Experiencing a rupture of an ovarian cyst can be alarming, to say the least. Village Emergency Centers is here to help you feel informed and prepared to deal with this kind of medical event. This article will explain what an ovarian cyst is, discuss the symptoms that may indicate that a patient is experiencing a rupture, and walk you through recovering from a ruptured ovarian cyst.

What is an Ovarian Cyst?

This type of cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on the ovaries. Ovarian cysts are common, with most women experiencing them at some point in their lives.

How Do Ovarian Cysts Develop?

Ovarian cysts develop when the sacs in which eggs grow in the ovaries don’t release the egg as they should, causing the sac to grow and fill with fluid. Hormonal imbalances, such as those associated with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), can lead to this occurance, as can endometriosis.

Doctor explaining the uterus anatomy

Symptoms of a Ruptured Ovarian Cyst

The symptoms of a ruptured ovarian cyst can vary from person to person, but some common ones include:

  • Sudden, sharp, severe abdominal or pelvic pain on one side of the body
  • Tenderness in the pelvic or abdominal area
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fever or chills
  • Irregular or heavy menstrual cycles

It is important to note that ovarian cysts may rupture without presenting any symptoms at all.

How Do Doctors Diagnose a Ruptured Ovarian Cyst?

When a patient presents symptoms suggestive of a ruptured ovarian cyst, a doctor will begin the diagnostic process by taking a patient’s vital signs, requesting a detailed medical history, and performing a physical exam, making sure to include a pelvic exam.

The doctor may order imaging tests such as a series of x rays, repeated ultrasounds to check for a pelvic infection, or a CT scan to confirm the presence of a ruptured cyst and to rule out other conditions such as ectopic pregnancy, appendicitis, or kidney stones, which can have similar symptoms.

A pregnancy test and blood tests may also be ordered to assess the patient’s hormone levels and to check for signs of infection or internal bleeding. In the event that internal bleeding is found, immediate medical action will be taken to prevent further blood loss and control the bleeding.

Once a doctor diagnoses a ruptured ovarian cyst, the doctor will discuss treatment options with the patient, which may include pain management, observation, or, in severe cases, surgical intervention.

Woman lying down in pain

When is Medical Care Necessary?

While most ruptured ovarian cysts can be managed without surgery, medical care may be necessary in some cases. For example, if the cyst is large or causes severe bleeding, surgery may be required to remove the cyst.

In rare cases, a ruptured ovarian cyst can lead to complications such as infection, shock, or ovarian torsion, which is when the ovary twists on itself and cuts off its blood supply. These complications require urgent medical attention.

Recovering From Ruptured Ovarian Cysts

Recovering from a ruptured ovarian cyst can be a painful and challenging experience, but with the right care, most women recover without complications. Here are some steps you can take to recover from a ruptured ovarian cyst:

Seek Medical Attention Immediately

If you suspect you have a ruptured ovarian cyst, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Your doctor will diagnose the condition and provide you with the appropriate treatment and pain management options. Treatment may include a variety of things, including but not limited to a hospital stay with (IV) intravenous fluids to replace lost fluid, pain medication, or surgery.

Take Pain Medication

Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage the pain caused by a ruptured ovarian cyst. Your doctor may also prescribe stronger pain medication if needed.


It’s important to rest and avoid strenuous activity for a few weeks after experiencing a ruptured ovarian cyst. Physical activity, including sex, can increase the risk of complications and delay the healing process.

Apply Heat or Cold

Applying heat or cold to the affected area can help alleviate discomfort. A heating pad or warm towel can help ease cramps, while a cold pack can help reduce swelling and inflammation.

Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions

Your doctor will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for yourself after a ruptured ovarian cyst. It’s important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure proper healing and prevent future complications.

Watch Your Symptoms

Keep an eye on your symptoms and report any changes or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

Village Emergency Centers Can Help

Ruptured ovarian cysts can be a painful and scary experience, but with the right care, most women recover without complications. If you suspect you have a ruptured ovarian cyst, seek medical attention immediately from a Village near you to get the care you deserve. Visit our website to learn more and find the location nearest you.