Taking care of the ovaries is essential to have healthy reproductive health and avoid, as far as possible, suffering from any disease.
The function of the ovaries
The ovaries are the female reproductive organs and have two main functions: to produce the hormones so that the rest of the reproductive organs of the woman work and to manufacture the ovules, which, if they are not fertilised, end up being expelled through menstruation.
The ovaries are organs of vital importance and, like the rest of the body, it is essential to take care of them so that they remain healthy and to be able to prevent, as far as possible, diseases that affect their health.
Keep ovaries healthy
– Eating a healthy and balanced diet is the first guideline that must be followed to keep the ovaries healthy, as well as the rest of the reproductive system (cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes). It may seem that there is no relationship. Still, it has been shown that obesity can alter hormones by affecting the endocrine system. An altered hormonal cycle can cause everything from ovarian cysts and tumours to infertility due to amenorrhea (absence of menstruation).
The diet should include green vegetables and fruits, healthy fats in meat and dairy, whole grains, and foods rich in vitamin B-6. It is better to eliminate fats and industrial pastries.
The same goes for sports; it is essential to lead an active life to care for women’s reproductive health and avoid obesity, which causes fertility problems.
– Tobacco is harmful to health in general, but in the case of the reproductive organs, its influence is especially detrimental. Smoking can affect the hormonal cycle, increase the susceptibility to cancer and harm the fetus’s health.
– It is essential to maintain safe sex and not expose yourself to sexually transmitted diseases. Certain disorders in this category cause infertility or lifelong ailments.
– Having children before the age of 26 can, to a large extent, prevent the appearance of future cancerous tumours. This protection will gradually disappear until the age of 35 when it does so entirely; therefore, one way to take care of the health of the ovaries is to have a baby before this age.
– Genetic factors are determining factors in the health of the ovaries, so if a close relative has had a disease that affects them, it is most likely that you are prone to suffering from the same condition. Unfortunately, some things cannot be avoided, but with routine medical check-ups, they can be detected in time. In addition, there are genetic studies that can reveal the propensity to a specific congenital disease according to family medical history. One of the genetic disorders related to the ovaries is cancerous tumours.
– Sometimes, talcum powder has been associated with an increased chance of ovarian cancer. Still, since the 1970s, the regulation prohibited using asbestos, the cancerous component, in its preparation. However, it seems that some countries have not strictly applied the standard, so before buying it, it is important to read its composition.
Central diseases of the ovaries
– Ovarian cancer: usually occurs in women over 50 years of age. The most significant difficulty lies in stopping it in its early stages since it is often diagnosed when it has already affected other organs because the signs usually appear late. The most common symptoms in medicine are a feeling of heaviness in the pelvic area, pain in the lower abdomen, vaginal bleeding, sudden weight gain or loss, irregular menstruation, back pain, gas, nausea and vomiting. Treatment usually consists of surgical excision and chemotherapy.
– Polycystic ovary syndrome: consists of a hormonal alteration that implies ovaries dysfunction caused by an excess of testosterone production. It is one of the most frequent ailments among women, with a prevalence of 10%. Symptoms vary greatly from one woman to another, although the most common are usually: infertility, pelvic pain, excess body hair, brown spots on the skin or hair loss. The treatment will consist of a balanced diet and exercise, hormonal treatments or treatments with metformin. Polycystic ovary syndrome, of hormonal origin, should not be confused with polycystic ovaries, of gynaecological origin.
– Ovarian cysts: are fluid-filled sacs that are located in the ovaries. They are common but are not usually serious. Most of the time, they are not treated, although if they cause pain, they can be removed. Sometimes they disappear spontaneously.
– Premature ovarian failure: occurs when the ovaries stop working before the age of 40. Periods may stop or continue occasionally. It causes infertility and psychological disorders. The most common treatment is hormone replacement therapy.
– Ovarian torsion: involves the rotation of the ovary that sometimes leads to the interruption of blood flow due to the obstruction of the ovarian artery. It is usually more common in women of reproductive age. The main symptom is localised and sharp pain in the lower abdomen. The treatment will consist of a laparoscopy that repositions the ovary and, in more severe cases, a surgical excision.