Ruptured Ovarian Cyst

Laura Miller MD

The Common Vein Copyright 2010


A ruptured ovarian cyst is a functional cyst which extends to the surface of the ovary.

Functional ovarian cysts are caused by normal physiologic function of the ovary.

The structural changes are characterized by extension of the cyst to the ovarian surface with spillage of the cyst’s contents into the abdominal cavity.

The functional changes associated with functional cysts may be minimal, but rupture frequently results in pain.

Women may present with acute abdominal pain and rebound abdominal tenderness on exam.

Imaging with ultrasound may show multiple cysts in the ovaries bilaterally and can help to differentiate between functional cysts and malignant cysts of the ovary.

Diagnosis is made when other cysts are present and other causes of acute abdominal pain have been excluded.

Treatment of ruptured functional cysts consists of pain control.  Oral contraceptive pills can help prevent further functional cysts from developing by suppressing ovulation.