Written by Bindu Raichura
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.
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. Here, in this article, we will see what are the causes of ovary removal and how it affects pregnancy.
In This Article
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 and can be treated, and do not contribute to infertility.
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.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a misbalance in hormone levels. 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.
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.
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.
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.
This causes heavier periods in some women which can lead to mood swings and the risk of heart disease.
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.
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.
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.