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  • Ovarian torsion

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    Ovarian torsion (OT) is when an ovary twists on its attachment to other structures, such that blood flow is decreased. Symptoms typically include pelvic pain on one side. While classically the pain is sudden in onset, this is not always the case. Other symptoms may include nausea. Complications may include infection, bleeding, or infertility. Risk factors include ovarian cysts, ovarian enlargement, ovarian tumors, pregnancy, fertility treatment, and prior tubal ligation. The diagnosis may be support by an ultrasound done via the vagina or CT scan, but these do not completely rule out the diagnosis. Surgery is the most accurate method of diagnosis. Treatment is by surgery to either untwist and fix the ovary in place or to remove it. The ovary will often recover, even if the condition has been present for some time. In those who have had a prior ovarian torsion, there is a 10% chance the other will also be affected. The diagnosis is relatively rare, affecting about 6 per 100,000 women per year. While it most commonly occurs in those of reproductive age, it can occur at any age.

  • Tubo-ovarian abscess

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    Tubo-ovarian abscesses (TOA) are one of the late complications of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and can be life-threatening if the abscess ruptures and results in sepsis. It consists of an encapsulated or confined 'pocket of pus' with defined boundaries that forms during an infection of a fallopian tube and ovary. These abscesses are found most commonly in reproductive age women and typically result from upper genital tract infection. It is an inflammatory mass involving the fallopian tube, ovary and, occasionally, other adjacent pelvic organs. A TOA can also develop as a complication of a hysterectomy. Patients typically present with fever, elevated white blood cell count, lower abdominal-pelvic pain, and/or vaginal discharge. Fever and leukocytosis may be absent. TOAs are often polymicrobial with a high percentage of anaerobic bacteria. The cost of treatment in the United States is approximately $2,000 per patient, which equals about $1.5 billion annually. Though rare, TOA can occur without a preceding episode of PID or sexual activity.

  • Ovarian cyst

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    An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac within the ovary. Often they cause no symptoms. Occasionally they may produce bloating, lower abdominal pain, or lower back pain. The majority of cysts are harmless. If the cyst either breaks open or causes twisting of the ovary, it may cause severe pain. This may result in vomiting or feeling faint. Most ovarian cysts are related to ovulation, being either follicular cysts or corpus luteum cysts. Other types include cysts due to endometriosis, dermoid cysts, and cystadenomas. Many small cysts occur in both ovaries in polycystic ovarian syndrome. Pelvic inflammatory disease may also result in cysts. Rarely, cysts may be a form of ovarian cancer. Diagnosis is undertaken by pelvic examination with an ultrasound or other testing used to gather further details. Often, cysts are simply observed over time. If they cause pain, medications such as paracetamol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen may be used. Hormonal birth control may be used to prevent further cysts in those who are frequently affected. However, evidence does not support birth control as a treatment of current cysts. If they do not go away after several months, get larger, look unusual, or cause pain, they may be removed by surgery. Most women of reproductive age develop small cysts each month. Large cysts that cause problems occur in about 8% of women before menopause. Ovarian cysts are present in about 16% of women after menopause and if present are more likely to be cancer.

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