Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

Ovarian Cyst, Ruptured

Ovarian Cyst, Ruptured is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Clinical Consult.

To view the entire topic, please or purchase a subscription.

Medicine Central™ is a quick-consult mobile and web resource that includes diagnosis, treatment, medications, and follow-up information on over 700 diseases and disorders, providing fast answers—anytime, anywhere. Explore these free sample topics:

Medicine Central

-- The first section of this topic is shown below --


  • Ovarian cysts are frequent in reproductive-aged women.
  • Most ovarian cysts are benign physiologic follicles created by the ovary at the time of ovulation.
  • Ovarian cysts can cause symptoms when they become enlarged and exert a mass effect on surrounding structures, or when they rupture and the cyst contents cause irritation of the peritoneum or nearby pelvic organs.
  • Patients with a symptomatic ruptured cyst will usually complain of acute onset unilateral lower abdominal pain.
  • Rupture can be caused by sexual intercourse, luteal phase, exercise, trauma, or pregnancy.
  • Evaluation of the patient should include exclusion of other emergent causes: ectopic pregnancy, ovarian torsion, and nongynecologic sources of acute unilateral lower abdominal pain.
  • Once the diagnosis of a ruptured cyst is confirmed, most patients can be managed conservatively as outpatients with adequate pain control. Surgical intervention is rarely indicated.
  • OCPs are not an effective treatment for existing ovarian cysts.


A suspected ruptured ovarian cyst should be treated as an unknown adnexal mass (mass of the ovary, fallopian tube, and surrounding tissue) until proven otherwise.


  • The actual incidence of ovarian cysts is difficult to calculate as many ruptured cysts are asymptomatic or found incidentally.
  • Ovarian cysts can be seen on transvaginal ultrasounds in nearly all premenopausal women and in up to 18% of postmenopausal women. The vast majority of these cysts are benign or functional.
  • Most ruptured ovarian cysts are physiologic events and self-limited, expectant management with pain control is usually sufficient.
  • About 13% of ovarian masses in reproductive-aged women are malignant, as opposed to 45% in postmenopausal women. About 70% of ovarian malignancies are diagnosed at a late stage.
  • Ruptured ovarian cysts most commonly affect the right ovary, 63%.

Risk Factors

Medications or conditions associated with increased ovulation and/or increased risk of cyst rupture.

  • Ovulation induction agents (i.e., Clomid, aromatase inhibitors, GnRH agonists)
  • Tamoxifen increases the risk of ovarian cysts in reproductive-aged women.
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (common)
  • Fibrous dysplasia/ McCune-Albright syndrome (rare)

General Prevention

Ovulation suppression with combined oral contraceptives is the mainstay therapy for prevention of recurrent ovarian cysts.

-- To view the remaining sections of this topic, please or purchase a subscription --


Stephens, Mark B., et al., editors. "Ovarian Cyst, Ruptured." 5-Minute Clinical Consult, 27th ed., Wolters Kluwer, 2019. Medicine Central, im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/117385/all/Ovarian_Cyst__Ruptured.
Ovarian Cyst, Ruptured. In: Stephens MB, Golding J, Baldor RA, et al, eds. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. 27th ed. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/117385/all/Ovarian_Cyst__Ruptured. Accessed April 26, 2019.
Ovarian Cyst, Ruptured. (2019). In Stephens, M. B., Golding, J., Baldor, R. A., & Domino, F. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Available from https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/117385/all/Ovarian_Cyst__Ruptured
Ovarian Cyst, Ruptured [Internet]. In: Stephens MB, Golding J, Baldor RA, Domino FJ, editors. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. [cited 2019 April 26]. Available from: https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/117385/all/Ovarian_Cyst__Ruptured.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Ovarian Cyst, Ruptured ID - 117385 ED - Stephens,Mark B, ED - Golding,Jeremy, ED - Baldor,Robert A, ED - Domino,Frank J, BT - 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Updating UR - https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/117385/all/Ovarian_Cyst__Ruptured PB - Wolters Kluwer ET - 27 DB - Medicine Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -