Definition - What does Ovarian Drilling mean?
Ovarian drilling is a surgical process that helps reduce the complications of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS can have ovaries covered with a hardened shell that produce high levels of the hormone testosterone. This hormone disrupts the ovary’s natural processes, including secretion of female sex hormones and ovulation. As a result, many women with PCOS are infertile. Ovarian drilling is a way to reduce the shell that surrounds the ovary, promoting the restoration of the ovarian function.
Ovarian drilling may also be called laparoscopic ovarian surgery.
FertilitySmarts explains Ovarian Drilling
Along with the hardened ovarian shell, other symptoms of PCOS may include:
- Lack of menstrual period or irregular menstrual period (amenorrhea)
- Absence of ovulation (anovulation)
- Excessive hair growth (hirsutism)
These symptoms are caused by the high amounts of testosterone secreted by the ovarian shell.
PCOS is often treated with birth control pills. While the medication helps to offset the negative symptoms of the condition, it also prevents a woman from becoming pregnant. Therefore, women with PCOS who hope to become pregnant require a different approach.
To complete the ovarian drilling procedure, surgeons complete a minimally invasive procedure called a laparascopy. The laparascopy is a narrow tube with a camera that is inserted into a tiny incision in the abdomen. A camera at the end of the laparscopy allows the surgeon to see the surface of the ovaries. Additional incisions are made, and using the camera as a guide, the surgeon makes small openings in the ovarian surface.
As a result, the amount of testosterone being released reduces, and the natural reproductive cycle is able to resume. Ovarian drilling procedure is a permanent solution that does not require repeating. However, it does not work for all women. Some may never regain standard menstruation or ovulation, while others may still require fertility treatment in order to conceive.
The chance of risk during the ovarian drilling process is minimal. However, it is possible that the larascopy could damage the bowel, blood vessels, and bladder Additionally, error made during the procedure can damage the ovary, causing premature menopause. Scarring on the ovaries can produce inflammation and irritation that complicates pregnancy or conception.