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HOw common is it for a post menopausal woman to have a hemorragic ovarian cyst? Does it cause severe low back/hip pain?

By April 12, 2010 - 8:44am
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I'm 56, post menopausal. Started having lowback pain about a month ago after 500 mile drive in one day, then back again a week later. A chiropractic adjustment helped, but the next day it was worse and continued to worsen to the point where I can barely walk, get up and down etc. Even hurts lying down.
Went to the ER, was told it was a hemorragic ovarian cyst. Yet all the reading I've done doesn't add up to this, especially since I'm post menopausal, and since most of the pain is across my low back into hip. the pain is throbbing but constant and it's even hard to take a deep breath. I need a pain killer that works until I can find out what this is. Any suggestions?

Also, was told that these cysts go away on their own...is this true and is there some kind of general time frame on this?

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Hi, comfrey,

Here's what I found from OvaryResearch.com:

The ovary no longer produces eggs after menopause, but benign ovarian cysts can still occur after menopause. In fact, after menopause the most likely types of ovarian cysts are still benign cysts. However, because the incidence of ovarian cancer increases with age, any cyst or growth in the ovary after the menopause should be evaluated right away with a sonogram. Once again, the sonogram can be helpful in predicting whether the cyst is benign, or if it is suspicious for cancer. In addition, if you have a cyst after menopause, the blood test CA-125 should be done. As previously noted, the test is inaccurate in pre-menopausal women, but it is more accurate in postmenopausal women. If the sonogram shows a benign pattern and the CA-125 test is normal, then the ovarian cyst is probably benign.

A very interesting recent study found benign ovarian cysts to be much more common in post-menopausal women than anyone had realized. Ultrasounds were performed on 7,700 healthy post-menopausal women as part of a study designed to find early ovarian cancers. Small ovarian cysts, 2-inches or less, were unexpectedly found in 450 of these women. Because these cysts were benign-appearing on ultrasound, and CA-125 tests were normal, the women had the ultrasound repeated in two months. Surprisingly, half of the cysts had already disappeared by that time.

Half of the women with persistent cysts chose surgery and NONE of them had cancer found at the time of surgery. Also, NONE of the women who had repeated ultrasounds and were followed over the next few years were found to have ovarian cancer. Women and doctors still have varying degrees of comfort about not removing an ovarian cyst. But, based on this study and others, a discussion about options should take place. Some women may choose surgery and others may choose careful follow-up. At this point, both options are reasonable.

Here's the link to the full article:


But let's talk about your pain. Did the ER not give you anything to take for it? Can you call your regular doctor, explain what happened and see if she/he will call in a prescription for pain medicine for you?

April 13, 2010 - 9:05am
(reply to Diane Porter)


I just read the whole website on ovary research and ironically, they're saying that CA-125 is not accurate even for post menopausal women. They also stated that the sonogram also does not give an accurate picture and both have led to women having unnecessary surgery.
The doctors who put the website together were urging readers to spread the word about not having the test!
How very interesting...And thanks again for helping me find that site!

April 13, 2010 - 7:14pm
(reply to comfrey)


You are so welcome. I hope that you are having some -- any -- relief from the pain by now. I had ovarian cysts when I was younger and I remember that pain well. I also am post-menopausal and did not know that ovarian cysts were still possible. So it's been a learning experience for me as well.

Please come back and update us when you learn more!

April 15, 2010 - 8:22am
(reply to Diane Porter)


Thanks for that detailed and helpful information. It's hard to do research when you're in a lot of pain! They did give me a pain med at the ER which I have been using along with ibuprofen. Even with those, the pain has been awful. My doctor did give me the order for the cancer blood test and I am looking for a good gynecologist as well.
Just tonight, the pain has decreased some and I'm hoping that continues.

I think that information about the prevalence of cysts in post-menopausal women is not widely known because so far, no one has made any mention of it.

Thanks again for the clear information which didn't cost me a fortune to get!

April 13, 2010 - 6:57pm
(reply to comfrey)

I believe I have the same thing. Pretty sure I had ovarian cysts in my teens... Now at 62 I take Wild Yam Root, and Estrovin. Recently I added a product that included Maca And Cordycepts etc. Within 3 weeks Super bad loeer back, hip pain... Chiropractic did not help... First clue. Shortly followed by ovarian pain left side only. Then I started research. Turns out it is a side effect of Maca, especially in conjuction with progesterone (wild yam root) and estrogen (estrovin) enhancing products. I stopped taking the Maca product 2 days ago and the pain is beginning to ease.... Maca is NOT recommended for women with cystic ovaries...

March 28, 2016 - 1:47pm
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