AN ovarian cyst is a collection of fluid arising from the ovary and when ruptured, it can become a medical emergency.
The truth is most ovarian cysts are benign and naturally go away without treatment, but ruptured cysts, though a rare occurrence, can cause intense pain and internal bleeding, and if left untreated increases your risk of an infection and can be fatal.
According to obstetrician-gynaecologist (ObGyn) Dr Jordan Hardie, signs that a patient may have a ruptured ovarian cyst include pain, abdominal distension, vaginal bleeding, palpitations, loss of consciousness and low grade fever.
Below he explains to All Woman these symptoms and reasons for them
According to Dr Hardie, pain is the most common symptom associated with a ruptured ovarian cyst. He said this pain may be of sudden onset and may be generalised abdominal pain which eventually becomes localised to the pelvic region.
The ObGyn said patients may notice that their abdomen becomes enlarged and this may be due to the cyst bleeding into the abdomen or the release of fluid that was contained in the cyst.
3. Vaginal bleeding
“Patients with a ruptured ovarian cyst may notice vaginal bleeding and this blood may be bright red,” Dr Hardie said.
4. Palpitations and loss of consciousness
Dr Hardie said women who have had a ruptured ovarian cyst and have lost a large amount of blood may notice that their heart is beating very fast and they may even lose consciousness.
5. Low grade fever
The ObGyn said not very commonly, a woman who has had a ruptured ovarian cyst may notice that she has a low grade fever.
Dr Hardie said red flags include severe persistent abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, palpitations and loss of consciousness and if experienced, the patient should seek medical attention immediately.
He said if you suspect you have a ruptured cyst you should see your gynaecologist immediately who will examine you and request an ultrasound to evaluate the size of the cyst and see if there is any free fluid in the abdomen, which is suggestive of bleeding.
The ObGyn said patients who are stable can be treated conservatively with painkillers; however, patients who have lost a large volume of blood may require surgery to repair the ruptured cysts.
He said ovarian cysts are very common and many women may unknowingly have a cyst, but for those who have been diagnosed, they should ensure they visit a gynaecologist who will monitor the condition.