Ruptured Ovarian Cyst: Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs or pockets in an ovary or on its surface. Women have two ovaries — each about the size and shape of an almond — on each side of the uterus. Eggs (ova), which develop and mature in the ovaries, are released in monthly cycles during the childbearing years.
Many women have ovarian cysts at some time. Most ovarian cysts present little or no discomfort and are harmless. The majority disappears without treatment within a few months. An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that forms on or inside an ovary. In some cases, the cyst can break open (rupture). A ruptured cyst may be managed in several ways:
- Tracking symptoms
- Taking pain medicine
- Having surgery
The ovaries are a pair of small, oval-shaped organs in the lower part of a woman’s belly (abdomen). About once a month, one of the ovaries releases an egg. The ovaries also make the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These play roles in pregnancy, the menstrual cycle, and breast growth.
An ovarian cyst can develop for different reasons. Most ovarian cysts are harmless. A cyst that ruptures may cause no symptoms or only mild symptoms. Ruptured cysts that cause mild symptoms can often be managed with pain medicines. The cyst may be looked at with an imaging test such as an ultrasound.
Ruptured Ovarian Cyst Symptoms
Often times, ovarian cysts do not cause any symptoms. However, symptoms can appear as the cyst grows. Symptoms may include:
- abdominal bloating or swelling
- painful bowel movements
- pelvic pain before or during the menstrual cycle
- painful intercourse
- pain in the lower back or thighs
- breast tenderness
- nausea and vomiting
Severe symptoms of an ovarian cyst that require immediate medical attention include:
- severe or sharp pelvic pain
- faintness or dizziness
- rapid breathing
These symptoms can indicate a ruptured cyst or an ovarian torsion. Both complications can have serious consequences if not treated early.
How Long Does Ruptured Ovarian Cyst Pain Last
Your healthcare provider or an ob-gyn (obstetrics/gynecology) doctor will diagnose the condition. Your provider will ask about your medical history and your symptoms. Be sure to tell the provider if you know that you have an ovarian cyst. You will also have a physical exam.
This will likely include a pelvic exam. If your ruptured ovarian cyst is not complex, you will likely continue your care at home. You can use pain medicines as needed. Your pain should go away in a few days. Let your provider know right away if your pain gets worse, if you feel dizzy, or have new symptoms. Follow up with your provider if you need imaging or blood tests.
If you have a complex ruptured ovarian cyst, you may need to stay in the hospital for 1 or more days. If your cyst is no longer bleeding, you may be able to go home. You can use pain medicines as needed. You may need follow-up imaging tests to make sure that your bleeding has stopped and to see if the cyst needs surgery to rule out cancer.
Ruptured Ovarian Cyst Treatment
Doctors may do a pelvic exam, lab tests, or a transvaginal ultrasound, i.e., an ultrasound with a wand that goes inside your vagina, to try to see what’s going on. If you had a cyst that burst, your doctor will usually be able to see some fluid or blood in your pelvis. The first line of treatment is about managing your pain. Taking an NSAID like aspirin or ibuprofen can help, Dr. Streicher says, but in more extreme cases you might get IV pain medication at the hospital.
Your doctor may also recommend you go on hormonal birth control to prevent ovulation and reduce your chances of a cyst recurring. In rare cases, you may need surgery to remove a ruptured ovarian cyst, according to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. If you do need surgery, it’s likely because of internal bleeding.
In that case, your surgeon will make a cut in your stomach (while you’re under anesthesia) to control the flow of blood. They may also remove any blood clots or additional fluid if needed. At that point, they may remove the cyst or, in some cases, the entire ovary.
In summary, the ideal treatment of ovarian cysts depends on the likely cause of the cysts and whether or not it is producing symptoms. The woman’s age, the size (and any change in size) of the cyst, and the cyst’s appearance on ultrasound help determine the treatment. Cysts that are functional are usually observed (watchful waiting) with frequent monitoring unless they rupture and cause significant bleeding, in which case, surgical treatment is required. Benign and malignant tumors require an operation.
What Happens When An Ovarian Cyst Ruptures?
A cyst that ruptures may cause no symptoms or only mild symptoms. Ruptured cysts that cause mild symptoms can often be managed with pain medicines. In some cases, a ruptured cyst can cause more severe symptoms. These can include severe pain in the lower belly and bleeding.
What Does It Feel Like When An Ovarian Cyst Ruptures?
Most are harmless, but one could burst if it grows too large. A ruptured cyst doesn’t always cause pain. If it does, you might have sudden, sharp cramps on either side of your lower stomach below the belly button. Before the cyst ruptures, you may feel pain or pressure in your lower belly, thighs, or lower back.
How Long Does Ruptured Cyst Pain Last?
You’ll typically feel a sharp, severe pain when a cyst ruptures, but it should dissipate within a few hours, Dr. Shepherd says. However, if it persists for more than six hours or it’s really severe, call your doctor.
Is A Ruptured Ovarian Cyst An Emergency?
If a large cyst ruptures, it is a medical emergency because the rupture can cause heavy bleeding. The bleeding can be internal, so you may not see it. Call 9-1-1 for these symptoms: Severe abdominal pain with or without nausea, vomiting, or fever.