What happens when an ovarian cyst leaks?

Ovarian cysts are a common occurrence among women, with about one in three having them at some point in their life. These fluid-filled sacs can range from being completely harmless to causing pain and discomfort. But what happens when an ovarian cyst leaks? Buckle up because things are about to get wild.

First off, What is an Ovarian Cyst?

Before we dive into the juicy details of cyst leakage, let’s go over what exactly these little guys are. An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that forms on the ovary. They can vary in size from as small as a pea to larger than a grapefruit (yikes). Some women may never even know they have one since they often don’t cause any noticeable symptoms. However, others may experience pelvic pain, bloating or irregular periods.

It Ain’t Pretty

When an ovarian cyst starts leaking its contents into your abdomen – it’s not going to be pretty folks. The leaking material consists of old blood which has degraded/disintegrated due  to internal hemorrhage caused by rupturing vessel walls within the structure.

Note: If you’re squeamish or easily grossed out then this probably isn’t the article for you but if you’re brave enough read on!


So what kind of symptoms can you expect if your ovarian cyst decides it wants to stage dive? Well firstly there will be sudden sharp abdominal cramping that feels like someone’s punched you in the ovaries… hard! Other possible symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Rapid breathing

These symptoms occur due to both physical trauma and chemical irritation associated with degradation products from red blood cells released into peritoneal cavity during leakage episode [1].

It should be stated here however that the symptoms alone don’t necessarily point to a cyst rupture, as many other conditions can present with similar signs. Only through proper diagnosis by experienced and qualified medical professionals can you be sure.

One Word: Infection

We all know that when it comes to bodily fluids, infection is never too far behind – especially if said fluid has been chilling out in your abdomen. The leaking contents from the ovarian cyst create an environment conducive to bacterial proliferation leading to peritonitis (inflammation of abdominal membranes) which leads us down a dark, damp path towards sepsis [2].

Pro Tip: You should aim to jump on top of any sexual partner who refers to themselves as “bacteria” or “microbe” depending on their relative size.

It’s Time for Surgery

If you’re experiencing severe symptoms such as severe pain Abdomen or development of Fever then it’s time for surgery folks! Generally speaking surgical intervention is usually required once a ruptured ovarian cyst presents with persistent/severe bleeding and/or rapidly growing abcesses or spread within things like peritoneal cavity/ fallopian tubes/surrounding tissues etc… Failure TO Treat at this stage could mean more problems further down the line including permanent damage/failure & death!

A laparoscopy procedure will most likely be performed since  it entails only small incisions being made in order to remove possible cystic structures whilst minimizing scarring once healing process begins. However complications still remain post-surgery requiring monitoring during follow ups as well pharmacological supports limited patient mobility until satisfactory wound healing processes have occurred.

Final Thoughts

Sure, no one wants to deal with a leaky ovarian cyst but it’s important not just ignore potential warning signs.The troublesome consequences associated with neglecting these events may put womens lives at risk so always stay aware… and wear protection … because things certainly got messy today!

[1] Oztekin et al.: Prevalence and features of ovarian cysts in children and adolescents. Arch Gynecol Obstet 2009;280:605–608.
[2] Torjesen, Kristine & Nilsen, Eiliv-Martyin & Malterud, Karl Egil: Complex diagnostics – a case of pelvic abscess following free fluid at ultrasound examination for suspected appendicitis. BMC Informatics and Health Journal (2020) Vol1186(16)#132).

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