Mum thought vigorous sex caused stomach pain – but she actually had cyst

A mum who began experiencing a "sharp stabbing pain" every time she had sex was shocked to discover a giant cyst down there.

Katie Sims, 32, suffered from stomach swelling which made her look six months pregnant as a result of vigorous sex.

She would have sex with her husband Ben, 37, and assumed the pain was down to the amount of action she was getting.

But when she visited the doctor and was told she might have IBS, Katie was then diagnosed with ovarian cystadenom.

During a gallbladder scan last June, medics found a 10cm benign tumour of the ovary.

It initially started out as bloating before her stomach became permanently "huge".

Katie believes the discomfort she experienced during sex must have been her cyst "getting poked".

Now she hopes to raise awareness of the condition which "drained the life" out of her.

The mum had the cyst removed in November but she wants to urge other women with symptoms to get it checked out.

Speaking about the ordeal, Katie, from Devon, said: "I had pain in my ovaries. It was almost like a sharp stabbing pain.

"I also had a coil in at the time and thought 'oh is that what it is as well?' You don't ever think it could be something more sinister."

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She added: "My husband was then afraid to have sex with me because he thought that he was always putting me in pain.

"Our sex life dwindled completely, and it was only a rare occurrence. The pain has now completely gone [since surgery].

"I'm guessing that the cyst was sitting too low and getting poked, that's the only way to put it."

Katie also experienced extremely painful and heavy periods to the extent she'd be bleeding "profusely".

She had symptoms for around a year prior to her diagnosis as in March 2020 she started gaining weight around her stomach.

The mum revealed: "I was really bloated, it wasn't just my lower abdomen it was also my upper abdomen.

"I genuinely was looking six months pregnant. I could eat a tiny meal or half a piece of bread or an apple and I would bloat.

"I looked pregnant only when I ate until around this July when it started to get really big at the bottom of my stomach.

"I think everyone saw that I was just putting on weight and none really mentioned it because they didn't really want to say anything.

"You could see people looking and want to mention it but it's a bit of a touchy subject because people wouldn't know what to say."

After visiting the doctor with gastro-related problems and being prescribed medication for IBS, she eventually returned for a scan.

Katie said: "The sonographer said 'we're not meant to be scanning the pelvis area but I've got time so shall we do it?'

"And I told him my periods were really heavy and that I have a coil.

"He said 'oh', just went really quiet and then 'you've got a huge ovarian cyst'. So it was just by chance that he saw it.

"I was just in a massive shock and asked what that meant. He named it a 'big nasty' and I was like 'well that's not helping'."

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The doctor told her he didn't think it was cancer but she shouldn't rule it out so she went for some blood tests.

She continued: "I drove back and I just kind of broke down crying to Ben and was like 'I've got a 10cm cyst on my ovary'."

Katie, who was usually a slinky size 8 to 10, said she couldn't even fit into size 14 jeans as it would be tight around her stomach.

She became self-conscious due to the size of her belly so wore leggings, tights and loose dresses to hide it.

The mum eventually had the cyst pierced, drained and removed in November.

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Katie's "biggest fear" was that the cyst could be cancerous but to her relief a biopsy revealed it was a benign.

She concluded: "It was a bit of a recovery but as soon as I'd fully healed it was amazing.

"It's like the cyst was draining the life out of me. It's gone. I can bend over and fit into jeans.

"I'd say to other women that if you have any symptoms whatsoever to do with your pelvic area then speak to a doctor.

"Don't put them off and think they're something else. Don't think 'oh it could be this, it could be that'. Make sure you know what it is."

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