What exactly is ovarian torsion?
In the article below we will explain what exactly is ‘ovarian torsion’. We have included images to illustrate the anatomy of ovaries.
You may ask yourself: “Why do I need to know all this?”
Well, it’s not just your health that depends on knowing all these facts! Knowing what exactly is ‘ovarian torsion’ will save lives and prevent many complications in women with endometriosis.
The following are some of the reasons why you need to know about ‘ovarian torsion’:
1) Ovarian torsion is one of the most common causes of death in women with endometriosis.
2) Many women with endometriosis suffer from infertility due to ovarian failure.
3) Women with endometriosis often experience painful periods.
4) If you’re having trouble conceiving, you’ll want to know if there is any chance of getting pregnant after surgery.
5) Your doctor might prescribe medications such as progesterone or clomiphene citrate (Celexa).
These drugs could cause side effects like weight gain and mood swings. You might even develop blood clots when taking them for long periods of time.
6) You might be considering having a baby in the near future.
7) You may already be pregnant right now!
Don’t you want to find out as much information about your condition as possible?
So keep on reading, and arm yourself with knowledge!
What is ovarian torsion?
Ovarian torsion occurs when the ovary twists on itself. This often leads to anoxic (lack of oxygen) damage. Since the ovary is one of the main producers of female hormones, this could lead to menopausal symptoms. Also, if only one ovary twists, then the other one will have to work harder to produce hormones. This could lead to hormonal imbalances such as excess testosterone and irregular menstrual cycles.
Ovarian torsion happens more frequently in women under 40 because of anatomical variations in their reproductive organs. Many woman might experience some of the same symptoms as ovarian torsion.
The medical community has a long standing debate on whether or not cysts are related to torsion. Although not all ovarian cancers are caused by cysts, many do occur with ovarian cysts. Many of these cysts are benign and don’t turn into cancer if left untreated.
Other types of tumors can also twist the ovary such as germ cell tumors.
One of the main risk factors for ovarian torsion is having a twisted bowel. Sigmoid or descending colon that twists leads to around 50% of all left-sided ovarian torsions. A uterine didelphys, in which a woman is born with two vaginas, will lead to an increased risk of twisting.
This is because there are two sets of fallopian tubes and ovaries.
The most common symptom of ovarian torsion is constant pain in the lower abdomen. This pain may not be present immediately after the actual torsion occurred. It could take several hours for the symptoms to appear.
Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and fever.
What are the symptoms of ovarian torsion?
As we mentioned above there are several symptoms of ovarian torsion. Unfortunately, not everyone will experience all these symptoms. The type and severity of these symptoms will be different for each woman.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
1) Pain in the abdomen
2) Nausea and vomiting
3) Fever and chills
4) Difficulty eating and feeling full quickly when eating small amounts of food.
5) Feeling the need to urinate more often than usual.
6) Bloated stomach
7) Swelling of the stomach area.
8) Blood clots in the legs
9) Unusual discharge from the genitals
10) Lower back pain on the side of the twisted ovary
What should I do if I think I have ovarian torsion?
1) If you have any of the symptoms listed above, you should seek medical attention immediately.
2) Make sure to tell your physician if you think you might have ovarian torsion.
This is especially true if you have any of the risk factors listed above.
3) If you experience constant pain in your abdomen, and it seems to be getting worse, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Don’t wait for the pain to go away on its own.
4) If you have any of the symptoms of ovarian torsion but don’t have any of the risk factors, make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible.
They will be able to determine if further testing is needed.
Sources & references used in this article:
Diagnosis and management of ovarian cyst accidents by C Bottomley, T Bourne – Best practice & research Clinical obstetrics & …, 2009 – Elsevier
Oophoropexy for recurrent ovarian torsion by J Hartley, M Akhtar, E Edi-Osagie – Case Reports in Obstetrics and …, 2018 – hindawi.com
High Rate of Gangrenous Adnexal Torsion: Dilemma of a Missing Silent Cancer by K Sukkong, P Sananpanichkul… – Asian Pacific journal …, 2016 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov