Ovarian cysts can be scary, but they rarely cause problems. In fact, most will dissolve on their own without the woman realizing they exist. The main risk of ovarian cysts is rupture. So what happens when an ovarian cyst bursts and what should you do about it?
Causes of a ruptured cyst
The most common cause of a ruptured cyst is size. When a cyst grows too large, the wall around it thins and stretches. It will eventually break, spilling the liquid inside. This then irritates the surrounding area, causing the burning pain felt by many women.
The second and debatable cause of an ovarian cyst rupture is excessive pressure applied to the ovary. This can happen during exercise or even during sexual intercourse. The stomach muscles put pressure on the cyst, which can cause it to burst, especially if it already has a weakened wall.
Symptoms of a ruptured cyst
There are a number of symptoms that occur when an ovarian cyst bursts. You should be on the lookout for these symptoms, as if they occur, you should seek immediate medical attention.
- Bread – This is the most common symptom of a ruptured cyst. You will usually feel a sharp, intense pain followed by a burning sensation as the fluid inside the ovaries irritates the surrounding tissue. In general, if you have a sudden increase in ovarian pain, it’s a good idea to call your doctor.
- bleeding – this is the second most common symptom of a ruptured cyst. Some cysts are endometrial, meaning they contain blood. After an ovarian cyst bursts, the blood inside may leave your body, like a light period.
- shock symptoms – If you suddenly feel cold, clammy, dizzy or listless, call your doctor. These could be symptoms of shock that develops after an ovarian cyst bursts.
There are a few other symptoms that can indicate a ruptured cyst, but they can also occur with a normal cyst.
- excessive urination – as a cyst grows, it can put pressure on the bladder. This then feels like you need to go to the bathroom all the time.
- irregular periods – a cyst can interfere with normal ovulation.
- vomiting and nausea – this is the most suspicious symptom. If you suddenly experience vomiting or nausea along with abdominal pain, you should see your doctor. In your stomach, there is a large group of nerves known as the vagus nerve. When something happens anywhere in your abdomen, this nerve can be stimulated, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Call your doctor to make sure there is no problem.
How is a ruptured cyst treated?
Once a ruptured ovarian cyst is diagnosed, you will be given antibiotics right away to prevent infection, as this is the most common complication when an ovarian cyst ruptures. They will also monitor you to make sure you don’t have internal bleeding. You may need to stay in the hospital for a day or two, but most women are treated and released quickly.