I only have one ovary, apparently.

It all started 3 years ago, when I had peritonitis. My appendix popped during my Science GCSE exam, and after that it took two days to convince my stupid-arsed GP (he ate stupid cereal for breakfast) that it was appendicitis. By which time it wasn’t so much appendicitis as dying-from-blood-poisoning-with-rotting-intestines. When I woke up in the hospital with big chunks of intestine missing, no one told me what was going on, although I got the basics from a nurse. My parents didn’t want to talk about it.

So 3 years later, earlier today to be precise, I am being disgusted by a conversation between my mother and my aunt:

Aunt: So <Uncle> is getting his tubes tied.
Mother: That’s good, family is way too fertile.
Me: Ew!
Mother: I was on the pill and using condoms when I got pregnant both times.
Me: Eeeeewwwww…
Aunt: Listen to this, chicken, you will have the same problems as us.
Mother: No she won’t, she only has one ovary.
Me: :dubious: :confused: :eek: :mad:
Apparently it got destroyed when I had peritonitis. Why did no one think to tell me this? I know I have another, but spares are always good.

Ooh, I also have an appendicitis & ovary story! Strange, I know…

I had appendicitis a few years ago, and before operating on me they sent me to get an ultrasound so they could have a general idea where my appendix was before they sliced me open. As the nurse was sliding the ultrasound thing around on my tummy, she mumbled “well, that’s weird”, and when I asked her what was weird (because you never want to hear that in a hospital!) she mentioned that she couldn’t seem to find my ovary anywhere to use as a guide to where she was. :eek:

But chicken, I can’t believe your family would keep that kind of information from you! That’s so mean!

That is a bit odd. Although, my mother kept a surgery in a pretty personal place from me until I was “old enough to understand it.”

Anyway, if you want them, you can have both of mine and that will give you two spares.

I agree that it is unusual that your family kept the details of the surgery from you. Not like it’s anything to be ashamed of or anything. I’m the sort of person who needs to know the details so that would drive me crazy if it happened to me.

Incidentally, if your remaining ovary is healthy, there is no reason to think you will have any fertility problems. Just like when one kidney is removed and the remaining one compensates, when an ovary is taken out the other one can pick up the slack.

My mother went into surgery for apendicitis… came out minus the ovary that had an undetected cyst the size of a small orange and which had twisted itself around (which was the actual cause of the excruciating pain). They figured out that, since anyway they’d opened, they might take the apendix out as well too.

All three of us are from her left ovary.

You can have both of mine, chicken. But I think they’re nearly on E.

You’re still ahead of me on that count.

Very strange that your family wouldn’t tell you for three years and would then just mention it in casual conversation like that.

In the cause of fighting ignorance and all that - does that mean you only release an egg every two months?

Asymmetrical, but not asexual!
Will that mess up your woman hormone production?

Well, of course! Like most birds, chickens only have one ovary.

What is more surprising to me is that your Uncle has tubes to be tied, since that usually refers to female sterilization by tying off the Fallopian tubes.

However, as has been said, having just one ovary should not have any major effect on your fertility.

Yes, your parents, or the medical staff, should have told you what all was taken out.

It will have no affect on your fertility. Mrs. Slow had all five of ours with just one.

My older sister had an ovary removed when she was sixteen, and was still able to become pregnant. A little too easily, actually.

My mother had one ovary removed as a teenager (endometriosis). They told her back then (mid-70s) that she might have trouble conceiving, but she didn’t (had three kids).

That made me laugh!

Mayhap they told you while you were still seriously doped up? That’s doped, not Doped, which is good, because doped is bad. I was glad they told my mom how to care for my abcessed tooth area after extraction, I have no recollection though I’m told I was sitting right there, eyes open and cognition apparently occurring. (Kinda like when I’m at work.)


No, you still release an egg every month even if you just have one ovary.
Basically, the way that ovulation works is that, every month, a bunch of egg follicles start to mature in both ovaries at the same time. The reason only one egg is released is that (basically) it is kind of a “race” between the follicles, where the one egg follicle that matures fastest overpowers the others and goes on to become
the egg that is released at ovulation (while the others that didn’t mature fast enough wither away without ever having a chance to be released into the fallopian tube or fertilized). Obviously, with only one ovary, a follicle from that ovary will win the race by default every month, so ovulation still goes on every month like usual.

You have to love families. At least you know why you were in the hospital. My parents say they can’t remember why!

When I was assisting with Mr. Kitty’s vasectomy (don’t ask), the doc pulled out the first vas and we both went :confused: :confused: :confused: . It was… really, really big. So big that he wasn’t at all sure he wanted to snip it until he found the other one.

There was no other one. Doc was hunched over like a football player, digging around, for a good 20 minutes and never could find it. He figured the other one had basically grown to compensate, and after successfuly snippage he sent us on our way with an admonition to get a scan to make sure Mr. Kitty had two kidneys (apparently having only one vas typically equals having only one kidney).

Mr. Kitty managed to produce two kids with only one vas (albeit a really impressive one), so I wouldn’t be too concerned about your chances.

You mentioned GCSE exams so you were about 15/16 when this happened? That’s certainly old enough that you should’ve been told. Even if your parents objected the medical staff should have informed you. Have you asked your mother why they didn’t?