In the general anatomical structure of the female reproductive system, there are two ovaries, and each one is connected to one fallopian tube. But for various reasons, which we will see further down the blog, a woman may have an ovary surgically removed. There are rare cases where women are born with one ovary. This naturally begs the question about fertility and especially Ovulation. There is good news on that front!!! Women can enjoy pregnancy and a natural ovulation cycle even with a single ovary. It’s essential to consider the reason behind having a single ovary. Let’s understand in much more detail here.
What is Ovulation?
During Ovulation, once a month a mature egg is released from the ovary. The egg travels to the fallopian tubes, stays “active” for 12 to 24 hours, and is ready to fertilize. That is why it is recommended that couples have sex either on the day of Ovulation or few days before ovulation. This recommendation is because the sperm can stay “active” in the fallopian tubes for 5 days.
The menstrual cycle is for every 28 days, and Ovulation starts 14 days before the cycle. But do not go strictly by dates since they can vary. Typical Ovulation symptoms are:-
- Vaginal discharges:- Around the period of Ovulation, one notices clear, wet, and stretchy vaginal discharges.
- Body’s basal temperature changes:- The basal body temperature increases slightly during Ovulation, and there are special thermometers to measure basal body temperature. Record the basal temperature first thing in the morning and note it down. You will be able to find your ovulation pattern, and 2 to 3 days before the Ovulation, there is an increase in the temperature.
Why do some women have a single Ovary?
If a woman is born with only one ovary or in case only one ovary is removed, it is called unilateral oophorectomy, and removing both is called bilateral oophorectomy. Certain health conditions affecting the ovaries or nearby organs may call for oophorectomy as part of treatment or prevention, such as:-
- Any cyst in the ovary causes them to twist. In those cases, the ovaries might be removed.
- If the patient has cancer in the ovaries or any nearby organs, they are removed to save the patient’s life.
- Endometriosis is a condition where the uterine is outside the uterus
- An abscess is pus accumulation due to infection in the ovaries.
- Some women carry cancer-causing genes, and in such cases, they might choose to remove the ovaries surgically.
How does Ovulation take place when you have one ovary?
Once a month, one of the ovaries releases an egg known as Ovulation. Most women have 2 ovaries on either side (right and left sides). Each month, either one of the ovaries releases an egg for one fully functioning fallopian tube. Both the ovaries take turns, and there is no particular order as to which ovary will release the egg.
So in cases of a single ovary, every month that one ovary can successfully release an egg and complete the ovulation process. The released egg will be picked up by a fallopian tube.
Effects on Fertility with One Ovary
The common question is, can a woman with an ovary get pregnant? Yes, there are equal chances of pregnancy as someone with both ovaries. The reason for removing the ovary is crucial. If the condition is serious, like cancer, it lowers fertility. The functioning ovary must be next to a healthy fallopian tube. The Fallopian tube must catch the egg when released from the single ovary. As long as the egg reaches the uterus through the fallopian tube, there are high chances of pregnancy.
Having a single ovary is not a reason to lose hope. One can still lead a normal and healthy life. We at ZIVA fertility center will help you understand how you can lead a complication-free life with a single ovary. We will also assess your health before determining if any ovarian surgery is needed. We will also give you a full scope of your pregnancy journey. Reach us at +91 93474 06900, +91-9392834024, Info@zivafertility.com to consult our experts.