A 24-year-old woman has stunned TikTok users after showing off what appears to be a baby bump — before revealing that her massive swollen stomach is actually the result of a giant ovarian cyst.
Raquel Rodriguez, of Minnesota, earned viral fame earlier this month when she posted a video of herself rubbing her enlarged belly, while she joked that she “looks nine months pregnant with one child.”
However, the TikToker gave new meaning to the phrase “appearances can be deceptive” when she dropped the bomb over her ovarian cyst, revealing that the condition made her look like she was carrying a child.
Her short clip — which Raquel said she shared in hopes of lightening up “her issues” while raising awareness about the condition — has been viewed more than 1.3 million times and has been inundated with comments, many of which have expressed surprise the users expressed that an ovarian cyst can cause such dramatic physical symptoms.
Surprise! A 24-year-old woman has gone viral on TikTok after showing off what appeared to be a baby bump before revealing that her swollen belly was actually caused by an ovarian cyst
Joker: Raquel Rodriguez, of Minnesota, posted the video earlier this month, showing her jokingly rubbing her swollen belly as she dances around her house
Sneaky: She wrote in a video caption that she ‘looks nine months pregnant with one child’
Raquel, who is a former kindergarten teacher, shared some details about her diagnosis in the original post, but she later revealed to Buzzfeed that she first discovered she had an ovarian cyst five years ago when she was struggling with a kidney infection.
She revealed that her kidney problems were so bad that she developed sepsis and that she was left with ‘really damaged kidneys’, a condition that required regular internal ultrasounds. It was during one of these ultrasounds that doctors discovered her ovarian cyst — a fluid-filled sac in or on the surface of an ovary.
At the time of her diagnosis, Raquel said her ovary was the size of a softball, and while she admitted it “caused some concern at the time,” it was not considered serious enough to require “removal.”
Instead, she made sure to “get it checked every now and then,” and for the past five years, the cyst had stayed pretty much the same size—until recently.
“It stayed mostly the same until recently I suppose,” she said. “I feel like it got bigger pretty quickly.”
Ovarian cysts are actually incredibly common in women who are starting to menstruate and in most cases they cause little to no discomfort and will eventually go away on their own without any kind of medical treatment.
However, in rare cases, ovarian cysts can cause a range of health complications and painful symptoms, especially if the cyst has ruptured.
In cases like Raquel’s, a cyst can cause severe pelvic pain that may present as a sharp, stabbing sensation or a dull ache that is usually on the side of the body where the cyst is located.
The big reveal: She soon revealed that her bloated stomach was the result of an ovarian cyst — which she was first diagnosed with five years ago
Evolution: Raquel says her cyst was the size of a softball when she was first diagnosed, adding that it had stayed about the same size until recently when she started feeling bloated
Severe bloating is also a symptom of a large or ruptured cyst, as well as a feeling of heaviness or fullness in the abdomen.
Patients are advised to seek immediate medical attention if they begin to experience any of these symptoms along with fever, vomiting, or signs of shock such as cold, clammy skin, dizziness, or shortness of breath.
Raquel said she’s now trying to find a doctor who’ll work with her to properly diagnose her condition — which she says is linked not only to her ovarian cyst, but possibly to undiagnosed endometriosis, which she’d long suspected. that she might suffer.
“Aside from my cyst, I think there are other issues that could be contributing to how I feel, but I haven’t had any luck receiving a diagnosis.” [for endometriosis]’ she told Buzzfeed.
While pursuing medical treatment, TikToker hopes the viral success of her video will help raise awareness about ovarian cysts — explaining that she was baffled by how many viewers “didn’t know this could happen.”
‘It’s a bit embarrassing that’ [the video went viral] but at the same time, I’m very grateful that it worked,” she said in a follow-up post.
“It amazes me how many people didn’t know this could happen, so I’m glad it brings awareness.”
Raquel also paid tribute to the dozens of other women who opened up about their own experiences with ovarian cysts and conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis.
“I’m so excited about all my new ‘sisters’ I have,” she continued. “I’ll be posting a story time and answering questions that have been commented on. It’s just really overwhelming, but I’ll get there and I’m really looking forward to sharing my experience.”
WHAT IS AN ovarian cyst?
An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on a woman’s ovary. They are very common and usually cause no symptoms.
Most ovarian cysts occur naturally and disappear within a few months without any treatment.
An ovarian cyst usually only causes symptoms if it splits, is very large, or blocks blood flow to the ovaries.
Can lead to:
- pelvic pain – this can range from a dull, heavy feeling to a sudden, severe and sharp pain
- pain during sex
- difficulty emptying the bowels a frequent need to urinate
- heavy periods, irregular periods, or lighter periods than usual
- bloating and a swollen abdomen
- feeling very full after eating just a little bit
- difficult to conceive – although fertility is not affected in most women with ovarian cysts
Ovarian cysts can also sometimes be caused by an underlying condition, such as endometriosis.
The vast majority of ovarian cysts are noncancerous (benign), although a small number are cancerous (malignant). Cancer cysts are more common in women who have gone through menopause.
Surgical treatment to remove the cysts may be necessary if they are large, causing symptoms, or possibly causing cancer.
In some cases, surgery may be needed to remove both ovaries, in which case you will stop producing eggs.