Ovarian Torsion

The ovarian torsion belongs among the acute conditions in gynecology. The ovary is, as we all know, the basic reproductive organ in women. It is paired organ, which serves for storage and maturation of female gametes – the eggs.


The cause of this condition is rotation of the ovary around its axis, which causes constriction of arterial supply feeding the ovary with oxygen and nutrients. It is a situation similar to testicular torsion. Sometimes it happens without any causative situation, but it is often reported in adolescent girls after doing sports (basketball, volleyball, etc.). In addition, there is a higher risk of torsion in pathologically changed ovary, for example ovary affected by an ovarian cyst or ovarian cancer.


The main symptom is severe and sudden abdominal pain that is localized in the lower abdomen, rather on the side of the affected ovary. The condition is usually accompanied by nausea and vomiting.


It is not easy to make the correct diagnosis as there are many possible causes of acute abdominal pain. The affected woman should be examined by a surgeon or a gynecologist. The ultrasound of the abdomen may show decreased or missing blood flow into the affected ovary, but often it is unable to show any clear pathology. The diagnosis is frequently made after diagnostic laparoscopic surgery, which turns into a therapeutic intervention. In every fertile woman suffering from a sudden abdominal pain should be excluded the ectopic pregnancy.


The therapy is surgical. The intervention aims to release the strangulated ovary and fix it with few stitches to prevent the repeating of the condition. If the blood supply has been interrupted for too long and the ovarian tissue is necrotic, it is necessary to remove the whole ovary.


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Contact: jiri.stefanek@seznam.cz
 Sources: basic text sources