woman showing her abdomen after surgery to remove 10-pound ovarian cyst
TikTok | @rockiesoto33

Woman Warns Others After Ovarian Cyst That Doctors Ignored Grew To 10 Pounds

A woman is spreading awareness to her TikTok followers after a painful ovarian cyst that doctors dismissed grew large enough for strangers to mistake it for a pregnancy.

As we're seeing them reveal more and more nowadays, many women have suffered in silence for years after their concerns and symptoms were dismissed by health care professionals.

It's certainly frustrating to see doctors not take your very real pain seriously, but it's widespread enough among women that these dismissals can have life-threatening consequences.

One case saw a woman's ovarian cancer nearly go undetected, while Serena Williams' near-death experience shows that even worldwide fame doesn't prevent this lack of professional consideration.

And for one woman, such a dismissal compelled her to question her own painful symptoms until they became too obvious to ignore.

Back in 2016, Raquel Rodriquez Soto of Minnesota experienced severe kidney infections that required hospitalization.

woman speaking from car after surgery to remove ovarian cyst in TikTok video
TikTok | @rockiesoto33

But while Good Morning America reported that doctors quickly uncovered that she had an ovarian cyst, she said that wasn't something they took seriously.

As she put it, "They just kind of said, 'Oh, you have a cyst. We're not worried about it. They didn't tell me the size and they didn't really tell me much about it at all, so I just kind of moved on and was like, OK, they're not worried about it."

In the interest of fairness, the U.S. Office of Women's Health has noted that most ovarian cysts like Rodriguez Soto's are benign and can resolve themselves without any intervention.

However, this wasn't true in her case and for the next several years, she would continue to experience off-and-on kidney issues, bladder issues, and pain during intercourse.

woman with multi-colored hair showing off outfit while walking through her home in TikTok video
TikTok | @rockiesoto33

Yet she said she felt unsure of what she was experiencing at the time and those feelings only worsened after a male ER doctor apparently undermined her pain to such an extent that she avoided seeking further help.

In her words, "I wished I had been a bigger advocate for myself because I felt had I been a bigger advocate, I would have gotten the help I needed back when this first started."

So she continued to deal with her pain and frequent urination, but was compelled to renew her efforts to find help when her stomach started bloating within the last year.

woman with 10-pound overian cyst sitting in car with pen and notepad
TikTok | @rockiesoto33

Indeed, she mentioned in a TikTok video that it wasn't unusual for strangers to ask if she was pregnant once this started happening.

But considering what her past experiences were like, she heavily researched her issues to better advocate for herself and ended up visiting a midwife because she hoped they would listen to her more than anyone else up to that point.

This person ordered an emergency ultrasound and the doctor who performed it said her cyst was the biggest they had ever seen.

By the time Rodriguez Soto finally was able to get the cyst surgically removed on her 25th birthday this June, it weighed 10 pounds, measured 11 inches, and contained over a gallon of fluid.

woman showing her abdomen after surgery to remove 10-pound ovarian cyst
TikTok | @rockiesoto33

As for why this went undetected for so long, her surgeon Dr. Adrienne Mallen said that part of the problem is that there's no standard test for checking ovaries beyond a pelvic examination.

In the months before her surgery, Rodriquez Soto made a series of humorous TikTok videos that also aimed to raise awareness for how extreme these cysts can get.

In her words, "Women are dismissed so often and it is not really talked about. I realized just how strong I was getting through this surgery, advocating for myself, and then being able to share my journey with other people."

h/t: Good Morning America