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How do I know if a ruptured ovarian cyst is causing my cramps?

ANSWER

Cysts are sacs of fluid. Sometimes, they form on your ovaries. One type, called a follicular cyst, breaks open to release an egg and later dissolves in your body. If this doesn't happen, a different cyst can form. Most are harmless, but one could burst if it grows too large.

A ruptured cyst doesn't always cause pain. If it does, you might have sudden, sharp cramps on either side of your lower stomach below the belly button. The location depends on which ovary had the cyst.

You may also have some spotting. Before the cyst ruptures, you may feel pain or pressure in your lower belly, thighs, or lower back.

SOURCES:

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Pelvic Pain."

Glencoe Regional Health Services: "Possible causes of ovarian pain."

St. Luke's Health System: "Ruptured Ovarian Cyst."

Kruszka, P.S. , July 15, 2010. American Family Physician

KidsHealth: "Pregnancy Calendar: Week 4."

KidsHealth: "Pregnancy Calendar: Week 5."

March of Dimes: "Ectopic Pregnancy."

March of Dimes: "Miscarriage."

Healthy Women: "Pelvic Pain."

WomensHealth.gov: "Irritable Bowel Syndrome Fact Sheet."

Center for Young Women's Health: "Pelvic Inflammatory Disease."

Christiana Care Health System: "Pelvic-Floor Muscle Dysfunction."

UpToDate: “Patient information: Chronic pelvic pain in women (Beyond the Basics).

UpToDate: Patient information: Irritable bowel syndrome (Beyond the Basics).”

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Definition and Facts for Appendicitis."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Symptoms and Causes of Appendicitis."

American Cancer Society: “What Is Ovarian Cancer?”

Mayo Clinic: “When to see a doctor.”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on April 11, 2018

SOURCES:

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Pelvic Pain."

Glencoe Regional Health Services: "Possible causes of ovarian pain."

St. Luke's Health System: "Ruptured Ovarian Cyst."

Kruszka, P.S. , July 15, 2010. American Family Physician

KidsHealth: "Pregnancy Calendar: Week 4."

KidsHealth: "Pregnancy Calendar: Week 5."

March of Dimes: "Ectopic Pregnancy."

March of Dimes: "Miscarriage."

Healthy Women: "Pelvic Pain."

WomensHealth.gov: "Irritable Bowel Syndrome Fact Sheet."

Center for Young Women's Health: "Pelvic Inflammatory Disease."

Christiana Care Health System: "Pelvic-Floor Muscle Dysfunction."

UpToDate: “Patient information: Chronic pelvic pain in women (Beyond the Basics).

UpToDate: Patient information: Irritable bowel syndrome (Beyond the Basics).”

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Definition and Facts for Appendicitis."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Symptoms and Causes of Appendicitis."

American Cancer Society: “What Is Ovarian Cancer?”

Mayo Clinic: “When to see a doctor.”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on April 11, 2018

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How do I know if pregnancy pain is causing my cramps?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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