A fellow endo sister emailed me recently concerned about the presence of a cyst and asked me about ovarian cyst symptoms and how to tell if things are getting worse.
I can relate to this concern and the continual struggle with endometriosis and the lingering question: What is going on? Weird symptoms rise up, and it’s no wonder this question does too.
Ovarian Cyst Symptoms & Endometriosis
So, I posed the question on Peace With Endo’s Facebook page, private support group and Twitter feeds to see how women with endometriosis describe their ovarian cyst symptoms.
Here are some descriptions I gathered, from the ladies that know best:
- Consistent, sharp pain usually on one side;
- Like you are being stabbed at times;
- Bladder tenderness and urgency;
- Shooting pain that can intensify when sitting;
- Lower back pain;
- Heaviness inside;
- Abnormal spotting;
- Pain during intercourse.
A cyst is generally diagnosed via ultrasound, however it can get pricey and time consuming to get an ultrasound every time these symptoms come up, so it’s good to know what your body is telling you.
Types of Ovarian Cysts
Cysts are actually a pretty normal occurrence in your menstrual cycle. Prior to ovulation your ovaries produce follicles, which are like little cysts, that contain an egg. This cyst is usually small and bursts when your body releases the egg during ovulation.
If these cysts do not burst then they could continue to grow. This is when problems arise. Let’s take closer look at the different types of ovarian cysts.
Functional Ovarian Cysts
These are the most common ovarian cysts. Most of the time these cysts resolve on their own by breaking or being re-absorbed by your body. There are two types in this category:
1.) Follicular cysts
These happen when the follicle fails to burst and release the egg at ovulation.
2.) Corpus luteum cysts
These happen when the follicle does release the egg at ovulation, but the follicle changes to a copus luteum, accumulating fluid, causing the formation of a cyst.
These are cysts that don’t go away. These are common with endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
These types of cysts form when endometrial cells attach to your ovary and grow. These are also commonly known as chocolate cysts.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Also within the Pathologic category are cysts that happen with PCOS, a condition that is quite common with endometriosis. These cysts happen when eggs mature within sacs on your ovaries, but are not released. These cysts continue to grow with subsequent menstrual cycles. Those with PCOS often struggle with irregular periods and infertility.
What Happens When Ovarian Cysts Burst?
The Peace With Endo community was very descriptive about the pain and suffering that accompanies the bursting of an ovarian cyst. It’s crippling and some of the worst pain endo sisters have experienced.
When a large cyst bursts then the fluid inside of it can be released into your abdominal cavity. This can cause a tremendous amount of pain and nausea.
Many ladies ended up in the emergency room and serious cases had to have surgery to clean things up.
The descriptions of this pain made me wonder if some of the horrible pain I’ve experienced at times with my period was the result of a larger cyst bursting.
A couple of cycles ago I went through this – horrible nausea and an immense, unexpected pain that literally had me shaking and nearly passing out on the bathroom floor.
Natural Remedies for Ovarian Cysts
I know from interacting with other endo sisters on a natural journey to healing that it is possible to naturally reduce ovarian cysts. The following are some suggestions to try.
The word “systemic” means body wide. Systemic enzymes are those that operate not just for digestion, but throughout your body, in every system and organ. Systemic enzymes are needed for many processes in your body, including dissolving cysts that don’t belong! 🙂 I take the systemic enzymes: Vitalzym.
Support your lymphatic system
The lymph is the largest circulatory system in your body and is responsible for draining waste. Your reproductive organs drain into your lymphatic system and when there are stoppages along the way then cysts are more likely to form. Check out a previous post I did on how to support your lymphatic system.
Castor oil packs
Castor oil stimulates your lymphatic and circulatory systems, which helps reduce and dissolve ovarian cysts. See this previous post on how to do a castor oil pack.
Balance blood sugar levels.
Did you know that in two-thirds of PCOS cases, insulin resistance is a factor? To help balance blood sugar levels it’s recommended to eat every couple of hours to keep your levels stable.
Researchers have found that ovarian cysts can result from exposures to a wide range of environmental chemicals including pesticides sprayed on conventionally grown foods. It’s best to eat organic when possible, especially items on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen.
One study found that women with PCOS had higher levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) in their blood. BPA is found in many plastic products and is one of the many xenoestrogens in our environment that we should try and avoid.
Yarrow helps relieves pelvic congestion and could help dissolve ovarian cysts. It also helps with internal, heavy bleeding so it can bring some relief if a cyst does burst. Outside of its benefits for ovarian cysts, Yarrow has many other benefits for endometriosis.
In a study done with women with endometriosis, supplementing with NAC dissolved ovarian cysts, including endometriomas. I know from interacting with other endo sisters that this has helped some with pretty large cysts. NAC can be pretty detoxifying, so it’s best to start with a low dosage and don’t take it everyday.
On the Positive Side?
[ctt template=”12″ link=”DbKJn” via=”yes” ]As with any kind of unwanted ailment in your body, it’s great to know that there are alternative methods to help dissolve unwanted ovarian cysts.[/ctt]
Ovarian cysts have the potential to grow very large and cause a lot of suffering. If it gets big enough, surgery may be recommended.
To help improve your discomfort and if necessary, avoid surgery, why not give the above suggestions a shot?
Have you had success with any of these natural options to dissolve your ovarian cysts? Do you have any other natural suggestions to offer?
I’d love to hear from you.
Hi, I have ovarian cysts which and irregular periods. I was wondering if the yarrow tea bags are good enough to help dissolve cysts? Or is it best to make a yarrow infusion? Are there specific days I need to drink the tea? I have tried many holistic methods and they have not been a permanent fix. Accupuncture, homeopathy, naturopath ,TCM. I have tried chickweed in the past but found that the tincture bothered me. I have never tried yarrow but will include it in my life now. Just want my life back!!!!
Hi Georgia –
Sorry to hear of your struggles. I am not sure if yarrow is enough to dissolve your cysts, but it’s worth a shot. If you do an infusion that would be more powerful. You could also try doing a compress. Here’s another article that may help: http://natural-fertility-info.com/yarrow-fertility-herb.html
Best of luck. Sending LOVE.
Having the many small cysts of polycystic ovary syndrome is pretty different from having one or a couple of large cysts (cystadenomas, endometriomas, etc.) The causes, symptoms, and range of possible treatments for the two categories of cysts are quite different, in my understanding.
I have had large (like 6 inches in diameter) ovarian cysts that have burst, that have been removed by surgery, that have reoccurred — and it doesn’t seem that there actually is much out there that one can actively do to “dissolve” them once they are developed.
The main preventative options seem to be removing the ovaries, chemical manipulation of hormones, or going through menopause (but even then, they can develop after menopause, and are more likely to be cancerous).
Hi Dory – I’ve come in contact with many endo sisters who’ve been able to shrink the size of their cysts via the suggestions mentioned, but it does take time and patience. If it gets too big or a major danger in bursting, then surgery is usually the option most take.
The main preventative options you suggested are quite damaging to your body. I am a big believer that your body has the ability to heal itself. In Ayurveda cysts are believed to be a result of a clogged up lymphatic system.
This is a very nice article.but there is no information specifically for dermoid ovarian cyst. I have a dermoid ovarian cyst on my left ovary which 7 cms.doctors suggested for a surgery.but I m not willing to .I m a nursing mother also.please give me suggestions to resolve the cyst naturally .
Hi Sasha – I wouldn’t implement anything until you are done nursing. But after that you could definitely try the suggestions above. Sending LOVE.
Hello everyone! i have an ovarian cyst that is really painful it would put me down for like a week, this happens 2 times a month, i don’t have the uterus anymore due to a big fibroid., the doctors don’t know what is the cause of my pain they think it could be the ovaries but they are not sure
so far i have tried everything like Maca, yarrow, black cohosh, castor oil packs,dmi, systemic enzymes, dandelion with licorice tea, also i am Vegan now, no soy or dairy. Do you guys have any other suggestion ? I would greatly appreciated your help
Hi Mali – Sorry to hear you are struggling with a cyst. As I mentioned in the article, blood sugar is a key factor. Since you are a vegan, that’s something I’d pay attention to. Make sure you’re getting healthy fats and protein with each meal. You could pick up a glucometer to test your morning blood sugar to see where your levels are. Sending love.
Hi thanks for the Great article,
I have a painful 8cm blood filled endometris overian cyst. What would you recommend to dissolve this type of cyst?
Hi, I was recently diagnosed with a cystadenoma complex cyst and was wondering if anyone has had any success with these natural routes? Thanks!
Where can I get it