Woman says giant ovarian cyst made her look like she was pregnant

Woman says giant ovarian cyst made her look like she was pregnant

December 21, 2021

Woman reveals she blamed painful sex on ‘getting carried away’ before discovering she had an ovarian cyst the size of a grapefruit that swelled to make her look pregnant

  • Katie Sims, 32, from Ottery Saint Mary, Devon, complained of pain during sex
  • Diagnosed with 10cm  benign tumour called ovarian cystadenoma by chance
  • Said painful cyst swelled so badly it made her look about six-months pregnant

A woman says she blamed painful sex on just getting too carried away – before discovering she had a giant cyst when her stomach swelled so badly she looked six months pregnant. 

Katie Sims, from Ottery Saint Mary in Devon, said she started experiencing a ‘sharp stabbing pain’ each time she and husband Ben Sims, 37, would have sex but just thought it was from deep penetration and something all women go through. 

The 32-year-old visited the doctor with stomach problems and was told she may have IBS but during a gallbladder scan last June she was ‘by chance’ diagnosed with ovarian cystadenoma, a 10cm benign tumour of the ovary. 

The commercial cleaning business owner said that what initially started as bloating after she ate soon evolved into her stomach becoming permanently ‘huge’ – to the extent she looked like she was expecting. 

Katie now believes the discomfort she experienced during intercourse must have been her cyst ‘getting poked’ and is keen to raise awareness of the tell-tell signs of the condition. 

After a ‘horrible’ ordeal she had the cyst – which was ‘draining the life’ out of her – removed in November and is now urging other women who have any of the symptoms to get checked out. 

32-year-old Katie Sims, from Ottery Saint Mary in Devon, said she started experiencing a ‘sharp stabbing pain’ each time she and husband Ben Sims, 37, would have sex but just thought it was from deep penetration. But her pain were actually caused by a giant benign ovarian cyst. She said the cyst made her look pregnant, pictured 

Pictured: Katie showing her slender frame in a pictured from January 2020, before she suffered from the cyst 

Katie, of Ottery Saint Mary, Devon, said: “I had pain in my ovaries, mainly my left ovary where the cyst was, during sexual intercourse. It was almost like a sharp stabbing pain. 

‘I’ve got a friend who also gets the same pain and we’ve mentioned it over the past year and a half to each other. 

‘You joke about it with your friends and I don’t want to sound crude but you just say it’s when your partner goes quite deep and “That’s just what happens”. 

‘Being a woman you just think that it’s just something that you have to put up with and “Oh, it’s normal”. 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. 

Pictured: Katie and her husband Ben, 37, pictured before she developed the cyst. She talked about her pain with friends who joked the couple were getting carried away in the bedroom

Before the cyst, the The commercial cleaning business owner, pictured left, enjoyed a size 8 and a petite frame, pictured

‘My husband was then afraid to have sex with me because he thought that he was always putting me in pain, so our sex life dwindled completely, and it was only a rare occurrence.’

Katie said the pain has now totally disappeared post-surgery.  

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

Katie said she also had extremely painful and heavy periods to the extent she’d be bleeding ‘profusely’ and ‘keeled over in pain’. 

Her tummy began to be so swollen that Katie struggled to fit into her old clothes, pictured in June 

The 32-year-old said she ‘genuinely’ looked pregnant, pictured, and would bloat after eating a tiny piece of breaf

She had symptoms for around a year prior to her diagnosis as in March 2020 started gaining weight around her abdomen, but it was a year later that the ‘massive’ bloating started. 

Katie said: ‘I had a lot of acid reflux, nausea and just a really bad stomach. 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. It was crazy how big I looked. I did look huge. 

Pictured: Katie this month after recovering from the cyst, which was drained and removed in November 

Katie began to suffer from acne on her face in July as a result of the hormonal imbalance caused by the cyst 

A month ago, pictured, Katie looked like she was expecting, left. The 32-year-old is now back to her old slender frame, right

‘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. 

‘It was like the elephant in the room. You could see people looking and you then want to mention it but it’s a bit of a touchy subject because people wouldn’t really know what to say.’

After visiting the doctor with gastro-related problems and being prescribed medication for IBS, she eventually returned given she wasn’t getting better, so was booked in for a gallbladder scan. 

Katie in a blue dress with her gardener husband Ben Sims, 37, pictured at a wedding in May 2015

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? Do you have anything wrong down there?” 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”. 

‘He was like “I don’t think it’s cancer, but you can’t rule it out. We’ve got to take you for cancer blood tests”. I just left the hospital thinking “what do I do now?”.  

The 32-year-old took pictures of her belly in a pair of tight leggings to document how bloated it looked

The cleaning business owner, pictured while suffering from the cyst, said it was extremely painful on top of making her look pregnant 

Pictured: Katie’s bruised tummy after her cyst was drained in November. She needed several stitches 

In April of this year, Katie, pictured, had not been diagnosed yet and thought she experienced pain during sex because of deep penetration 

Ovarian cystadenomas: the watery cysts that can cause excruciating pain 

Ovarian cystadenomas are benign cysts that can form on the surface of the ovary. 

They are made either of mucus of water, and can become so large they can move the ovary’s place, causing it to become twisted, also known as ovarian torsion.

The formation of cysts on the ovaries is facilitated by the following risk factors: 

Hormonal problems. These include taking the fertility drug clomiphene (Clomid), which is used to cause you to ovulate.

Pregnancy. Sometimes, the cyst that forms when you ovulate stays on your ovary throughout your pregnancy.

Endometriosis. This condition causes uterine endometrial cells to grow outside your uterus. Some of the tissue can attach to your ovary and form a growth.

A severe pelvic infection. If the infection spreads to the ovaries, it can cause cysts.

A previous ovarian cyst. If you’ve had one, you’re likely to develop more.

Some ovarian cysts clear on their own, but others need to be drained by a professional.

Complications include ovarian tprsion, which cuts the blood supply to the ovaries, and rupture of the cyst, which can cause severe pain and internal bleeding.

There is no way to prevent the formation of cyst but you can keep a close check on your ovaries through regular scanning. 

Source: Mayo Clinic 


‘We were having a BBQ for my husband’s 37th birthday and they were waiting for me to get back so that we could start the party. 

‘I drove back and I just kind of broke down crying to Ben and was like “I don’t know what I do, but I’ve got a 10cm cyst on my ovary”.’ 

Katie, who was usually a slinky size eight to ten, said she couldn’t even fit into size 14 jeans as they’d be tight around her stomach but her legs would be ‘swimming’ in excess material. 

She became self-conscious due to the size of her belly so wore leggings, tights and flowy dresses to hide it as best she could. 

She eventually had the cyst pierced, drained and removed in November – it wasn’t measured during the procedure but she suspects it grew bigger than 10cm. 

Katie’s ‘biggest fear’ was that the cyst could be cancerous but to her relief a biopsy revealed that it was benign. She said: ‘I looked forward to it [surgery] every day, I couldn’t wish it to come any quicker. 

‘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 excretes weight-gaining hormones and those that make you tired, angry and a massive hormonal mess. 

‘It’s gone. I can bend over and fit into jeans. It’s just the simple pleasures of life that you don’t realise that you need but make you so much happier. 

‘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.’ 

Katie pictured showing her bloated tummy in August of this year, after she was diagnosed with the cyst 

Katie’s tummy four days after the operation during which the cyst was removed. She said it felt like it was ‘draining the life’ out of her 

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