Pain from ovarian cysts can be a very frightening thing.  Sometimes it’ll just feel like a dull ache.  Other times it’ll feel like someone is twisting a burning knife in your stomach.  However, your doctor has probably told you that you have to just wait to see if the cyst clears up on it’s own in a couple of months.  But what if something happens?  How do you know that you need to call the doctor?

There are two potential complications that you need to be aware of with functional cysts.  In either of these cases, you need to see a doctor right away.  These are:

  • A burst cyst.
  • A twisted cyst, or ovarian torsion.

If the cyst happens to burst, you will generally experience a sharp pain from the cyst bursting.  This is generally followed by a burning sensation in your abdomen.  If the fluid from inside the cyst has sprayed into the surrounding area, it irritates the tissue, which creates this burning.  Generally, a cyst is more likely to burst right after intercourse, heavy lifting, or sudden pressure on your stomach.  Of course, it may burst just because as well…

If this happens to you, call your doctor right away.  He’ll probably want to see you in order to get you started on antibiotics.  They’ll also want to make sure you don’t have any internal bleeding.  In most cases, a burst cyst will resolve itself as long as you avoid the risk of infection.

Ovarian torsion is a more severe situation.  Fortunately, it’s not very common.  In some cases, the cyst grows on a stem.  As it gets larger, it twists downwards, twisting the ovary as well.  This cuts off the blood supply to the ovary, causing intense pain.  This pain is more like a kidney stone.  If it’s not treated right away, the ovary will die from the lack of blood supply.  Treatment for this is generally surgery.

So to sum it up, if your pain suddenly worsens, and it’s not time for ovulation (middle of your menstrual cycle), call your doctor.  Each woman will experience pain differently.  A good rule of thumb is that it’s better not to take chances.  If you think something is going on, it’s better to go and get it checked out than let a potentially dangerous problem go undiscovered.