Ovarian torsion may be confusing for many women. However, it’s important to understand the symptoms and treatment options so you or your loved one can get the best care possible.
What Is Ovarian Torsion
Ovarian torsion is a very rare condition that occurs when the ovary twists on its mesentery. The mesentery is a ligament that attaches your ovary to your uterus, and it’s connected to the rest of your reproductive system by blood vessels.
When this happens, the blood supply to your ovary can be cut off, which means it won’t be able to get oxygen or nutrients from your body. This can lead to serious health problems like kidney failure and death if you don’t get treatment immediately.
This condition is most common in women between 20 and 40, but it can happen at any age. Ovarian torsion is one of the leading causes of death for pregnant women because it can happen quickly during pregnancy!
What Are the Symptoms of Ovarian Torsion
Ovarian torsion is a medical emergency. If you think you are experiencing symptoms, get to the hospital immediately and call your doctor.
The symptoms include:
- Severe abdominal pain that gets worse as time goes on
- Nausea and vomiting
- Upper abdominal bloating or swelling
- Feeling faint, dizzy, or weak
When should I worry about my symptoms of ovarian torsion?
There are a few signs that you should watch out for if you think you might have ovarian torsion. First, look for pain in your abdomen or pelvis. This pain can be sharp or dull and may be located on one side of your body or all over. You’ll also want to watch out for nausea and vomiting, which can also be a sign of torsion.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to call your doctor right away so they can determine whether or not they’re related to ovarian torsion.
Your doctor will likely perform a pelvic exam to check for tenderness on one side of your abdomen or pelvis and ask about any recent activity that might have caused trauma or injury—like lifting heavy objects or having sex—that could have caused the torsion.
Can You See Ovarian Torsion on Ultrasound
The answer is yes.
This condition is most commonly diagnosed through a transvaginal ultrasound, which uses sound waves to produce images of the reproductive organs. The doctor will insert the probe into your vagina and move it around until they can see your ovaries.
They’ll also be able to tell if there are any blood clots or fluid accumulations in your abdominal cavity and any ovarian cysts that may be present. This procedure can be uncomfortable, but it’s generally not painful.
It’s important to note that ovarian torsion can also be diagnosed using a CT scan or MRI scan, which uses different methods than ultrasound imaging to produce images of internal structures within the body. However, these tests are usually unnecessary for diagnosis unless other complications are involved in the process (such as bleeding).
Image Source: iStock
What Causes Ovarian Torsion
Torsion is difficult to predict, especially if there is no underlying condition. In many cases, it occurs in otherwise healthy women who are not at an increased risk for ovarian torsion.
However, there may be some risk factors that increase your chances of experiencing this condition, including women who:
- Had previous abdominal surgeries
- Are pregnant or recently gave birth
- Have ovarian cysts (benign or cancerous)
- With a family history of ovarian cysts
- With H. pylori (a bacteria that causes infections in the stomach lining) may have an increased risk for ovarian torsion
Ovarian torsion can lead to serious complications if not treated quickly, so it is important to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect an ovarian torsion or any other medical condition related to your reproductive system.
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms of ovarian torsion. The sooner you are diagnosed and treated for this condition, the better! It may save your life one day.
Can Exercise Cause Ovarian Torsion
Exercise can cause ovarian torsion, but it’s not as common as you think. Ovarian torsion occurs when the ovary twists on its attachment to the uterus. This is a serious condition because it can cut off the blood supply to your ovary, which can be life-threatening.
Certain risk factors for ovarian torsion include having an enlarged ovary or having multiple pregnancies or births. Before starting an exercise program, let your doctor know if you have any risk factors.
Tell your doctor if you’re at high risk for ovarian torsion and begin an exercise program. They may want to do tests to ensure your ovaries are healthy before they start recommending specific exercises for you.
Pelvic floor exercises to manage pregnancy incontinence
What Are the Complications of Ovarian Torsion
The most common complication of ovarian torsion is an infection called peritonitis. Peritonitis is an abdominal cavity infection, usually caused by bacteria getting into your body through a cut or opening in your skin.
Another complication is blood clots forming in your abdomen (abdominal hysterectomy). This is more likely to happen if you have had multiple pregnancies or delivered a baby vaginally.
Other complications include:
- Bladder problems—the twisting may cut off the blood supply to your bladder and cause infections or kidney damage
- Hysterectomy—if you have severe symptoms of torsion that do not respond to treatment, you may need surgery to remove your uterus (hysterectomy)
- Ovarian rupture
Ovarian Torsion Treatment
The treatment options for this condition are as follows:
Surgery: This is the most common option, and it involves removing the ovary and fallopian tubes that are affected by ovarian torsion. After surgery, you’ll be in recovery for a few days, then you’ll be able to go home and start your recovery there.
Medical management: This option is less invasive than surgery; instead of removing the affected organs, they’re treated with medication to heal on their own without having to be removed. This option is great if you want to avoid surgery but still want to treat your condition quickly and effectively.
How to Prevent Ovarian Torsion
Ovarian torsion is a fairly common gynaecological condition that can be life-threatening if left untreated. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help prevent it.
First, examine your ovaries regularly to ensure they aren’t twisted or otherwise abnormal. If you notice anything unusual, call your doctor immediately so they can evaluate you and take the appropriate steps to treat it.
Next, try not to lift heavy objects. Lifting puts a lot of strain on your abdominal muscles—which is why it’s often recommended for women who have had a child or are expecting one—and this strain could put undue pressure on your ovaries and cause them to twist.
Finally, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water! Hydration is key in prevention; dehydration can cause an imbalance in hormones that can lead to ovarian torsion, so be sure you’re getting enough H2O daily.
Do not hesitate to consult a gynaecologist if you experience the symptoms of ovarian torsion or you have any concerns about your reproductive health.
Image Source: iStock
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