As part of your normal reproductive cycle, one of your ovaries releases an egg every 21-30 days. During this time, an ovary may develop a functional cyst, or fluid-filled sac. These ovarian cysts usually go away on their own without causing any issues.
Sometimes, however, you can develop problematic cysts that form outside of your normal reproductive cycle or when an egg isn’t released when it should be. Some women may have many cysts appear at once because of a health condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can impact your overall wellness and lead to infertility.
Regardless of the type of ovarian cyst you have, it may rupture or burst. The larger the cyst you have, the more likely it is to rupture. Board-certified OB/GYN Asia Mohsin, MD, and the care team at Progressive Women’s Health in Friendswood, Texas, specialize in diagnosing and treating ovarian cysts of all kinds.
Most of the time, ruptured ovarian cysts aren’t medical emergencies. In some cases, however, medical complications can develop when an ovarian cyst ruptures, making it a good idea to seek medical guidance. Here are the signs to watch for to know if your ovarian cysts may have ruptured:
1. Pain in the low back or belly
A ruptured ovarian cyst may trigger sudden pain or discomfort in your low back or belly, especially on the side where the cyst burst. The pain may be sharp or feel like a continuous dull pressure, and the severity can vary significantly based on many factors, including the size of the cyst.
2. Spotting or light vaginal bleeding
Sometimes ruptured ovarian cysts can trigger spotting or light vaginal bleeding at times when you don’t expect it. Since other gynecological issues can also cause unusual vaginal bleeding, it’s best to call Progressive Women’s Health and schedule a visit to make sure you don’t have another condition that requires medical attention.
3. Feeling bloated
If you’re feeling bloated and uncomfortable and it isn’t time for your period, the cause may be a ruptured ovarian cyst — especially if you’ve experienced any other symptoms associated with ovarian cysts.
4. Heaviness or fullness in the pelvis
Sometimes instead of pain, ruptured ovarian cysts can create a feeling of heaviness or fullness in your pelvis. This usually occurs because the fluid that was inside the cyst settles in your pelvic cavity. Over time, it’s reabsorbed, but you can feel it for a few days after the rupture.
When to seek emergency medical care for ruptured ovarian cysts
Most ruptured ovarian cysts aren’t harmful, even if you experience mild pain or discomfort. There are times, however, when a ruptured ovarian cyst necessitates emergency medical care.
If you experience any of these serious symptoms, call Dr. Mohsin immediately or head to your local emergency room:
- Abdominal pain with fever, vomiting, or clammy, cold skin
- Sudden, severe abdominal pain, especially on one side
- Abdominal pain with feelings of weakness, dizziness, or fainting
- Abdominal pain with unexpected, significant bleeding
- Abdominal pain with rapid breathing or breathlessness
If you’re concerned about ovarian cysts, Dr. Mohsin and the team at Progressive Women’s Health can help. To learn more, call 281-993-4072 or book an appointment online. We also offer telehealth visits.