Managing a Ruptured Ovarian Cyst
An ovarian cyst is a sac-like structure that may form on or within an ovary and is often filled with fluid. These cysts may sometimes break open or rupture. Such ruptured cysts may require one of the following treatments:
- Observation, which includes keeping a track on any changes in symptoms
- Conservative management: taking pain relievers
- Surgical treatment
How to Distinguish a Ruptured Ovarian Cyst
A ruptured ovarian cyst can be of two different variants, regular or complex. A regular cyst looks like a simple sac filled with fluid whereas a complex cyst is made up of a mass with solid areas, bumps on the surface and several fluid-filled areas. Often, ruptured cysts do not cause any symptoms or may give rise to mild pain. Pain medications are prescribed to relieve the mild pain caused by ruptured cysts. Sometimes, a ruptured cyst may result in more severe symptoms such as bleeding and sudden, sharp pain in the lower abdomen. If these symptoms develop, you need to seek medical attention immediately.
The diagnosis of a ruptured ovarian cyst is made based on your medical history, symptoms, and a pelvic examination. Certain tests may be ordered to rule out other causes of the symptoms you have experienced. These tests include:
- Ultrasound examination
- CT scan
- Blood tests: To rule out infection and anemia
- Urine test
- Vaginal culture: To check for pelvic infection
- Pregnancy test: To check whether the pregnancy is the cause of the cyst
How Are Ruptured Ovarian Cysts Treated?
Treatment of regular cysts: Most women develop regular cysts that just need to be observed and pain medications may be helpful for symptomatic relief. Your pain should go away in a few days but if your pain becomes worse or other symptoms like dizziness develop, contact your doctor. Follow-up ultrasound tests or blood tests are recommended in these cases.
Treatment of complex cysts: Complex cysts usually need a different type of care as there may be signs of blood loss that may result in fast heart rate or low blood pressure, fever, and signs of possible cancer. You will need treatment in the hospital and may include:
- Replacement of lost fluids through the administration of intravenous fluids
- Repeated ultrasound scans to check intra-abdominal bleeding
- Monitoring vital signs, heart rate, and RBC levels
- Surgery may be advised if your condition worsens
Surgical treatment: Your surgeon will perform laparoscopy, a minimally invasive method. Under general anesthesia, your surgeon will make small cuts in your abdomen through which a tiny lighted camera and other small tools are passed to remove blood clots or fluid. Your surgeon will remove the cyst or entire ovary after which the tools are removed and incisions are sutured.