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  1. #1
    Registered User Christina027's Avatar
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    Question Cysts vs. Follicles?

    Whenever I get an ultrasound the doctor always makes reference to the "follicles" on my ovaries. I was under the impression that healthy ovaries are supposed to have follicles...?? How many follicles are considered healthy? Is there a difference between a follicle and a cyst?

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    YumNumNum! I <3 cherries! GothicCyster's Avatar
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    ok this is xplained in the books ive read and im going to outline WHAT I REMEMBER which is not necessarily accurate. so if anyone knows please correct me or tell me whats right. so dont quote me 100% here but this is what i remember. ok...here goes....

    the follicle is what releases the egg. the egg, because of the hormonal imbalance associated with PCOS does not mature. so you have the follicle, also known as a corpus luteum, and it just stays there. many women who dont have pcos have cysts BUT not as many and it doesnt cause them problems unless they have other problems surrounding it. but most dont know theyre there and they absorb into the body. w/ a pcos patient, they dont leave as easily bcuz of the weight.

    so the follicle is called a cyst when it stays there. a cyst is just an abnormal growth. and the cyst is actually a follicle. difference is this:
    if you have a wart, u could probably call it a cyst. if you have a wart, it would not be a follicle.
    but if you have an follicle on the ovaries, then its a cyst bcuz its an abnormal growth.
    so i think im getting more confusing than i need to...
    and with this part i am 99.9999999% POSITIVE that im correct. you could say either cyst or follicle relating to pcos. BUT...a cyst can relate to benign or malignant tumour. so when you say cyst people could either assume its a tumour which it is more likely for them to jump to that conclusion, or to get more technical you could say follicle. it would actually make more sense to say u have a cyst instead of a follicle, but if someone asked what kind of cyst then you could say its a follicle.
    so basically cyst can mean any abnormal growth ranging from a variety of things.
    follicle is specifically what a particular growth is on the ovary, but a cyst on the ovary does NOT have to be a follicle and a doctor should know when to rule out other posibilities, especially after an ultrasound.
    Last edited by GothicCyster; 06-22-2006 at 06:53 PM.
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    Lukah's Mom DMK417's Avatar
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    Most of that I would agree with, but it can't be that they don't go away becuase of weight, because I don't have weight issues, but I have the classic PCOS ovaries. I'm not sure why they stay around.
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    YumNumNum! I <3 cherries! GothicCyster's Avatar
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    oh yeah good point here. ok its not necessarily the weight that keeps them on the way i understand it. but BECAUSE of the weight, the hormone levels are not normal. so that keeps them around somehow or other. at least i think thats how it works but thanks for pointing that out lol. so LH remains high, i think, instead of fluctuating like when you have a real period, and that does not allow the egg to mature, and bcuz the hormones are not allowed to fluctuate to allow the body to function as normal, the cysts stay on.

    and you said you dont have weight issues but have the cysts, and you dont have to be overweight for the hormones to be all outta whack, which is what causes the cysts. or the way that ive come to understand it. that u could even be insulin resistant without weight problems. in one book it said its a catch-22...for instance (typically speaking)...
    u gain weight BECAUSE of the PCOS but one of the best ways to combat PCOS is to LOSE weight, and some people have a harder time losing than others.
    and because of the weight, (caused by insulin resistance, which u dont have to be overweight to have, either), well it causes all the hormones to go crazy instead of being regulated and fluctating like they should.
    glad u caught me on that!!!
    and btw, congrats on the baby!!!!!
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    Born to be a Mommy! SC Natalie's Avatar
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    Most of that I would agree with, but it can't be that they don't go away becuase of weight, because I don't have weight issues, but I have the classic PCOS ovaries. I'm not sure why they stay around.
    They will stay on the ovaries if you do not have AF. AF helps get rid of the cysts, & the longer you get AF, the better your ovaries will become.

    A couple years back I had an ultrasound & my ovaries & they were covered in cysts (follies that never grew enough to release), so I started on BCP for 2 months, got off them, AF kept coming for 9 months & at my ultrasound 10months later, they were all gone!
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    YumNumNum! I <3 cherries! GothicCyster's Avatar
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    hate to sound stupid but whats AF?
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    Born to be a Mommy! SC Natalie's Avatar
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    hate to sound stupid but whats AF?
    You don't sound stupid...
    AF means Aunt Flo. It means getting or having your period! Just a shorter version then saying menstrual flow.

    Hope this helps
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    YumNumNum! I <3 cherries! GothicCyster's Avatar
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    ohhhhh hahaha omigod................i saw it and assumed it meant a period but couldnt figure out what AF stood for haha oh gosh. it makes it scary since it has a name!!!!! its like the dreaded b****y aunt that comes to visit too often!
    also are the cysts reabsorbed into the body or flushed out? cos i could never figure it out from what id read. i heard both, i think.
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    Born to be a Mommy! SC Natalie's Avatar
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    Originally posted by GothicCyster
    its like the dreaded b****y aunt that comes to visit too often!
    LMAO, ya exactly!!!!!!!!!
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    Mommy to Kenna and Zoey Headyfeady3's Avatar
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    I think that the cysts just shrink and disapper. That is they best I can discribe it.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Christina027's Avatar
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    Thank you ladies!! When I go to thr RE I always have a list of questions to ask...and yet I always leave there confused. Sometimes I feel that doctors don't fully answer our questions on purpose!!

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    Reformed Cyster Cameryn's Avatar
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    Yep, you can be insulin resistant and have cysts without weight issues. I'm 5'2" and 125 pounds...My body mass index is well within normal, as are caliper tests, etc. 20+ cysts and IR, though, so everybody's different.
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