What is Ovarian Torsion


Though they may be rare, complications from egg donations are not unheard of. Perhaps one of the more serious potential complications is a condition called Ovarian Torsion. In this condition the ovaries rotate to a degree that blocks the ovarian artery or vein.

Most commonly, this condition is observed in women nearing menopausal age or during pregnancy. However, some doctors report seeing a link in ovarian torsion in cases of diagnosed Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome. As OHSS is a realistic risk for egg donors, it is wise to educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of potential ovarian torsion as well.

In cases of ovarian torsion, patients often report a sudden, severe pain that starts in the lower front abdomen and often extends to the back, sides, and sometimes the upper thigh area. Occasionally the patient will also experience nausea or vomiting. The pain is the result of a lack of blood flow to the ovary.

Doctors will usually attempt to diagnose the rotation of the ovary with the use of an ultrasound, though positive diagnosis is often not made until the torsion is corrected during surgery. If the pain can not be relieved, a doctor will likely recommend immediate surgery to uncoil the ovary. Occasionally the ovary is secured in place in order to prevent a future torsion.

It is incredibly important to see a doctor right away if you suspect you may be experiencing ovarian torsion. Quick treatment has favorable outcomes, but delayed treatment can lead to reduction in future ovarian capability or, in some severe cases, the loss of an ovary.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.