Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Ovarian Torsion Anatomy

To better understand ovarian torsion, it helps to understand the anatomy of the ovaries and female genital tract.

The female reproductive organs include the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries.

Women have two ovaries: one on each side of the uterus. The normal ovary is approximately the size of an unshelled almond.

The ovaries produce female sex hormones: estrogen and progesterone. They also contain between 250, 000 and 500, 000 follicles, or eggs. A follicle is a tiny structure that eventually will burst and release an egg into the fallopian tube. This occurs each month in the middle of the normal menstrual cycle.

Female reproductive anatomy:

  • Side view of uterus and ovaries
  • Frontal diagram of uterus, vagina and ovary
  • Front view of female pelvic organs
  • Female organs during a pelvic examination

Last Updated: Nov 1, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Ovarian Torsion References
  1. Giuntoli RL 2nd, Vang RS, Bristow RE. Evaluation and management of adnexal masses during pregnancy. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Sep;49(3):492-505. [16885656]
  2. Kalish GM, Patel MD, Gunn ML, Dubinsky TJ. Computed tomographic and magnetic resonance features of gynecologic abnormalities in women presenting with acute or chronic abdominal pain. Ultrasound Q. 2007 Sep;23(3):167-75. [17805165]
  3. Oelsner G, Shashar D. Adnexal torsion. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Sep;49(3):459-63. [16885653]
  4. Stevens E, Gilbert-Cohen J. Surgical considerations in early pregnancy: ectopic pregnancy and ovarian torsion. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2007 Jan-Mar;21(1):22-9. [17301664]
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