Ovarian torsion is twisting or rotation of ovary. As the ovary turns and twists, the blood vessels (artery and veins) that supply blood also twist along with the ovary. The result is complete cut off of blood supply to the ovary and death of ovarian tissue.
Torsion of ovaries is not common, but when it occurs it has to be dealt as a gynecological emergency. Severe pain in abdomen is the prominent symptom. But due to its low prevalence, medical practitioners often misdiagnose the condition. This is because there are several other common abdominal diseases which have similar symptoms such as abdominal pain etc.
Women between 20 to 35 years are at a greater risk of suffering from torsion of ovary.
What are the Causes?
- There are several risk factors associated with torsion of ovaries. An abnormally large ovary can twist and turn easily. A long fallopian tube in many cases is found to be a precipitating cause. Cyst of ovaries and other tumors increases the possibility of ovarian tumor.
- Torsion of ovaries is also common among pregnant woman, especially during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
- Women who are taking medicines for ovulation may have a greater risk of suffering from this condition.
- Women having past history of pelvic operations also have the possibility of suffering from ovarian torsion.
Symptoms Of Ovarian Torsion
- Pain in one side of lower abdomen is the classic sign of ovarian torsion. The pain radiates to thigh, pelvis or in the back region. It is sharp and excruciating pain.
- Pain is often associated with nausea and vomiting. It often confuses the medical attendant to consider it as a gastrointestinal disorder.
- Pain aggravates after slightest physical work. Patient is unable to stand or bend due to pain.
- The abdomen is tender to touch.
- Fever is often present when there is necrosis of the ovary.
How To Prevent and Treat Ovarian Torsion
- Diagnosis of ovarian torsion is very important as this is many times misdiagnosed due to similar symptoms of various other abdominal diseases.
- After examining the patient and evaluating the medical history, the doctor may recommend ultrasound and CT scan tests for the final diagnosis of the disease.
- Ovarian torsion is a surgical emergency in most cases. It is important to untwist the ovary in the possible quickest time. This helps to restore the blood flow.
- Minimal invasive surgery is possible nowadays. It is performed with small incision and use of laparoscopic instruments. Unwinding is preferred if the ovarian tissue is not dead. But if there is necrosis of ovaries, it may have to be removed.
- Preventive methods are still not known.