Ovaries, the female productive organ, are located on each side of the uterus in the abdomen. It is supported by strong tissue or skin called a ligament.
Ovarian torsion or known as adnexal torsion is a condition when an ovary becomes totally or partly twisted around the ligament. The twisting can also happen in the fallopian tube.
As ovarian torsion can cut off the blood flow to the ovary or fallopian tubes. It can cause several symptoms and even serious pain. In the long term blood restriction, it can lead to tissue death and loss of an ovary.
Keep reading to know more detail about causes, symptoms, diagnosis, as well as treatment for ovarian torsion.
Ovarian Torsion Causes
Women of all ages can expose to ovarian torsion whether they are infancy or menopause. However, ovarian torsion is more likely to occur in adult people during their reproductive years, between 20-40 years old.
The cause of ovarian torsion are various, but it occurs when the condition of the ovary is unstable. For instance, the appearance of a cyst or other tissue mass in the ovary can lead to an unstable condition or making it displace. The ovary will start to twist and rotate around its supporting tissue when it receives extra weight.
Furthermore, the longer ovarian ligaments can also make ovary twisted. The ligament functions to connect the ovary to the uterus. If the size of this ligament changed to become longer, it caused the ovarian torsion.
Another factor is ovulation. It is the process when one from thousands of eggs in the ovary become mature and then be released from the pocket inside the ovary. When the eggs got off during ovulation, the sac should also disappear. If the egg does not leave the sac or if there is fluid fill the sac, it can form a cyst.
Moreover, pregnant women who have high hormone levels are vulnerable to ovarium torsion. The higher hormone levels can slacken the tissue in the body including the ligaments. If the ligaments do not connect, it more likely to twist.
Ovarian Torsion Symptoms
Several symptoms can appear as a result of ovarian torsion. Those usually come suddenly and without prior warning. Symptoms of ovarian torsion include:
- severe pelvic pain
- abnormal bleeding
- a pelvic or adnexal mass
You can notice some pain, cramping, and tenderness in the lower abdomen that may happen for a few weeks.
Ovarian Torsion Diagnosis
It is challenging to diagnose ovarian torsion since the symptoms are similar to other illnesses such as gastroenteritis, appendicitis, urinary tract, and more.
But, you are suggested to see a doctor as soon as possible when you are experiencing symptoms of ovarian torsion. The longer the condition does not get treatment, the more likely you are to witness complications. It can lead to necrosis or tissue death when a prolonged reduction in blow flow happens.
Doctors will do several steps to diagnose your symptoms. They usually need to review your medical history prior to perform a pelvic exam to know the areas of pain and tenderness.
After that, a transvaginal ultrasound is done to view the fallopian tube, ovary, and blood flow. Moreover, your doctor might use blood and urine test for other potential diagnose like ovarian abscess, ectopic pregnancy, or urinary tract infection.
Ovarian Torsion Treatment Options
1. Surgical Procedures
Surgery is the possible treatment to untwist the ovary, and the fallopian tube if necessary. Here are two surgical procedures which doctor may perform one of them to untwist your ovary:
The doctor will suggest laparoscopy surgery to a pregnant patient. In this procedure, a slender will be inserted into a small incision in the patient's lower abdomen. This step requires general anesthesia and done on an outpatient basis. It aims to enable the doctor to see the internal organs. When the ovary is accessible, a blunt probe is used to untwist the ovary.
A larger incision may be performed in your lower abdomen to ease the doctor access your ovary and untwist it. It is also done in a general anesthesia condition.
A range of medication is also given to complete the recovery. You may be required to take over-counter-pain relievers like ibuprofen, naxproven, or acetaminophen for medium pain.
When it comes to more serious pain, the doctor may suggest oxycontin or oxycodone with acetaminophen. Furthermore, you may also take hormonal birth control to reduce the risk of recurrence.