Signs, symptoms & treatment of ovarian cysts with torsion

Updated February 21, 2017

The ovaries are one of the most important parts of the female reproductive system. Unfortunately, fluid-filled sacs called cysts can develop on them. These cysts usually are harmless, but they can result in serious medical problems if they cause the entire ovary to twist (torsion). Being aware of the signs and symptoms of this condition can help identify it early so you can seek treatment.

Lower abdominal pain

Lower abdominal pain is an indicator of twisted ovarian cysts. According to the University of Illinois Medical Center, if have a twisted ovarian cyst, you may experience a dull aching pain in your lower abdomen that increases in severity as time goes on until it becomes unbearable.

Irregular menstrual periods

Since most ovarian cysts usually form during a menstrual cycle, they can disrupt the cycle, making your period come earlier or later than normal, or causing you to miss one. If you have an ovarian cyst when you start to menstruate, your period may be much heavier than normal.

Abdominal swelling

An ovarian cyst can cause swelling in the abdominal area, particularly if it becomes twisted. This could be due to a developing infection caused by the condition.


You can experience a fever with this ailment. This is due to the fact that the twisted cyst has become infected; the body's natural defence against infection is fever.

Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are also symptoms associated with a twisted ovarian cyst. If you experience sudden pain in your lower abdomen accompanied by nausea and vomiting, you should seek medical attention.


If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you should quickly seek medical attention, as the condition can cause major medical problems. Treatment for this condition is surgery, which usually is done laparoscopically. During this procedure the cyst is removed and the ovary twisted back into its original position. However, there is a chance that the entire ovary may need to be removed if it has become damaged. In the most extreme cases, the twisted cyst can kill the ovary, making it necessary to have both the ovary and the attached Fallopian tube removed.

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About the Author

Lily Mae began freelance writing in 2008. She is a certified elementary and literacy educator who has been working in education since 2003. Mae is also an avid gardener, decorator and craft maker. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in education and a Master of Science in literacy education from Long Island University.