The pain was more than normal. She knew she was ovulating but then, that was not the kind of pain she was used to during her ovulation.
Will I be able to get kids? - Rose narrates nightmare of ruptured ovarian cyst
I had a lot of pain in the morning which I dismissed - She tells this journalist
This pain kept on getting worse and although she had dismissed it as normal ovulation pain, the symptoms were clear that there was more than it met the eye.
“I had a lot of pain in the morning which I dismissed as normal ovulation pains that come with my menses. So, I decided to just sleep because after all, I was off duty. I had some lunch and went back to bed. The pain just kept becoming worse and worse until I decided to take a walk to the chemist and get some medication for the pain,” Rose (not her real name) tells us.
Despite getting some medication from the chemist, it didn’t get better.
Ovarian cysts symptoms
She adds, “When I got home, the first thing I did was run to the toilet and throw up what I had eaten for lunch. I started sweating and the pain was so bad that the only thing that gave me relief was lying on the cold floor in a fetal position”
Later in the evening, Rose called a friend to take her to the hospital as she could not bear the pain anymore. The journey to the hospital, as she recalls, was one hell of a nightmare. By this time, she was sweating, feeling weakly and she kept on screaming due to the pain. Each time they passed over a bump, the pain got worse.
After several examinations, it turned out that besides having a urinary tract infection (UTI), she had ovarian cysts and the bigger one had ruptured causing the excruciating pain. Although she was treated and the cysts have since dissolved, Rose makes sure to go for regular checkups.
“I saw my whole life flash before my eyes. I was afraid that my ovaries would be taken out making me unable to have kids just in case I wanted more. I was afraid of dying. I make sure I go for checkups when I can because I cannot imagine going through such pain again” she narrates.
What’s an ovarian cyst?
Dr. J M Abijah Kamau, a gynecologist as well as a fertility specialist, tells Pulse Live that an ovarian cyst can be a simple or complex one.
“A simple ovarian cyst is a swelling within the epithelium or cortex of the ovary, and it may contain fluid. A complex ovarian cyst, on the other hand, maybe a mixture of fluid and solid material.”
Causes of ovarian cysts
Dr. Kamau goes on to tell us that different ovarian cysts are caused by different things. For instance, functional cysts which are associated with hormones often disappear on their own without any treatment.
Other causes of ovarian cysts are pregnancy related as this expert goes on to tell us.
“Levels of pregnancy hormones like hCG, or hyper-stimulation of ovaries may lead to ovarian cysts. Also, due to abnormal pregnancies like GTDs (molar gestations), these cysts outgrow as a result of hCG outbursts.”
Endometriosis also leads to ovarian cysts and as Dr. Kamau tells us, these types of cysts are the most difficult ones to treat and they are one of the leading causes of infertility among young women.
Severe pelvic infections, congenital problems, and exposure to radiation also trigger the formation of ovarian cysts.
Although some ovarian cysts disappear on their own and others are simply treated with birth control pills, they can also turn out to be dangerous. Dr. Kamau says that if a cysts ruptures and causes pain, affects the woman’s cycle, if they are pre-cancerous, and, if they affect the couple’s fertility, they are considered to be dangerous.
Prevention of ovarian cysts
On prevention, Dr. Kamau tells us that there are no known specific prevention measures. But, all is not lost.
“In most cases, there is no sure way to prevent ovarian cysts. However, there are associated factors, that one can observe. A good diet, avoiding junk foods and sugary foods right from pubertal age can help a lot. Avoiding unnecessary radiation exposure also helps a lot since radiation can trigger cancerous related cysts.” He advises.
As we conclude, Dr. Kamau adds that the treatment of hormonal imbalance and suppression of ovulation have also been shown to reduce the risk of ovarian cysts.
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