Question:

I've had my period for a month, and the blood is bright red. My doc says it's nothing to worry about. They found a complex cyst the size of my ovary, and my endometrium is thickened. What does this all mean? I can't get a straight answer out of my doc.

PEER ANSWER

It sounds like you need a new doctor! Even though it's a healthcare professional's job to help us figure out complex medical issues, it's important to find a person you trust and who will take the time to answer your questions. Even if what's going on with you is "nothing to worry about," your doctor should still be able to answer any questions you might have and give you more information. In the mean time, let's see what Dr. Molly has to say about what might be going on.

MOM ANSWER

It must be overwhelming to be bleeding bright red daily. As the non-medical “mom” expert, my first move would be to get a second opinion. It sounds from your question like you do not fully understand what he or she is telling you. If you feel your questions are not being answered appropriately, it is certainly okay to just see a different healthcare provider. For now, please check out what Dr. Molly has to say on what you are going through and see if she can help alleviate some of your worry.

EXPERT ANSWER

I can’t really give medical advice, but what I can tell you is that ovarian cysts will do a number on your hormones and your body won’t know whether to keep building the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) in anticipation of ovulation or to let it slough off since you aren’t pregnant so as a result, you can bleed for a long time. Ovarian cysts don’t last forever though and, once it bursts, the hormone levels return to normal and you have one huge period as the endometrial lining sheds and you start fresh. I encourage you though to go back to your doctor with a list of questions and make sure you get them answered and that you understand what’s going on. It’s your body, and our job as healthcare providers is not just to figure out what’s going on but to communicate and partner with you to achieve your best health outcome. Without really understanding what’s going on, you can’t really be in that partnership with your doctor fully, and so heading back in to talk more makes sense.

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