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Ruptured Ovarian Cyst


A ruptured ovarian cyst

is a cyst that breaks open. A cyst is a sac that grows on an ovary. This sac usually contains fluid, but may sometimes have blood or tissue in it. A large cyst that ruptures may lead to problems that need immediate care.

Signs and symptoms of a ruptured ovarian cyst:

You may have no signs or symptoms, or you may have any of the following:

  • Pain that can range from mild to severe or be mild at first but become severe quickly
  • Sudden, sharp, or stabbing pain that happens on one side
  • Pain that starts during activity or sex, or that gets worse when you move
  • Tenderness in the area of your ovary
  • A low fever
  • Nausea, vomiting, or dizziness

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • You are too weak or dizzy to stand up.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have severe pain in your pelvis or in your abdomen.
  • You have pain along with a fever, nausea, or vomiting.
  • You have signs of shock from blood loss, such as dizziness, cold or clammy skin, or fast breathing.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You notice changes in your monthly periods, or you begin to have nausea or vomiting with your periods.
  • You have new or worsening symptoms.
  • Your pain does not get better with pain medicine.
  • You have pain during sex.
  • You have bleeding from your vagina that is not your period.
  • Your abdomen is swollen, or you have a full or heavy feeling in your lower abdomen.
  • You have trouble urinating.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


depends on your age, the size of the cyst, and if it caused problems that need treatment. Treatment may not be needed if the cyst was small or your body absorbed the fluid that came out of the cyst when it ruptured.

  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Antibiotics may be needed to prevent or fight an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Surgery may be needed to remove fluid or blood in the area of the ruptured cyst. The outside of the ruptured cyst may also need to be removed.

Manage or prevent a ruptured ovarian cyst:

  • Apply heat where you have pain, as directed. Heat can help relieve mild pain. Use a heating pad (set on low) or hot water bottle. Wrap the pad or bottle in a towel before you apply it to your skin. Apply heat for 20 minutes every hour, or as directed. A warm bath may also help relieve the pain.
  • Ask when to come in for a follow-up examination. You may need another ultrasound 6 weeks after your cyst was treated. This will help make sure the cyst is no longer growing or causing health problems. You may also need ultrasound tests for 2 or 3 monthly periods to see how hormones affect your ovaries.
  • Ask about birth control pills. These may help reduce your risk for cysts. Ask your healthcare provider if birth control pills are right for you. The risk for a blood clot is higher if you take birth control pills, especially if you are older than 35 or smoke.
  • Have a pelvic exam every year. This may also be called a well woman visit. The exam will include a Pap smear to check for certain cancers. Your healthcare provider will also press on your abdomen to check for lumps or other problems. A pelvic exam can help find problems early. This makes treatment easier and more effective. Tell your healthcare provider if you notice any changes in your monthly periods. Examples include periods that start on a different day than usual, or are lighter or heavier than usual. Tell your provider if you have worse pain than usual, or if the pain is different than you had before.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.