What to Do If You Think an Ovarian Cyst Burst
While it’s possible to have a cancerous cyst, most cysts are completely harmless. This is why, if doctors discover you have an ovarian cyst during an exam, they may recommend just waiting for a few months to see if it goes away, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Ovarian cysts don’t always cause symptoms
Ovarian cysts often don’t cause any trouble at all, but they can if they rupture or don’t stop growing. Most cysts are small and don’t cause symptoms, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But if they grow large enough, they can cause pain in your lower abdomen on the side of the cyst, along with bloating or a sense of pressure.
Dermoid cysts and cystadenomas in particular can become pretty large, the Mayo Clinic says, which, in addition to causing those symptoms, can cause the ovary to shift from its usual position, increasing the chances it will twist on itself in a painful issue known as an ovarian torsion. This can lead to nausea and vomiting, along with pain.
And if your ovarian cyst actually bursts, as it releases fluid into your body, the pain can definitely make you take notice.
Although your body usually just reabsorbs the fluid without you realizing anything happened, sometimes it can irritate the lining of your abdomen, Stephanie V. Blank, M.D.
, director of women’s health at Mount Sinai Downtown Chelsea and professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells SELF.
So what does an ovarian cyst burst feel ?
The pain you feel may depend on a cyst’s size. You might have a sudden, severe, sharp, stabbing feeling when a larger cyst bursts, Lauren Streicher, M.D.
, an associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, tells SELF.
With a smaller cyst, you might feel a dull ache come on that becomes more intense as the fluid makes its way into your body. The pain may also come and go.
If your cyst was filled with blood or was very large when it burst, you may experience internal or vaginal bleeding, which in addition to severe abdominal pain can lead to symptoms fever, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, and rapid breathing, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Here’s what to do if you think an ovarian cyst burst
If you experience a sharp, sudden abdominal pain that goes away quickly and isn’t accompanied by any other symptoms, it may have been a burst ovarian cyst or even just regular [ovulation pain], known as mittelschmerz, which means “middle pain” in German.
These pains usually happen at the halfway point of your cycle (around 14 days before your next period), according to the Mayo Clinic. If pain relievers help and that was your only symptom, you don’t need to seek treatment unless you’re actually worried, Dr.
If your midsection pain doesn’t go away even after pain relievers or comes along with symptoms nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and vaginal bleeding, you need to call a doctor.
Depending on the level of pain you’re in, your doctor may have you come into the office or head to the emergency room.
Since the symptoms of a burst ovarian cyst can be similar to serious complications of conditions appendicitis, it’s important to get severe symptoms checked out ASAP, Dr. Streicher says.
Here’s what you can expect from 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.