Twisted ovarian cyst is one of the two complications of an ovarian cyst. In the following article, we shall learn more about what causes twisted ovaries, its symptoms and treatments that will help get rid of this complication.
Ovarian cysts are very commonly seen in women of childbearing age. These cysts are fluid-filled sacs formed over the ovaries present on each side of the uterus. In most cases, they tend to resolve on their own and have no symptoms indicating their existence. The majority of cysts are benign in nature and can vary in size.
They are about less than the size of a pea or can grow as large as a lemon. They are generally harmless in nature, but can turn into a severe complication in some women. It can either grow very large and lead to a burst cyst or it could become a twisted ovarian cyst.
It is a condition that occurs when the ovarian cysts starts twisting to such a degree that it cuts off its own blood supply from the venous and arterial blood vessels. In some cases, this twisting of ovary causes reduction in blood supply to the fallopian tube as well. This condition is called ovarian torsion, that mostly occurs in women with a pre-existing cyst. These are very common in women less than 30 years of age.
When the ovarian cyst grows larger than 4 cm in size, it may cause twisting of ovary. The large cyst causes the entire almond-shaped ovary to twist and cut off the blood supply. When there is a tumor present along with a cyst, the chances of twisted ovary are greater. It is also very commonly seen during the first trimester of pregnancy. However, it can occur any time during pregnancy. In such a case, the woman requires immediate medical attention to prevent tissue death and pre-term labor.
The symptoms are very vague at times. They may be very similar to other medical conditions like an ectopic pregnancy, ruptured corpus luteum cyst, etc. However, some of the symptoms of the same include the following.
- Sudden severe lower abdominal pain, especially on one side of the abdomen
- Abdominal tenderness
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Tenderness in lower abdominal area
This condition usually occurs with a sudden onset of extreme pain. The patient is rushed to an emergency room and an ultrasound will help in pinpointing the exact cause of the extreme pain. In some cases, laparoscopy also helps in diagnosing ovarian twists.
The treatment usually involves a laparoscopy procedure that helps in uncoiling the torsion. In case, the blood supply is totally cut off from the ovary for a long time, the ovary may undergo necrosis. This calls for a surgical removal of the ovary.
The prognosis for this condition is good, especially when treated on time. If there is any delay in diagnoses or treatment, the torsion may cut off the blood supply completely. This leads to tissue death (necrosis) of the ovarian tissue. If only one ovary is affected and removed, the chances of pregnancy are still favorable.
However, both ovaries are affected and removed, it could lead to fertility issues that cause inability to conceive. There is no way one can prevent this ovarian torsion, but if one has been diagnosed with ovarian cysts, they should remain alert. Any sudden, severe abdominal pain requires medical attention to lower the chances of ovarian torsion, especially in cases of pregnant women.