What Are the Symptoms of an Ovarian Cyst Rupture?

Ovarian cysts can cause a woman's normal menstrual cycle to become irregular.
A healthy ovary and one with cysts.
A woman who suspects that she has a ruptured ovarian cyst should seek medical attention immediately.
A patient with a leaking ovarian cyst may notice pain, swelling and tenderness.
Pelvic pain and other complications can occur if an ovarian cyst leaks or ruptures.
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  • Written By: Melanie Smeltzer
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2014
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Functional ovarian cysts are a common condition for many healthy menstruating women, and they are typically benign. A lot of women, in fact, do not even realize that they have them, because they are often asymptomatic. There are times, though, when the cyst may become so large that its walls weaken, thus causing it to burst. Symptoms of an ovarian cyst rupture may be difficult to identify, because the general pain associated with a non-ruptured cyst can be similar to that of a ruptured one. In other cases, pain in the pelvic area may be sharp and severe, and there may be a feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen; irregular menstrual cycles or uncommon spotting, nausea and vomiting also may be present.

Although ovarian cysts are often present without symptoms, some women find that they create a mild but nagging discomfort — especially before and directly after the menstrual cycle. This is also true for a ruptured growth, although, a burst ovarian cyst may cause a more intense, stinging or stabbing pelvic pain that can extend to the lower back. This pain may become especially noticeable during or after sexual intercourse, while performing daily physical activities or exercise, or during bowel movements or urination. In addition to pain, the lower abdomen may become distended, which can create a feeling of pressure in the area, which is generally tender to the touch.

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The symptoms of an ovarian cyst rupture will often interfere with the menstrual cycle, but they can vary widely from person to person. Most women will notice irregularity in their menstrual cycle, which may change the duration of the period or the dates on which it occurs, or their menstrual period may cease altogether. In some cases, the amount of bleeding may significantly increase or decrease.

In addition to pain and an irregular menstrual cycle, other symptoms may include a swelling or tenderness of the breasts, indigestion or gas, diarrhea or constipation, a frequent urge to urinate, loss of appetite, pale skin, weakness, vomiting and dizziness. These symptoms may indicate an infection or internal hemorrhaging. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should be treated by a medical professional as soon as possible.

In many cases, intact ovarian cysts will resolve themselves; however, women who believe that they have a ruptured ovarian cyst should seek medical attention, because the complications can become life-threatening. Depending on the severity of the case, many medical professionals will attempt to stabilize the condition of the patient, and then treat the problem with antibiotics. Should complications occur, surgical intervention may be necessary.

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bythewell
Post 3

@pleonasm - Ovaries are funny things though. I know that one of the treatments for polycystic ovarian syndrome is to basically puncture some of the cysts in order to get the ovaries to release some eggs properly.

That's the thing, ovaries naturally form a cyst as they go through the cycle, and it is supposed to open and release an egg. It's just that sometimes it doesn't open properly and that's when you end up getting problems.

pleonasm
Post 2

@croydon - I had a friend who had a really big cyst and they ended up having to give her surgery to remove it. I wasn't living in the same town as her at the time, so I don't know if they made her take it easy for a while before the surgery to reduce the chances that it was going to burst.

She's had a baby since then, so at least the process didn't take away her chance to get pregnant. That would be my worry with ovarian cyst removal, because if the cyst is big enough to need to be removed, it must be big enough to do some damage.

croydon
Post 1

So, what happened with me was that I went to the doctor with pain in my lower stomach, convinced that I had a hernia or something. The pain was off to the side though, just above my pelvis and was fairly sharp, but not continuous. It hurt more when I pressed on the area.

I didn't realize that these were ovarian cyst symptoms, even though I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (usually the cysts in this syndrome don't get that big).

Unfortunately, since I thought it was a hernia, the doctor I went to pressed really hard on the area to try and find it and she managed to rupture the cyst, which just felt like a stab of extra pain. I didn't even realize what had happened until I got home and realized I was spotting. Fortunately, it wasn't a very big one. The doctor I went to after that told me that he'd had cases where they had to operate on women because the bleeding won't stop. It's pretty scary knowing that could happen at any time, but I'm glad I at least know what that kind of pain means now.

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