The ovaries are two small almond sized/shaped organs of the female reproductive system. They are located, one on each side, of the uterus. They serve an important part in fertility as they hold the ova until maturation occurs when they are dispelled through menstruation once a month in the childbearing years or conception occurs. Fluid-filled cysts may develop that grow within or on the surface of these organs as addressed about the symptoms of ruptured ovarian cysts.
It is not uncommon for women to develop cysts on ovaries. The majority are benign, painless and resolve without intervention in a few months.
Definitive signs are not necessarily present in cystic ovaries. It is important that women have regular check-ups with an OB/GYN to establish normal baselines for preventative care and maintaining reproductive health.
Ovarian cysts that have ruptured will likely produce warning symptoms. It is important to address concerns with your physician as these symptoms can signal serious conditions that require immediate attention as in endometriosis, PID, ectopic pregnancy or ovarian cancer. It is possible for an ovarian cyst to mimic abdominal emergencies like appendicitis and diverticulitis.
Some defining symptoms that occur with a ruptured cyst on an ovary are changes in your cycle, pain in the lower abdominal area accompanied by a dull, fluid-oscillation, discomfort prior to at after your period, pain with sex, pressure and pain during defecation, fullness in abdomen, nausea, vomiting, tenderness in breasts, and incomplete voiding during urination. When cysts become very large, there will be significant low abdominal pain with swelling and protrusion of the umbilicus. A mass may exist that can be palpated.
The differentials denoting any mass can only be qualified by a physician. Any abnormal growth in the body is a serious matter requiring medical attention. The presence of a large, mass on or in the ovary will present with movable, smooth and rounded features that are similar to a full bladder. The mass or masses may be in conjunction with slight pelvic pain, low back discomfort and disrupted menstruation. Only a physician is capable of assessing a mass that has progressed to rupture through evaluation of tenderness, enlargement of abdomen, and status of the abdomen.
Pain is qualified in three dimensions for diagnosis when similar symptoms present in multiple conditions. The three dimensions are visceral, parietal, and referred. A ruptured ovarian cyst describes “groin” pain viscerally, with the actual perceived parietal pain as over the site of the cyst, and the referred pain felt at the inner thighs.
Rupture of a cyst may include hemorrhage into the site resulting in significant pain and tenderness. Pain will be sharp and severe upon sudden movement in standing or stooping. If allowed to progress, the pain becomes dull and more generalized in location. Low-grade temperature, nausea and vomiting are mild. If patient develops a high fever with nausea and vomiting becoming severe, there is the potential of a grave medical condition known as peritonitis.
The hallmark signs delineating an abdominal emergency are sudden, excruciating pain in the abdomen or pelvic area accompanied by fever and vomiting. If the patient goes into shock, with cold, sweaty skin, faints or feels lightheaded with rapid breathing, immediate medical attention is critical.