What tests are used to diagnose ovarian torsion?
We first perform several tests to rule out more common causes of pelvic pain. To rule out infection as the cause, we perform blood and urine tests. We will also test for sexually transmitted infections if the patient is sexually active. Performing these tests first is one way we can assess the patient without being invasive. In pediatric and adolescent gynecology, we are sensitive to a patient’s comfort and the way we approach exams and diagnoses plays a large part in this.
After ruling out more common causes of pelvic pain, we perform a pelvic ultrasound to assess the ovaries for possible torsion. An ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of structures inside of the body. The pelvic ultrasound allows the radiologist to see if blood is collecting in the ovary and if blood is flowing properly into and out of the ovary. If signs suggest ovarian torsion, we perform a minimally invasive surgical evaluation using a laparoscopic camera to make a definitive diagnosis.
Why choose us for ovarian torsion evaluation?
Because the symptoms of ovarian torsion are often abrupt and severe, many patients first come to our urgent care or emergency department. Our emergency department staff is trained on the importance of preserving the reproductive health of young women and have established protocols to determine the risk of ovarian torsion early in the process. Pediatric gynecologists are on call for urgent issues and we have experienced doctors and advanced imaging equipment to help us diagnose and treat the cause of the pain quickly and accurately.
What to expect from a pelvic ultrasound?
Our providers will perform a pelvic ultrasound using an abdominal probe placed on the lower abdomen. Much like an ultrasound when viewing a baby in the womb, we move the probe across the abdomen and pelvis to capture images of the ovaries inside. It takes about 20 minutes to perform and read the test. We will provide a preliminary diagnosis soon after.