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Is A Ruptured Ovarian Cyst Cause For Concern?

By Joanna Marie,


An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on the ovary. According to The Pelvic Clinic , ovarian cysts are common and can occur at any age, but they are most common in women of reproductive age. Ovarian cysts can vary in size and can be as small as a pea or as large as a cantaloupe. There are several different types of ovarian cysts, including functional cysts, which are the most common type, and pathological cysts, per the National Health Service (NHS). Functional cysts form when a follicle, a sac containing an egg, does not release the egg and instead fills with fluid, says the NHS. Pathological cysts are abnormal growths that may be cancerous. As explained by the source, pathological cysts, also known as abnormal cysts, are less common and are caused by abnormal growth of cells. Unlike functional cysts, which are common and typically harmless, pathological cysts can indicate a more serious underlying condition, such as cancer, explains the NHS. Cysts can also be caused by hormonal imbalances, which occur when levels of estrogen and progesterone are not in balance.

According to the Mayo Clinic , ovarian cysts can cause pelvic pain, abdominal pain, and bloating, but many women do not experience any symptoms. However, when a cyst has ruptured, it might be a cause for concern.

When Is A Ruptured Ovarian Cyst A Cause For Concern?

​​A ruptured ovarian cyst can cause significant discomfort and may be a cause for concern. According to Healthline , a ruptured cyst can cause sudden and severe pain , often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. In some cases, a ruptured cyst can cause internal bleeding, leading to excessive blood loss, says Healthline. In addition to the risk of internal bleeding, a ruptured cyst can allow infection to spread. This can result in serious complications like peritonitis -- inflammation of the tissue covering the abdominal wall and organs -- which will require prompt medical attention. If left untreated, this can lead to serious health problems and even be life-threatening, says Healthline.

Generally speaking, if you're experiencing sudden and severe abdominal pain, seek medical attention immediately, as a ruptured ovarian cyst can be a medical emergency. A healthcare professional can perform a physical exam, imaging tests, and blood tests to determine the pain's cause and the best course of treatment.

How Is A Ruptured Ovarian Cyst Treated?

A ruptured cyst is diagnosed through physical examination and imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI. Treating a ruptured ovarian cyst depends on several factors, including the severity of symptoms. Pain management is a common treatment for a ruptured cyst without complications — pain medications can be used to manage the discomfort caused by the ruptured cyst, explains Johns Hopkins Medicine .

If the cyst has caused internal bleeding or if there is a risk of further complications, surgery may be necessary. This can be done through a minimally invasive procedure or through open surgery, depending on the size and location of the cyst, says Healthline . In other cases, a ruptured cyst may not cause significant symptoms and might resolve on its own, says Healthline. Understanding the cyst's development might require regular visits to your doctor, who can monitor the cyst over time to see if it goes down.

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