What are the symptoms of ovarian torsion?

Updated: Jun 27, 2017
  • Author: Erik D Schraga, MD; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Classically, patients present with the sudden onset (commonly during exercise or other agitating movement) of severe, unilateral lower abdominal pain that worsens intermittently over many hours. A minority of patients, however, complain of mild pain that follows a more prolonged time course. The pain usually is localized over the involved side, often radiating to the back, pelvis, or thigh. Approximately 25% of patients experience bilateral lower quadrant pain. It may be described as sharp and stabbing or, less frequently, crampy.

Nausea and vomiting occur in approximately 70% of patients, mimicking a gastrointestinal source of pain and further obscuring the diagnosis.

A history of previous episodes may be elicited, possibly attributable to partial, spontaneously resolving torsion. Fever may occur as a late finding as the ovary becomes necrotic.

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