What Are Ovarian and Testicular Torsions?


Kids Health Watch is brought to you by our friends and Children’s Medical Group

There are some things that are just awkward to talk about between parents and kids. The whole “birds and the bees” talk, staying out of trouble, and anything involving the “private area” would definitely fall under this category.

However, they are all important conversations to have when raising children. One thing children and teens need to know is to tell a parent and get seen by a doctor quickly if they have a sudden pain or “something doesn’t look or feel right” in the lower abdomen or groin area.

Many things can pop up suddenly in these spots such as inguinal hernias, infections, cysts, hydroceles, or torsion of the ovaries or testicles. These are not common, but are true emergencies, so I wanted to discuss torsions a little further.

Torsion basically just means twisting. The ovaries and testicles are attached to the other parts of the body by little tubes (in females the fallopian tubes and in boys it is the spermatic cord). So they are basically a little bit free floating in the body. Therefore, it is possible that the ovaries or testicles could twist on themselves.

When this happens it is an emergency because the blood flow starts to be cut off to the area, and if it is not caught and corrected quickly, you could potentially lose that testicle or ovary.

These things usually appear to occur randomly. You do not have a lot of signs that you could be at risk for it. It is possible that it could happen before you are born or it could occur at any age during your lifetime.

The vast majority of people will never experience this, but things that make the ovaries or testicles heavier such as changes and growth during puberty or ovarian cysts that can form can make enough of a difference to cause a torsion.

There are occasions where those body parts can twist and untwist, which can cause excruciating pain when the torsion is occurring, and when it untwists, it feels much better. Other things that can also present with pain in the lower abdomen or groin area are infections, hernias, cysts or masses (which may or may not be noticeable to you at home).

There are so many changes that go on in your child’s body, especially during puberty. At this age, many children are confused about what is normal and what is not, but do not want to talk to anyone about it.

So even though it is awkward, it is important to talk to your child about asking questions if they have any concerns and to not be embarrassed at all. If you or your child notice any changes or pain in these areas, they should be seen quickly by a doctor in the office or hospital.


Children’s Medical Group, P.A. is a premier pediatric practice with two locations in Mobile, AL. We have twelve board certified pediatricians to care for your child. We provide medical care for infants, children, teens and young adults. We offer preventive, wellness and health maintenance guidance for all of our patients, as well as same day urgent care seven days a week. We pride ourselves in offering greater accessibility than all other pediatric practices in our service area. Learn More at

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