During ovulation, one of the ovaries forms a follicle around the egg. Normally, the follicle resolves on its own, but occasionally, it will grow in size, forming an ovarian cyst. Most women will experience an ovarian cyst at some point in their lives, and oftentimes, they will not even know it is there. Some cysts, however, can become quite painful, requiring doctor intervention. If the pain becomes sharp and the stomach is sensitive to the touch, a leaking ovarian cyst may be the culprit. Only a doctor can diagnose the severity of an ovarian cyst.
A leaking ovarian cyst is not necessarily dangerous. A cyst is normally filled with fluid. The contents of the fluid can vary from a simple clear liquid to blood. A doctor can determine the type of liquid by doing an ultrasound. The majority of cysts are classified as functional, and they often dissolve on their own without surgery. Endometrial cysts are filled with blood, and they are a sign of the disease endometriosis. Other cysts, known as dermoid cysts, may contain skin, hair or teeth. While most ovarian cysts are harmless, a few can become cancerous. For this reason, it is important to consult a doctor when symptoms first appear.
A cyst will normally resolve over the course of a few months without incident. If this is the case, then no further medical treatment is necessary. On the other hand, the cyst may release fluid into the abdomen. When a leaking ovarian cyst is present, a woman may feel excruciating pain. She may also experience nausea, fever or bowel problems. For most functional cysts, any leaking fluid is absorbed into the body; however, some cysts may hemorrhage, which requires immediate medical attention. Larger cysts that do not resolve on their own are often removed through surgery.
Those who experience ovarian cysts on a regular basis may be put on birth control to prevent future occurrences. Birth control prevents ovulation, thus disallowing a cyst to form. The hormones in birth control have also proven effective in reducing the size of ovarian cysts that have already formed. Diet is also very helpful in controlling ovarian cysts. If a leaking ovarian cyst is causing pain, a hot compress or over the counter pain reliever may help; however, if the pain becomes unbearable, then seek medical attention immediately.