Zara McDermott, 23, appeared on the 2018 series of Love Island. The reality star is currently taking part in X Factor: Celebrity. What fans may not know is that the reality star had a health scare last year. Speaking to the Sun, the star revealed she was blinded by pain when a cyst on her ovary burst.
The star was rushed to hospital with suspected appendicitis but later discovered her painful infection was the result of an ovarian cyst.
According to the NHS, an ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on an ovary.
They’re very common and do not usually cause any symptoms.
Most ovarian cysts occur naturally and go away in a few months without needing any treatment.
Symptoms only show up, as in Zara’s case, when ovarian cyst bursts.
People may also experience symptoms if an ovarian cyst is very large or blocks the blood supply to the ovaries, according to the health body.
I threw up around 11 times
Revealing her symptoms, the reality star said: “I threw up around 11 times in a really short space of time, it was ridiculous. I was getting really anxious about what was going on.”
“I couldn’t see even a metre in front of me. I was so weak from the infection.”
According to the NHS, an ovarian cyst may also cause the following symptoms if it splits:
- Pelvic pain – this can range from a dull, heavy sensation to a sudden, severe and sharp pain
- Pain during sex
- Difficulty emptying your bowels
- A frequent need to urinate
- Heavy periods, irregular periods or lighter periods than normal
- Bloating and a swollen tummy
- Feeling very full after only eating a little
- Difficulty getting pregnant – although fertility is unaffected in most women with ovarian cysts
The former Love Island contest revealed her symptoms initially puzzled doctors and she was forced to receive five different opinions before scans showed a cyst had burst on her right ovary.
The result was an infected ovary and excess fluid behind her womb which was pressing on her organs and causing the pain.
As the NHS explains, if a GP thinks a woman may have an ovarian cyst, they will probably be referred for an ultrasound scan, carried out by using a probe placed inside a woman’s vagina.
If a cyst is identified during the ultrasound scan, a woman may need to have this monitored with a repeat ultrasound scan in a few weeks, or a GP may refer them to a doctor who specialises in female reproductive health (gynaecologist).
If there’s any concern that a woman’s cyst could be cancerous, their doctor will also arrange blood tests to look for high levels of chemicals that can indicate ovarian cancer.
Treating ovarian cysts
Whether an ovarian cyst needs to be treated will depend on:
- Its size and appearance
- Whether a woman has any symptoms
- Whether a woman has been through the menopause
Zara took to Instagram to reveal to her fans she spent nine hours in a ward after seeking urgent medical attention.
She wrote: “How’s your Friday I was rushed to hospital in the night with suspected appendicitis… been here for nine hours now.”
As the NHS notes, surgical treatment to remove the cysts may be needed if they’re large, causing symptoms or potentially cancerous.
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