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ask: What does it mean when your doctor tells you that your ovary is dying? What are the symptoms?

By Anonymous
 
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Diane Porter

Here's some more information, Anon. If you believe this is happening to you, you might need to call your doctor and/or go to the hospital quickly.

First, a little bit about the structure of the ovaries in your body. The ovaries are loosely connected to the spine by their blood supply, and to the uterus by ligaments. If something upsets the balance of the ovary -- perhaps a cyst weighing it down, or increased size and weight due to fertility treatments -- the ovary can twist around its own stalk, interrupting its own blood supply. This is something called ovarian torsion, or a twisted ovary.

If an ovarian torsion is found and treated early (through surgery to correct it), the prognosis is favorable. However, if diagnosis is delayed, it can result in necrosis (death) of the ovarian tissue.

The primary symptom of ovarian torsion is the sudden onset of extreme lower abdominal pain that radiates to the back, side and thigh. This pain has been characterized as excruciating, unbearable, a 9 or 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation may also be present, as well as tenderness in the lower abdomen, a mild fever and tachycardia.

From Health A-Z:

"Ovarian torsion occurs infrequently, only in females. In can occur in women of all ages, but most women that experience this are younger. Approximately 70-75% of cases occur in women under 30 years old. About 20% of all reported cases are in pregnant women. It is the fifth most common gynecological emergency which can include surgical intervention."

Here's the full Health A-Z article:

http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/common/standard/transform.jsp?...

The best, most in-depth article I found about ovarian torsion and an overy dying was from Discover Magazine. The sudden onset of extreme pain and vomiting and the patient's ultimate treatment may give you a better picture of this condition:

http://discovermagazine.com/2008/may/01-what-happens-when-an-ovary-dies

If you have been affected by ovarian cysts in the past or you think that may be what is going on now, you might find some good information at the Mayo Clinic's page on ovarian cysts, their symptoms and treatments:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ovarian-cysts/DS00129

I hope this information is of help to you. Please let us know any other details about your symptoms or questions about this condition. It is clearly painful and disabling while it's going on; I hope it's not what you're experiencing.

December 4, 2008 - 9:55am
Diane Porter

Hi, Anon. I am doing some research for you. Are you in pain? Are you experiencing symptoms that you can tell me about?

December 4, 2008 - 9:21am
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