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The Symptoms of a Ruptured Ovarian Cyst

author image Leigh A. Zaykoski
Leigh Zaykoski has been a writer and editor for six years. Her medical writing has appeared on dozens of websites. Zaykoski attended the University of Pittsburgh and Keystone College, studying microbiology and business administration. She is currently pursuing a medical writing certification.
The Symptoms of a Ruptured Ovarian Cyst
The Symptoms of a Ruptured Ovarian Cyst

Ovarian cysts are sacs of fluid that grow inside or on the ovary. These cysts often go away on their own, but in rare cases, may become twisted and rupture. If the symptoms of a ruptured ovarian cyst are present, emergency medical attention should be sought immediately. Without proper treatment, a ruptured ovarian cyst can cause bleeding, infection, and other serious conditions.

Abdominal Pain

According to physicians from the University of Michigan Health System, one of the symptoms of a ruptured ovarian cyst is abdominal pain. If a cyst becomes twisted, it cuts off its own blood supply, causing pain and discomfort. Pain may also occur as a result of bleeding of a ruptured ovarian cyst. This is because the blood irritates the surrounding tissues. Sandy Jocoy, a registered nurse at the University of California at San Diego, indicates that the pain of a ruptured cyst occurs very suddenly and is severe in nature. It occurs in the lower abdomen and may appear on the left or right side, depending on which ovary contains the cyst.


The National Institutes of Health cites nausea as one of the symptoms of a ruptured ovarian cyst. One cause of nausea is the severe abdominal pain that is caused by a ruptured cyst. Another reason that nausea can occur is because a ruptured cyst may leak fluid or blood into the peritoneal cavity. Because nausea can occur with any number of medical conditions, doctors will use a patient's medical history, physical examination, laboratory tests and imaging studies to make the diagnosis of a ruptured ovarian cyst.


Information from the University of Michigan Health System indicates that vomiting is another symptom of a ruptured ovarian cyst. This condition can cause vomiting because of the fluid that leaks from the ruptured cyst. If the cyst was filled with blood, the blood leaking from the cyst can also irritate the peritoneal cavity and cause vomiting. Because vomiting occurs with other conditions such as food poisoning, stomach flu and vertigo, this symptom alone is not enough to diagnose a ruptured ovarian cyst. If it occurs with nausea and severe abdominal pain, doctors may suspect a ruptured cyst and perform a pelvic exam or computerized tomography (CT) scan in order to make the correct diagnosis.

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