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I was diagnosed with a 6cm ovarian cyst

I was diagnosed with a 6cm ovarian cyst just over a year ago. This was to be removed once I had surgery on my bowel due to diverticulitis. I ended up having part of my bowel removed and reconnected but my ovary remained. Subsequent scans to investigate pain on my left side have shown an ovarian cyst varying in size from 3.3cm to 5cm and most recently a 3cm cyst which now has blood going into it. I believe they described it as 'vascular'. Is it the same cyst each time?  Why has it now got blood going to it? Does that now mean it should be removed?

13 January 2020

There are several different types of ovarian cysts and in pre menopausal women these are almost always benign. In terms of the bleeding that has been going into your cyst this is not uncommon and these are known as haemorrhagic cysts. The description you were given of ‘ vascular ‘ refers to the type of blood in your cyst, which in this case is coming from the veins and microcirculation of the ovary.

Another type of cyst  that will commonly fill with blood is an endometrioma. This is where the same tissue that lines the uterus – the endometrium- also seeds outside of the uterus in places such as the pelvis, the ovaries and the bowel, for example, and behaves as it would in the uterus filling with blood and bleeding out during each monthly cycle.

It might also be helpful for you to ask your specialist what type of cyst you have in your ovary, for example a fluid filled cyst will very often fill up and then reabsorb on it’s own and need no intervention, whereas a functional or dermoid cyst that can consist of fatty lumps or hair and skin may need to be removed.

While it's good that you've had the cyst monitored regularly, on the basis that this cyst has been causing you problems for some time, I would suggest you follow up with your consultant to make a plan of treatment.

Once they are happy you have recovered sufficiently from your bowel surgery they are likely to be able to go ahead with surgery to remove the cyst.

Answered by Nikki Porges, registered nurse in our Health at Hand team.

You may also be interested in...

Ovarian cyst - NHS factsheet

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