Pregnant with one ovary?

Written by Rosh Mahtani

Did you know that one in ten women have polycystic ovarian cysts and a large percentage of them end up having one or both removed, but are still able to become pregnant?

You can get pregnant with one ovary!

Did you know that one in ten women have polycystic ovarian cysts and a large percentage of them end up having one or both removed, but are still able to become pregnant? According to experts, as long as they are still ovulating and have at least one fallopian tube intact, they can still bear a child.

Ovulation

During a woman’s monthly cycle, she typically releases a single egg from either of her ovaries. The two ovaries are supposed to take turn in releasing the egg without any definite pattern. When the egg is released, it goes down towards the fallopian tube. This process, known as ovulation, is the most essential occurrence for a woman to become pregnant.

For a woman with one ovary, as longs as she has one fallopian tube in tact which is adjacent to the ovary, and is menstruating regulary, chances of getting pregnant is high. Irregular menstrual cycle or the absence of menstrual period would tell us that ovulation is happening infrequently, or nonexistent at all.

One Fallopian Tube

So while having a single ovary, a single fallopian tube or both, does not affect chances of conception, it is much more difficult for those whose lone ovary and lone fallopian tube are not located on the same side. It may be possible for an egg released by an ovary to be carried down to the fallopian tube on the other side, but this phenomenon is highly unlikely. Further, having a single fallopian tube and ovary located on opposite sides increases one’s risks of suffering from ectopic or tubal pregnancy.

Testing

Generally, women with a single ovary and who want to get pregnant are advised by doctors to try conceiving naturally for about a year before seeking the help of fertility experts. If in case pregnancy has failed within that given time, the couple should undergo fertility testing. Having one ovary does not necessarily mean that the woman is the one with a fertility issue.

On the other hand, if there are recognisable symptoms of not getting pregnant, such as irregular or absence of menstrual period, it is best to seek help from a fertility doctor right away. A scarring in the ovary or fallopian tube may have blocked the egg’s travel and destroyed the chances of conceiving. Experts may require the woman to go through surgery to remove the scarring and increase the likelihood of ovulation.

At the end of the day, there are times when women with a single ovary are told that conceiving is close to impossible, but find themselves getting pregnant without any problem. Conversely, there are those who were never seen with serious fertility issues but have never gotten pregnant. Thus, in order to understand one’s chances best, it is best to consult with an expert every step of the way.

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