It has often been seen that women have started experiencing abdominal pain. In the majority of cases, this pain is related to ovaries. One of the leading causes of ovarian pain is due to the formation of cyst in ovaries. According to statistics, a huge number of women face ovarian cyst pain. Much to the relief, most of these conditions do not need treatment as the pain vanishes gradually with time.
Ovarian Cysts – Pain, Diagnosis and Rupture Management
Ovaries & Ovulation – What are they?
In the female body, there exist two round shaped organs of small size, which are located on both sides of the uterus, roughly around the belly and abdomen. Even when a female is born, there are millions of eggs inside the ovaries. With time as the girl hits puberty, the ripening of the ovaries starts for the formation of an egg. This is mainly initiated by the pituitary gland located in the brain. In a normal case, the sac in the ovary, which is filled with fluid, releases an egg in a 28 days cycle.
After the egg is released, it travels to the uterus with the help of the fallopian tubes. This happens only once during the 28 days cycle or roughly in one month. This process is known as ovulation. This sac, which was filled with fluid and released the egg, is approximately 1 inch or 3 cm width, and it is known as a cyst. The formation of cyst in the process of ovulation is normal.
Ovarian Cysts – What are they?
The sac, which is filled with fluid and forms within the ovary itself during ovulation and usually dissolves after the process is over, is known as an ovarian cyst. Some of the different types of cysts and their conditions are given below-
- Follicular Cyst – This type of cyst is known to form every month, which also contains a small egg. During the ovulation, the sac gets ruptured, and the egg is released from the ovary. Sometimes, there can be an extra growth of the cyst than its regular size. Usually, the sac breaks, and the egg that was held inside gets released. However, if it is not so, then the sac can grow up to 10 cm or 4 inches as well. These are called follicular cysts. In most cases, they do not cause any pain and start dissolving within eight weeks. The cysts which grow larger can provide pain, but it is not guaranteed. Usually, they create a little pressure on the abdomen and takes time to disappear. By tests like ultrasound and pelvic exams, the existence of cysts can be determined.
- Corpus luteum Cyst – The formation of this cyst is very much normal, and it generally occurs with every ovulation. Usually, the corpus luteum cysts get dissolved within two to three weeks, with rare exceptions where it lasts for about two to three months. This type of cyst grows almost three to four inches in total and can bleed, generating abdominal pain in the process.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or commonly known as PCOS, denotes the formation of a lot of ovarian cysts. Females who are affected by this syndrome have many small bumps or many cysts of small sizes inside the ovaries. Even though there are numerous cysts present, it is not at all harmful. In the majority of cases, such a condition does not generate pain at all, and they need not get removed.
Is Having Ovarian Pain In Sides Of Abdomen Each Month Normal?
A lot of women have experienced one side pain in their abdomen near the navel in an approximate of two weeks before the period is scheduled. This condition is caused due to ovulation and is known as ovulation pain. In the German term, this condition is known as Mittelschmerz. The intensity of this pain is generally mild and does not last for long. On average, women have said to experience ovulation pain for as short as an hour, to going up to two days. So, it is normal to feel pain on one side of the abdomen before the start of ovulation.
However, it has to be kept in mind that if the pain persists for too long, or if the pain is intense, there may be other severe causes for it. In such cases, getting a doctor’s help is strictly recommended.
Ovarian Cysts – How are they diagnosed?
In most cases, ovarian cysts are unnoticed or completely ignored, as they do not cause any pain. They do not have any symptoms either and disappear naturally. However, if the pain is felt, various tests like pelvic ultrasound are done, which can diagnose the formation of a cyst. With the ultrasound result, it will be clearly shown whether a woman has a cyst or not.
In the pelvic ultrasound test, clear images of the bladder and the reproductive organs, such as uterus and ovaries, are produced with the help of sound waves. Typically, having a full bladder before doing the ultrasound test is required. Hence, if you are going for an ultrasound test, make sure to drink a lot of water and avoid going to the bathroom before the test. It may cause a little discomfort to hold the urine, but it gives clearer cut images. Thus, the result can be easily determined. The test is painless and not at all complex to conduct.
To do the pelvic ultrasound test, the candidate will need to lie down on the exam table on their back. After that, the technician will apply a warm gel on the lower abdominal part with a microphone resembling an object. Once the gel is applied, this microphone resembling the object will be moved all over the belly of the candidate. The sound waves are transmitted, and they are picked back, creating an image. The pictures obtained are detailed enough for a doctor to be able to diagnose the ovarian cyst is present. If there is indeed a cyst present, then the test will be conducted in two to eight weeks’ time again. This is necessary to determine if the cyst is getting dissolved or is going to disappear soon.
What to Do If an Ovarian Cyst Exists?
In most cases, ovarian cysts tend to disappear naturally. Hence, even if you have one, the chances are that you need not worry about it. However, if mild pain is felt for a long time, it is always best to check it out and get medical help, if required. Some symptoms of abdominal pain which should not be ignored are severe pains, vomiting, passing out, and having discomfort in normal day to day activities. Sometimes it is not advisable to move around too much unless the cyst gets dissolved or gets reduced in size. In some cases, the ovaries can even get twisted, and this is a severe medical condition. With minimal or routine activities, though, there is generally nothing to worry about.
Ovarian Cysts – How dangerous can they be?
Usually, an ovarian cyst is not known to create any problem. In some cases, however, the ovary gets twisted on the root, and this condition is known as torsion. With torsion, the blood flow to the ovary gets blocked. When this happens, you will feel pain in the abdomen of severe intensity. The tendency to vomit frequently or get passed out will also come. This condition requires emergency medical help, and immediate treatment is highly recommended.
In some cases, the ovarian cyst does not disappear on its own. In such cases, the cyst needs to be removed, or it may cause abdominal pain regularly. Therefore, the cyst needs to be removed by external procedures. The most common solution to this case is by surgically removing the cyst. Surgeons remove the cyst with the rest of the ovary remaining untouched. In sporadic cases, benign tumors or cancers may even be detected, which can get effectively removed from surgery, too, if detected early.
Ovarian Cysts – How to prevent them?
You may have an ovarian cyst of a large size. Your medical history may state that you have been developing cysts for a long time now. In such situations, doctors may prescribe medications to counter such cases. The most common form of medication provided in such scenarios is the administration of the birth control pills. When these pills are taken, the process of ovulation gets hindered. This helps in the prevention of the formation of future cysts. However, the present cysts are unaffected by this type of medication. Birth control pills for preventing cysts should be taken only after consulting with a doctor.
Management of Ruptured Ovarian Cyst – What Is It?
When the cyst is formed inside the ovary, in most cases, it can be ignored. However, sometimes, the cysts of the sacs filled with fluids get ruptured or break open from the inside. There are various ways of management of a ruptured cyst. Some of them include-
- Sometimes, keeping track of the symptoms is the only thing one needs to do.
- Medicines for pain may be required to deal with the situation.
- In extreme cases, surgery will be needed.
Apart from the egg being released from the ovary once in a 28 days cycle or roughly one month, ovaries serve other purposes as well. One of the significant alternate functions of the ovary is to create hormones, mainly progesterone and estrogen. These hormones are essential and play a crucial role in the menstrual cycle, growth of breasts, and in pregnancy.
Even if a cyst is ruptured, there may or may not be symptoms. Also, the symptoms can be very mild and can be ignored most of the time. One of the most common questions asked by women in this regard is how long does ruptured ovarian cyst pain last? Under normal circumstances, mild pain stops within two to three weeks. Medicines for pain can be taken to deal with such mild pain conditions effectively. Ultrasound tests can be conducted to detect the cyst.
However, in some cases, more intense pain and stronger symptoms may be detected with the rupture of an ovarian cyst. In severe cases, intense pain can be felt in the abdominal part, along with bleeding. Whenever the symptoms are found to be extreme like this, immediate medical treatment is highly recommended.
For the severe symptoms that may have been experienced due to the rupture of a cyst, patients may even need the care of the hospital in some cases. Pain medicines can be administered through intravenous or IV injections. In case of massive internal bleeding, blood and body fluids need to be replaced as well. In extreme cases, surgical methods may be required to remove the cyst entirely. Such surgeries may or may not be treated as an emergency.
In case a woman needs to remove an ovarian cyst due to its rupture and internal bleeding, surgery will be required. In such operations, an incision or a cut will be made in the abdomen while the patient is in anesthesia. The bleeding will be controlled, and the fluids or the blood clots will be removed. The cyst will then be entirely removed without altering the ovary in any way, if possible. In rare conditions, even the whole ovary may be needed to be removed.
What Is The Need To Manage A Ruptured Ovarian Cyst?
In some cases, a lot of bleeding is associated with the rupture of an ovarian cyst. Excess bleeding of any kind is bad, and these too require immediate medical treatment. When the bleeding is too much, and excess blood is lost, the organs may get devoid of enough blood and stop functioning correctly. In the worst-case scenario, even death is a likely possibility.
In the majority of cases, ovarian cysts do not get ruptured. There is no possible way to determine whether or not a particular cyst will break open. Generally, it has been found that the ovarian cysts are most likely to get ruptured if a woman participated in heavy exercise and intense sexual activities. Some people bleed more quickly when compared to others. Such people are more likely to need surgeries if a cyst ruptures.
The women who have not reached menopause are most likely to develop functional cysts. Sometimes, the egg is not released from the ovary during the process of ovulation. This gives rise to cysts, and these types of cysts are the most likely to get ruptured easily.
What Are The Risks Associated With The Management Of Ruptured Ovarian Cyst?
In the majority of women, the rupture of an ovarian cyst goes overlooked as there are no symptoms or very mild symptoms. When the mild symptoms are noticeable, taking pain medicines can solve the situation. There is practically nothing to get serious about in this condition.
However, intense symptoms are noted in some cases. Such symptoms mainly are having severe pain in the lower abdominal part, and such pain is also associated with bleeding. If the bleeding is not controlled, it can seriously pose a threat to the life of the patient. If such a symptom is noticed, immediate medical help is required. Hospitalization of such patients may as well be needed.
When the cases are too extreme, surgery is required. All emergency procedures require operations. Mostly, surgeries related to the removal of the cyst are laparoscopic surgeries or uses minimal cuts. Small incisions will be made in the abdomen, and the cysts can be removed. In other cases, open surgeries may be conducted with higher incisions. There are a few risks when performing surgery, but with efficient handling, the risks can be minimal. Moreover, the patient can put herself in an even more significant risk if the operation is not done. Some of the possible risks and complications that may be a part of an ovarian cyst removal surgery are-
- Blood clotting
- Lack of proper healing of the incision
- Nerves, blood vessels, adjacent pelvic structures or muscles may get damaged
- Risks related to anesthesia
- Laparoscopic surgeries may need a larger incision
- The occurrence of scar tissue or adhesions after the surgery is performed
Management Of Ruptured Ovarian Cyst – How To Get Ready?
A doctor diagnoses a ruptured ovarian cyst. It is always recommended to visit a doctor as fast as possible when sharp and sudden pains in the abdominal region are felt. If you do get to know that an ovarian cyst exists, you need to stay ready to get some treatment if the cyst ruptures.
When seeking a doctor’s help, make sure to provide all the symptoms that you have faced and your medical history as well. In case you already know about the existing ovarian cyst, be sure to say it right away. Physical exam, most likely a pelvic exam, may be conducted to diagnose the cyst if present.
If there is a possibility that the cyst has ruptured, the doctor may ask you for further tests. These tests are required, as they can pinpoint the exact cause of the pain. Underlying medical conditions like appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy, and formation of kidney stones are severe conditions and can cause abdominal pain as well. To fully determine the cause of the pain, there are various tests conducted. Some of them are-
- CT scan – A detailed picture of the area is obtained with the help of X-rays and computers.
- Vaginal culture – Pelvic infection is checked with this test.
- Urine test – Other causes for abdominal pain can be determined with this test.
- Blood test – The Iron level of blood is checked with this test, and it can be detected I a patient has anemia or not. Additionally, blood tests are also used to check infections and for possible cancer signs.
- Pregnancy test – This test determines if the cause of the cyst formation is pregnancy or not.
- Ultrasound – This test obtains the image of the cyst, with its location, shape, and size, as well.
Some additional tests may be required to narrow the causes of the abdominal pain or the symptoms related to it.
In case a surgery is needed for the removal of the cyst, doctors will provide you with the best advice to prepare yourself. The basic ones include not drinking or eating anything after midnight of the day before the surgery is performed.
Management Of Ruptured Ovarian Cyst – What Actually Happens?
The complexity of the ruptured ovarian cyst determines how it needs to be managed. The sacs which are filled with fluids are the regular cysts. In the case of the complex cysts, surface bumps, multiple fluid-filled areas, and solid areas may be present in the cyst.
In the majority of women, only functional ovarian cysts exist. Hence, generally, they are not at all complex. Since these cysts are mainly not complex, even if they get ruptured, they can be quickly dealt with taking pain medicines. A watch over the symptoms for a period may be required, followed by taking ultrasound tests, but that’s it. Other treatments may not be required at all.
However, in the case of a complex cyst, the situation is entirely different. You are most likely to need treatment of some kind or another. Neglecting such complex cysts may cause various complications such as-
- Loss of blood that may cause the heart rate to be faster and blood pressure to be lower
- Having fever
- Possible signs of cancer
In case a complex ovarian cyst gets ruptured, hospital care may be required. In such conditions, the treatment mainly consists of-
- IV or intravenous fluids may be administered to replenish the lost fluids
- Heart rate monitoring and vital organs and signs monitoring needs to be done carefully
- Red blood cell monitoring or hematocrit monitoring to check how much oxygen can the blood carry
- Bleeding in the abdomen may be checked with ultrasounds tests that are repeated
- If medical conditions are worsening, surgery will be required
If surgery is needed, doctors will tend to go for minimally invasive surgery methods. Such operations include laparoscopy, where a small incision is made in the abdomen after anesthesia is provided. Through these incisions, a small camera and other required tools are passed to be able to operate on the required place with a visual aid. Bleeding is controlled at first, followed by the removal of fluids or blood clots. The cyst is then removed. It is followed by the removal of the tools and closing of the incision. The part is then appropriately bandaged.
In case laparoscopy is not used for such surgeries, larger incisions will be required, and the surgeons opt for standard open procedure surgeries. In any case, doctors will discuss with you what type of treatment is the best for you.
Ruptured Ovarian Cyst Management – What Happens After?
To successfully manage the period after the ruptured ovarian cyst is managed, doctors will discuss with you in lengths will provide a follow-up plan that is the best for you.
In case a simple cyst is ruptured, home care will be enough. Pain medicines can be taken to tackle the mild pain that may or may not come. The pain will be vanishing in a few days, as well. In case new symptoms arise, or the pain becomes worse, contact your doctor right away. In such cases, further blood tests and imaging may be required as well.
If the ruptured ovarian cyst is complex, the hospitalization period may increase for you. If there is no bleeding, you will be released quickly. Taking rest at home and using pain medicines should be enough. Follow up tests should be continued actually to confirm that the bleeding has stopped or not. Tests are also required to monitor the condition of the cyst and whether or not it needs to be removed via surgery.
If you require surgery, you will be instructed to take care of the bandages and the wound. Physical activity will be restricted for a period. You will get all the information from your doctor.
In sporadic cases, the cause of the cyst is cancer. In such cases, cancer therapies will be the primary form of treatment, followed by surgical removal of the affected part.
As for the treatment of multiple ovarian cysts, treatment plans can be made with consultation with doctors. In case a cyst is persisting but not rupturing, it needs to be closely monitored as well. Other alternatives include taking medicines, which may either shrink the cysts or prevent future cysts from happening. Ultimately, surgery may be required depending upon the severity of the condition.
Tips to Follow
Before taking a test or adopting a treatment procedure, make sure to know these things-
- Procedure or test name
- Reason for conducting the procedure or test
- The various possible results of the test with the meaning for each result
- Benefits and risks related to the methods or tests
- Complications or possible side effects that may occur
- Where and when the procedure or test needs to be conducted
- Qualification of the person doing the procedure or test
- Complications which may arise if the procedure or test is skipped
- Alternative methods and tests that may be tried out
- When the results will be available and how to get them
- Who to contact if any problems or questions arise after the procedure or test is conducted
- Fees of the procedure or test
In any case, it is quite normal to have ovarian cysts. Women in their early periods or girls who are just starting with periods may find the formation of ovarian cysts to be quite common. In most cases, nothing needs to be done. In rare cases, medication can be provided to deal with the future prevention of cysts. In rare cases, the help of surgery is required, as the removal of persisting cysts or ruptured cysts are sometimes necessary to maintain general health.