Getting Pregnant with One Ovary – Is it Possible?

5 min read

Ovaries are an important organ of the female reproductive system. Ovaries contribute to fertility and getting pregnant with one ovary is also possible. However, similar to other disorders, ovaries also have several problems which many women are unaware of. In this article, we will see what are the causes of ovary removal and how it affects pregnancy.

women hopeful with two crossed fingers and holding in hands a pregnancy test

What is the Function of an Ovary?

In a female body, two ovaries are present on both sides of the uterus: the left ovary and a right ovary. The primary function of the ovary is the production of eggs. In between the menstrual cycle, ovaries release eggs, and this process occurs every month.

Exceptionally some women have one ovary from birth. In such a case, the production of eggs and other processes are done by the remaining ovary.

hand with knife removing a ovary

Why are Some Women Asked to Get their Ovaries Removed?

If one of the ovaries has some problems and can not be treated by medication, then the removal of one ovary has to be done. Below given are some of the reasons why a woman may be asked to get her ovary removed:

  • Ovarian Cancer:

As the name suggests, if your ovary has cancer then there may be chances of removing it. In such cancer, there are no early symptoms but weight loss can be seen in some cases. Surgery has to be done for the treatment of cancer.

  • Endometriosis:

In this disorder, the tissue similar to the uterus tissues starts growing outside the uterus. In endometriosis, pain can be intense and if it goes in stage 4, removal of the ovary is suggested.

  • Ovarian Tumors:

In this disorder, small sacs develop on ovaries that contain fluid and are quite painful.

The surgery of removal of the ovary is known as Oophorectomy and if one ovary is been removed, the surgery is known as Unilateral Oophorectomy.

Does having One Ovary have any Effect on Fertility?

There are no such effects of losing one ovary because the remaining ovary has the ability to create necessary estrogen, the hormone responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system:

  • As long as the remaining ovary is healthy there are no side effects on fertility.
  • Even if you have a single ovary, it has the capacity to produce enough eggs and hormones.
  • You will have no diverse effect on your period with one ovary, which also means you can be pregnant.
  • Chances of getting pregnant are also highly dependent on the other parameters- including your health.

Can a Woman Get Pregnant with a Single Ovary?

If you are a woman who has a single ovary by birth or have done surgery for the removal of the ovary, you mostly have a doubt that can you have a baby with one ovary?

The answer is yes you can. The process of pregnancy starts when the sperm cells enter the uterus and fertilize the egg. To be pregnant, the two most important things are healthy eggs and healthy sperm. When the sperm cell manages to fertilize the eggs from one ovary then the fertile egg starts converting into a baby. So, as long as there is a fusion of healthy cells, the chances of getting pregnant with a single ovary are the same as that of two ovaries. On the other hand, pregnancy also depends on your age. If your age is above 40 and you have one ovary then the chances of getting pregnant will be lower.

Does Ovarian Cyst Reduce Chances of Getting Pregnant?

The chances of getting pregnant with ovarian cysts depend on several factors. Cysts are of different types and can develop in any part of your body. They are a bag-like structure made up of tissues that generally carry fluid. Some cysts on ovaries develop complications that cause infertility. On the other hand, some are common which can be treated and do not contribute to infertility.

Endometriosis diagram

  • Endometriosis:

In this case, abnormal cells are produced which block the ovary to release eggs. Women with endometriosis can get pregnant but a severe case of this disorder can affect the regularity of the period thus making it hard to get pregnant.

  • PCOS:

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is the misbalance in hormone level. Due to this, a female produces a higher level of male hormone i.e. testosterone. This condition leads to an irregular menstrual cycle which decreases fertility. However, this is treatable.

There are few other cysts such as dermoid and functional cysts which can be treated, and they don’t contribute to infertility.

What is Fallopian Tube?

The fallopian tube, also known as the uterine tube, is a connection between the ovary and uterus. They are located at the upper part of the uterine cavity. There are two fallopian tubes connected to two ovaries that further connect to the uterus. The function of the fallopian tube is to carry the sperm cells to the eggs where fertilization is done. And when the egg is fertilized, the tube transfers the fertilized egg where it is produced.

fallopian tube diagram

FAQs

1. Can you get Pregnant with One Fallopian Tube?

Getting pregnant with one fallopian tube is possible. But sometimes there may be a blockage in the tube if the fertilized egg gets stuck in between.

2. What is Left Ovary Pregnancy? How is a Baby Conceived from the Left Ovary?

The contribution to pregnancy is more by the egg released from the right ovary. Every month eggs are released and transferred to the uterus. If the fertilized egg is ovulated with a left side ovary, then it is called a left ovary pregnancy.

3. Removal of One Ovary and Fallopian Tube Side Effects?

This causes heavier periods in some women which can lead to mood swings and the risk of heart disease.

4. What are the Side Effects on Periods after Unilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy?

Vaginal dryness and anxiety can be faced by women who have done unilateral oophorectomy. In some cases, periods are delayed after one ovary is removed.

5. Can you get Pregnant without Ovaries?

If both of your ovaries are removed and you want to get pregnant, then you will have to take special treatment such as Vitro Fertilization.

What are the Tips & Tricks to Keep Ovaries Healthy?

  • Maintain your body mass index.
  • Stay healthy.
  • Management of stress is important.
  • Avoid cigarettes.

One thing to remember is even after one ovary removal, women are getting pregnant and delivering a healthy baby. Unilateral oophorectomy doesn’t make you weaker or less fertile because a single ovary has the potential to produce healthy eggs. While planning pregnancy, consult your doctor to find a safer path.

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