Ovarian cysts are sacs that form on one or both of the ovaries. In most cases, they don't cause issues and disappear independently after a few menstrual cycles.
Although ovarian cysts are common, very few cause symptoms or long-term problems. However, if one of these cysts ruptures, it can lead to severe issues with your health.
You don't want to delay treatment for ruptured ovarian cysts. That’s why New England Women's Healthcare takes them so seriously.
Our team comprises eight board-certified OB/GYN specialists who provide personalized care and fast treatment for various female health issues, including ruptured ovarian cysts.
What are ovarian cysts?
Ovarian cysts are essentially fluid-filled sacs that form on the ovary. These cysts are prevalent; most women who have a menstrual cycle have had one at some point.
Different types of ovarian cysts can form, including functional and complex.
Functional cysts develop from the follicles that form in the ovary every month before ovulation. They’re prevalent and typically don't cause symptoms or problems, even if they rupture.
Complex ovarian cysts happen due to an abnormal growth of cells in the ovaries. Fibromas and dermoid cysts are two types of complex cysts.
Typically, cysts go away on their own after a few months. Still, strenuous exercise and some sexual activity can cause them to burst. Extremely large cysts are also more likely to rupture.
Symptoms of a ruptured cyst
The most common symptom of a ruptured ovarian cyst is pelvic pain. You typically feel the pain on the side where the cyst was, but it can also spread throughout the pelvic area.
Some ruptured cysts don't cause any symptoms, and you may not even know you have one. However, you may experience other bothersome signs, including:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Feeling faint
- Pelvic tenderness
A ruptured ovarian cyst may also lead to a full feeling in the lower abdomen or pain during sexual intercourse.
The size and location of the cyst may coincide with the symptoms you experience. A smaller cyst that ruptures usually doesn't cause much pain, while larger cysts produce significant discomfort and other symptoms.
Treating a ruptured cyst
In many cases, a ruptured ovarian cyst isn't an emergency. Most women can independently manage pain from a ruptured cyst with home care and over-the-counter medications.
Some cysts, however, cause intense pain and other complications that require medical treatment. We offer a fast evaluation and treatment if you're dealing with extreme pain related to a ruptured ovarian cyst.
When you come in for the appointment, our team talks to you about the symptoms you're experiencing and whether you've had previous cysts. We then perform a pelvic exam to check for excess bleeding and other complications.
You should also take a pregnancy test to ensure the cyst isn't related to pregnancy.
An ultrasound is the next step to determine if you have other cysts on the ovaries, or if a cyst has burst.
We typically can use noninvasive treatments for noncomplex ovarian cysts. We may watch the cyst through ultrasounds while managing your pain with prescription medications.
However, if you have a cyst that’s causing significant bleeding or an infection, you may need to stay in the hospital for intravenous (IV) fluids, medications, and monitored vital signs.
In severe cases, women with ruptured cysts may require surgery to stop bleeding or treat a severe infection related to a burst cyst.
If you think you have a ruptured ovarian cyst, call our team immediately at our Woburn or Wilmington, Massachusetts, offices, or head straight to the emergency department for prompt treatment.
You can also request a consultation on the website for pelvic pain or signs of an ovarian cyst.