyana Chronicle – (Article; June 2015) Skeldon Hospital Staffers Raise Issues with Public Health Minister – as Construction Works Move Apace at Institution

Guyana Diaspora ProjectOverseas-Based Charity Donates Heart Marchines – to Mahaicony, Bartica Hospitals

Guyana Government Information Agency – (Article; June 2016) All Regional Hospitals’ Theaters to be Functional

Guyana Government Information Agency – (Article; May 2016) GPHC Gets Medical Equipment from Fyrish Support Group

Guyana Government Information Agency – (Article; Aug. 2016) Lethem Hospital to Become Regional Institution – Public Health Ministry Working on Sourcing Specialists

Guyana News Network – (Article; Oct. 2015) Three Hospitals to be Upgraded

Guyana Times – (Letter to Editor; Sept. 2016) Deplorable Conditions for Doctors at Suddie Hospital

Guyana Times – (Article; Oct. 2016) Fort Wellington Hospital Commissions Ultrasound Unit

Guyana Times – Article; Oct. 2016) Govt Flouts Regulations to Finance Linden Hospital

Guyana Times – (Article; July 2016) Leonora Cottage Hospital Facing Drug Shortage

Guyana Times – (Article; Oct. 2016) Lone Gunman Storms Woodlands Hospital

Guyana Times – (Article; Oct. 2016) Woodlands Hospital Launches Zika Testing in Guyana

Guyanese Online – (Blog) We Care 2014 Medical & Educational Mission: July 24-July 31, 2016

Hott Caribbean Radio – (Article; May 2013) (Gyuana) Leonora Regional Hospital…Non-Functioning Toilets at the Hospitals is an Embarassment – Minister

Indeed.com

iNewsGuyana – (Article; Feb. 2016) Mahaicony Cottage Hospital Paediatric Ward ‘Out of Service’

iNewsGuyana – (Article; June 2015) ‘Suddie Hospital theatre is a disgrace’; Major Overhaul Planned

Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health – (Study; March 2015) Anaesthesia, Surgery, Obstetrics, and Emergency Care in Guyana

Kaieteur News – (Article; Sept. 2015) Diamond Hospital is Turning Out to be a Disaster – Public Health Minister

Kaieteur News – (Article; Feb. 2013) Diamond Hospital Treated 80,012 Patients Last Year

Kaieteur News – (Article; April 2016) Endometriosis: A Common Disorder in Women

Kaieteur News – (Article; Sept. 2016) Fort Wellington Hospital Now Offers Ultrasound Services

Kaieteur News – (Article; Jan. 2009) Leonora Cottage Hospital Turns Pregnant Woman Away

Kaieteur News – (Article; Jan. 2016) Leonora Hospital’s Maternity Unit to Benefit from ‘Complete Makeover’

Kaieteur News – (Article; April 2012) Lethem Hospital Not Functioning to Residents’ Expectations

Kaieteur News – (Article; July 2014) Mibicuri Hospital Left in Darkness After Storm

Kaieteur News – (Article; May 2015) West Demerara Hospital to be Significantly Upgraded – Public Health Minister

Mercy InternationalMercy International

Ministry of the Presidency – (Article; May 2016) Massive Transformation at Bartica Regional Hospital – Referrals to GPHC Reduced by 50%

Ministry of the Presidency – (Article; Nov. 2015) US$14M to Upgrade Bartica, Suddie, West Demerara Hospitals – Contract of Specialty Hospital to be Reviewed

My Hospital Vision

NewsNow – (Article; April 2016) Skeldon, Mibicuri & Port Mourant Hospitals Working to Improve Service

Parliament of the Co-Operative Republic of GuyanaBudget 2012

Pitt Chronicle – (Article; Feb. 2016) In Guyana, Improving Health Care for Mothers and Babies

Powering HealthGuyana: Mahdia District Hospital

PressReader – (Article; Oct. 2016) Suddie is Far From the Best Hospital in Region Two

Safari The Globe

Simply Guyana

Simply Guyana – St. Joseph Mary Hospital

Stabroek News – (Article; Oct. 2007) Diamond gets $140M Hospital

Stabroek News – (Article; Oct. 2014) Linden Hospital Complex Laparoscopic Centre Commissioned

Stabroek News – (Article; Aug. 2015) Linden Hospital Complex Receives Defibrillator

Stabroek News – (Article; June 2015) Skeldon Hospital Undergoing Reconstruction

Stabroek News – (Article; March 2016) Staff Shortage Affecting New Amsterdam Hospital – Medical Superintendent

Stabroek News – (Article; July 2013) Taxi Driver Remanded Over Woodlands Hospital Robbery – Claims Car was Hijacked at Gunpoint

The Electives Network

University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital – (Article) Building Women’s Health Bridges in Guyana

University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital

Woodlands Hospital

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 🙂 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

Endo & Ovarian Cysts

Ovary

Many women with Endometriosis suffer from recurrent cysts on their ovaries.  But why? And what exactly is a cyst?

What is a cyst?

A cyst is an abnormal sac inside your body, completely enclosed, and it may contain liquid, gas, pus, fluids, semi-solid, or solid materials.  Imagine a blister, full of puss, tight and ready to be popped.  Now imagine that inside your body : a cyst is kind of like that.  However, if a cyst is full of puss, it is known as an abscess.  Cysts are typically non-cancerous, although some may lead to cancerous growths or tumors.  They are usually caused by an infection or clogging of the glands, although they may be caused by genetics, chronic inflammatory conditions, injury, cellular defects, or even parasites.

Cysts can grow and shrink, appear, disappear, and reappear.  They can appear anywhere inside your body and can range in size from microscopic to gigantic! The largest ovarian cyst on record was removed in 1905, weighing in at 328 pounds,; the surgery was performed by Dr. Spohn in Texas…everything really is bigger in Texas!!  Most cysts do not cause any pain; however, they may become inflamed, rupture, become infected, or can even displace internal organs, causing severe pain and discomfort.

There are literally hundreds of different types of cysts, including cystic acne, ovarian cysts, and ganglion cysts (just to name a few).

Signs & Symptoms

Many cysts go unnoticed because they do not cause any pain or side effects or may be found internally growing adjacent to organs with no physicals signs or symptoms of their presence. Some patients only become aware of a cyst when they have a noticeable lump beneath their skin.  Cysts found within the breasts may be felt as a lump during a routine breast examination.  Certain cysts that may form on the brain can cause headaches.

Diagnosis

Some cysts may be physically felt by palpation if they are close to the surface of the skin while others may only be diagnosed during imaging studies, such as an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI.

Treatment

Treatment varies from cyst to cyst; patient to patient.  Most cysts do not require any treatment.  Large cysts; however, are routinely surgically removed.  Cysts that are fluid-filled may be drained via a long needle.  Fluids or tissues from the cysts will likely be biopsied to ensure there are no cancerous cells present.

Some cysts are caused by medical conditions (such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or Fibrocystic Breast Disease).  In those instances, the medical condition is treated in the hopes the cysts will be resolved.

Self-treatment (squeezing or popping) of cysts is not advised.  It could make matters worse…

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is an endocrine disease that effects women after puberty.  The ovaries produce more Androgen (aka the male hormone) than normal and it affects the release of eggs during ovulation.  This inbalance may also cause several follicles to remain inside the ovary, causing small cysts to develop.  Since the egg may not be able to properly develop and release, periods may be missed or are irregluar.

PCOS may cause irregular periods, hormonal inbalance, increased growth of facial hair, male pattern baldness, infertility, and cysts within one or both ovaries.  As many as 1 in 10 women suffers from PCOS, yet the cause of PCOS is unknown, but may be attributed to insulin levels, inflammation, or it may even be hereditary.  Birth control pills may be prescribed to women suffering from PCOS to regulate their periods and hormones.

Many women with Endometriosis have either been misdiagnosed in the past as having PCOS, or have been diagnosed with both PCOS and Endometriosis.  Unfortunately, there are no tests to diagnose a woman with PCOS; it’s a matter of exclusion of other diseases that leads to the diagnosis of PCOS, including a thorough family and medical history given to your physician.

Endometriosis & Cysts

60% of women with Endometriosis also suffer from ovarian cysts.  The link remains a mystery; however, may have something to do with ovary trying to contain the foreign object (or the Endo implant), causing a cyst to develop in or on the ovary. Women with Endometriosis often develop Chocolate cysts (aka Endometriomas), which get their name from their dark brown appearance: the endometrial blood which is shed during each period is trapped within the walls of the cyst.  These cysts may rupture on their own, or continue to grow and may restrict the functions of the ovaries or Fallopian tubes.

What Now?

Think you may have a cyst or PCOS? Talk to your physician…

Resources:

A history of Texas and Texans, by Frank White Johnson

Baltimore Sun

E Medicine Health

Endo Resolved

GynCancer.com

Mayo Clinic

Medical News Today

Medicine Net

Medline Plus

PCOS Foundation

U.S. National Library of Medicine

WebMD

WomensHealth.gov

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa