Ovarian Torsion: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

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What is Ovarian Torsion?

When an ovary twists around its blood supply, it can cut off blood flow and starve the organ of oxygen, a medical disease known as ovarian torsion. The lower abdomen or pelvis, especially on one side of the body, may experience excruciating pain as a result.

There are different types of ovarian torsions – partial, complete or intermittent – depending on how much the ovary has rotated. In some cases, there may be additional symptoms like nausea, vomiting and fever.

This condition can occur due to several reasons such as pregnancy, cysts or tumors on the ovaries, endometriosis and other gynecological issues. It may also be more common among women who have undergone fertility treatments or have a history of ovarian cysts.

It’s essential to seek immediate medical attention if you experience sudden pelvic pain as untreated ovarian torsion can lead to permanent damage to your ovaries and even infertility. A timely diagnosis through imaging tests like ultrasound scans or MRI followed by prompt surgical intervention is crucial for successful treatment outcomes.Awareness about this condition is vital for early detection and prevention against long-term complications.

The different types of Ovarian Torsions

Ovarian torsion is a medical emergency that occurs when the ovary twists around its ligament. There are two main types of ovarian torsions, which include partial and complete.

Partial ovarian torsion occurs when the ovary twists to some degree but does not completely cut off the blood supply. This type can be difficult to diagnose as it may cause mild symptoms or none at all.

Complete ovarian torsion, on the other hand, happens when the ligaments twist tightly enough to cut off blood flow entirely. This type often causes severe pain and requires immediate medical attention.

There is also an intermittent type of ovarian torsion in which there may be periods where there is no twisting present but then returns later on.

Other factors that can contribute to different types of Ovarian Torsions include age, hormonal changes, pregnancy or certain medications that affect hormones levels in women’s bodies.

What are the symptoms of an Ovarian Torsion?

Ovarian torsion is a rare but painful condition that can occur in women of any age. It happens when the ovary twists around its own blood vessels, leading to a loss of blood supply and potential damage to the ovarian tissue.

The symptoms of an ovarian torsion can often mimic those of other gynecological conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis. However, there are some specific signs that may indicate an ovarian torsion is occurring.

Lower abdomen pain, often on one side but sometimes radiating to the back or legs, is a common complaint. Due to the intensity of the discomfort, women may also experience nausea and vomiting.

In addition to these symptoms, you may also have a high body temperature, rapid heart rate, dizziness, and even fainting.

Women experiencing these symptoms should not wait to consult a doctor, as doing so can result in severe complications like infertility from tissue damage. When surgery is absolutely necessary, time is of the essence.

Causes of Ovarian Torsions

When the ovary bends around its blood supply, preventing blood from reaching the affected area, a painful condition known as ovarian torsion develops. Ovarian torsion causes can range from benign to life-threatening.

Medical conditions like endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are often the root cause of ovarian torsion. Ovarian enlargement, which can occur as a result of certain disorders, increases the risk of ovarian torsion.

Pregnancy can also increase the risk of ovarian torsions due to changes in hormone levels and increased pressure on surrounding organs. In addition, certain activities like vigorous exercise or sexual intercourse may trigger a torsion if done excessively.

Other factors that contribute to this condition include prior surgeries on pelvic organs, tumors or cysts that grow inside or near the ovaries, and abnormalities in reproductive anatomy.

There are various reasons why women develop ovarian torsions. It’s important to understand these causes so that you are aware of your own risk factors and know when to seek prompt medical attention if necessary.

Diagnosis of Ovarian Torsions

Diagnosing ovarian torsion can be challenging as the symptoms are often non-specific and can resemble other conditions. However, prompt diagnosis is crucial to prevent potential complications such as loss of the ovary.

A medical professional’s physical examination is the initial stage in making a diagnosis of ovarian torsion. Checking for pain or swelling around the ovaries may necessitate a pelvic exam.

Ultrasounds and CT scans are two examples of the imaging procedures that may be used to confirm a diagnosis of ovarian torsion. These exams can determine if the ovaries are functioning normally and if there is an issue with blood flow.

Tests of the blood may be performed to look for signs of infection, which may have contributed to or been the direct outcome of the torsion.

It’s vital to remember that imaging tests could miss a case of ovarian torsion if it’s still in its early stages. For both diagnosis and therapy, laparoscopy, a form of minimally invasive surgery, may be required.

Accurate diagnosis of ovarian torsions requires clinical suspicion along with appropriate diagnostic testing.

How is an Ovarian Torsion treated?

When it comes to treating ovarian torsion, prompt medical attention is crucial. The goal of treatment is to restore blood flow to the affected ovary and prevent further damage.

In some cases, a laparoscopic surgery may be necessary to untwist the ovary and secure it in place with stitches or adhesions. This minimally invasive procedure allows for a quicker recovery time compared to traditional open surgery.

If the ovary has been severely damaged or cannot be saved, removal of the affected ovary may be necessary through an oophorectomy. However, this option is only considered if the patient no longer wishes to conceive or if both ovaries are affected.

Pain management is also an important aspect of treatment during recovery from ovarian torsion. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage discomfort while stronger medications may be prescribed for more severe pain.

It’s important for patients who have experienced ovarian torsion to follow up regularly with their healthcare provider and monitor any changes in symptoms after treatment.


Ovarian torsion is a serious medical condition that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment. It occurs when the ovary twists, causing reduced blood flow to the affected area, leading to severe pain and damage to the ovary.

The symptoms of ovarian torsion can easily be mistaken for other conditions, making it important for women to seek immediate medical attention if they experience sudden or severe pelvic pain.

Early diagnosis is crucial in preventing complications such as infertility and loss of an ovary. Women who have had previous episodes of ovarian torsion should consider preventive surgery as a way of reducing their risk.

Treatment options may include detorsion through surgical intervention or removal of the affected ovary. With proper management, most women typically recover fully from ovarian torsion without any long-term effects.

Awareness about ovarian torsion among women and healthcare providers remains critical in ensuring early detection and appropriate management. If you are experiencing unexplained pelvic pain or suspect you may have ovarian torsion, consult your doctor immediately for prompt evaluation and treatment.

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