Kate Beckinsale shared photos of herself in the hospital over the weekend, because she suffered a ruptured ovarian cyst. "Turns out a ruptured ovarian cyst really hurts and morphine makes me cry," she captioned the Instagram post. One selfie showed her hooked up to oxygen, and the other showed her in the fetal position on a hospital bed.
Ovarian cysts are sacs or pouches filled with fluid or tissue that form on or inside an ovary, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. There are a few different types of ovarian cysts that people with ovaries can get, and most of the time they're benign, Taraneh Shirazian, MD, a gynecologist at New York University Langone told Refinery29. Ovarian cysts often grow as a result of your menstrual cycle, and "they're just a product of the ovaries being active organs," she said. Endometriosis is another common cause of ovarian cysts, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Many people don't even know that they have cysts, and they'll go away with time. But in some cases, cysts can grow and leak or — like in Beckinsale's case — rupture. When a cyst ruptures as a result of exercise or intercourse, it usually feels like a sharp stabbing pain (like a knife in your side) in the abdominal or pelvic region. Sometimes, if fluid from the cyst is released, the pain can spread to the upper abdomen and shoulders, Wendy Chang, MD at the Southern California Reproductive Center told Refinery29.
Treatment for ruptured ovarian cysts usually depends on how severe the rupture was. Some people recover no problem, while others bleed heavily and will need to go to the hospital, Dr. Chang said. People may require surgery to drain the fluid from the cyst and stop the bleeding. And in very rare cases when a cyst is cancerous, surgery to remove the cyst from the ovary might be recommended, according to the ACOG.
So, although ovarian cysts can sound scary and can be extremely painful if they rupture, ultimately they're usually not this big of a deal. Hoping Beckinsale feels pain-free and better soon.