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    Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling: A Safe and Effective Solution for PCOS-Related Infertility

    Getting Pregnant

    Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling: A Safe and Effective Solution for PCOS-Related Infertility

    Updated on 15 February 2024

    Medically Reviewed by

    Dr. Shruti Tanwar

    C-section & gynae problems - MBBS| MS (OBS & Gynae)

    View Profile

    Are you struggling with infertility caused by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)? If so, there's hope on the horizon. Laparoscopic ovarian drilling or ovarian diathermy, a minimally invasive procedure, offers a safe and effective solution for PCOS-related infertility. By addressing hormonal imbalances and restoring ovulation, this procedure can increase your chances of conceiving and fulfilling your dreams of parenthood.

    If you're longing to conceive but struggling with PCOS-related infertility, ovarian drilling could be the answer you've been searching for. This procedure offers a safe and effective way to restore hormonal balance, regulate your menstrual cycle, and improve your pregnancy chances.

    This comprehensive guide will explore the advantages of laparoscopic ovarian drilling, its procedure, risks, and recovery. By understanding the ins and outs of this fertility treatment, you can make informed decisions about your reproductive health.

    What is Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling (LOD)?

    Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling (LOD) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and its associated fertility issues. LOD aims to restore hormonal balance, promote regular ovulation, and improve fertility outcomes for women with PCOS.

    How Does LOD Work to Improve Fertility?

    Ovarian diathermy addresses the hormonal imbalances and irregular ovulation associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The surgeon carefully punctures small areas of the ovary during the procedure using a laser or a heated needle. This targeted intervention aims to reduce the number of androgen-producing cells in the ovary responsible for excess testosterone production in women with PCOS.

    Also read: Ovulation disorders and their medications

    By reducing the androgen-producing tissue, ovarian drilling helps restore hormonal balance and improve the function of the ovaries. This can lead to more regular ovulation, allowing for better chances of conception.

    What are the advantages of Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling?

    LOD offers several advantages as a treatment option for PCOS-related infertility. Here are some of the key advantages:

    • Restores hormonal balance

    • Enhances ovulation

    • Minimally invasive procedure

    • Safe and effective

    • Preserves ovarian reserve

    • Improves other PCOS symptoms

    Comparing LOD with Other Fertility Treatments

    Ovarian drilling is targeted explicitly towards women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Let's compare LOD with other common fertility treatments to understand its unique aspects:

    1. Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid)

    Clomid is an oral medication commonly used to induce ovulation in women with PCOS. While Clomid stimulates the ovaries to produce eggs, LOD directly addresses the underlying cause of PCOS by reducing the androgen-producing tissue.

    2. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

    IVF is a more invasive and costly fertility treatment that involves stimulating the ovaries, retrieving eggs, fertilizing them in the lab, and transferring embryos into the uterus. On the other hand, LOD is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that aims to restore hormonal balance and improve ovulation.

    3. Ovarian Wedge Resection

    In the past, ovarian wedge resection was a surgical procedure to treat PCOS-related infertility. It involved removing a wedge-shaped portion of the ovary to stimulate ovulation. However, this procedure carried a higher risk of complications and damage to ovarian tissue. LOD, a less invasive alternative, offers similar benefits without the drawbacks of ovarian wedge resection.

    4. Hormonal Medications

    Hormonal medications like oral contraceptives and anti-androgens are commonly prescribed to manage PCOS symptoms. While these medications can help regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce androgen levels, they do not directly address fertility concerns.

    Among the above mentioned treatments, IVF and hormonal medications are almost always preferred compared to LOD.

    You may also like: How to Treat PCOS Naturally? Find the 5 Natural Ways to Treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Without Risk of Side Effects

    Who is a Good Candidate for LOD?

    Generally, the following characteristics may make a woman a good candidate for ovarian drilling:

    1. PCOS diagnosis

    2. Infertility issues

    3. Desire for pregnancy

    4. Failed medical treatments

    Are there any Risks of LOD?

    While there are many advantages of laparoscopic ovarian drilling, it carries certain risks too. Like any surgical procedure, ovarian diathermy carries the risk of following potential complications:

    1. Surgical Risks

    As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection, bleeding, or injury to surrounding organs, although these complications are relatively rare.

    2. Ovarian Damage

    The procedure involves drilling small holes or creating tiny punctures on the surface of the ovaries to restore hormonal balance; there is a small risk of damaging the ovarian tissue. However, this risk is generally low when an experienced surgeon performs the procedure.

    3. Risk of Adhesions

    Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that can form after surgery. Although the risk of adhesion formation is low with LOD, it is possible.

    What to Expect During and After the LOD Procedure?

    During the Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling (LOD) procedure, here's what you can expect:

    1. Anesthesia

    You will be given general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep and not feel any pain during the procedure.

    2. Incisions

    Several small incisions will be made in your abdomen, typically around 0.5-1 cm. These incisions allow the laparoscope (a thin, lighted tube with a camera) and other surgical instruments to be inserted.

    3. Visualization

    The laparoscope is inserted through one of the incisions, providing a clear view of your ovaries and surrounding structures on a monitor. This allows the surgeon to perform the drilling procedure precisely.

    4. Drilling Procedure

    The surgeon will use a laser or electrocautery to create tiny punctures or drill holes in the surface of the ovaries. This helps to reduce the number of androgen-producing cells and restore hormonal balance.

    5. Closure

    Once the drilling is complete, the instruments are removed, and the incisions are closed with sutures or surgical tape.

    After the LOD procedure

    Here’s what you can expect after the ovarian diathermy procedure:

    1. Recovery Period

    You may experience discomfort, bloating, or shoulder pain due to the carbon dioxide gas used to inflate your abdomen during the procedure. Pain medication and heat packs can help alleviate these symptoms.

    2. Hospital Stay

    In most cases, LOD is performed on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home on the same day. However, in some situations, an overnight hospital stay may be required.

    3. Recovery Time

    The recovery time varies from person to person, but most individuals can resume normal activities within a few days to a week.

    4. Fertility Improvement

    It may take several weeks or months to see the effects of LOD on your menstrual cycle and fertility.

    You may also like: Laparoscopy In Gynecology

    Long-term Effects of LOD on Fertility and Overall Health

    Here are some long-term advantages of laparoscopic ovarian drilling for fertility and overall health:

    1. Improved Ovulation

    LOD aims to restore ovulation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) by reducing the number of androgen-producing cells in the ovaries. This can lead to more regular menstrual cycles and increased chances of conception.

    2. Increased Fertility

    By promoting ovulation, LOD can enhance fertility in women with PCOS-related infertility. It can improve the chances of natural conception or increase the success rates of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).

    3. Hormonal Balance

    By reducing androgen levels in the ovaries, LOD helps restore hormonal balance in women with PCOS. This can improve other PCOS-related symptoms, such as acne, excessive hair growth, and insulin resistance.

    4. Potential Risks

    While LOD is generally considered safe, like any surgical procedure, it carries some risks. These include infection, bleeding, damage to surrounding structures, and risks associated with anaesthesia. However, serious complications are rare.

    5. Individual Variations

    The long-term effects of LOD can vary from person to person. Some women may experience sustained improvements in ovulation and fertility, while others may require additional treatments or experience a return of PCOS symptoms over time.


    1. When is Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling Done?

    LOD is typically performed in the following situations:

    • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
    • Infertility
    • Failed ovulation induction
    • Desire to avoid ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)

    2. How Soon After Ovarian Drilling Will I Ovulate?

    After undergoing LOD, ovulation typically occurs within a few weeks to a few months. However, the exact timing of ovulation can vary from person to person and may depend on factors.

    3. Is Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling Safe?

    Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling is considered a safe procedure when performed by an experienced surgeon.

    The Bottom Line

    In conclusion, Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling (LOD) offers a safe and effective solution for PCOS-related infertility. It is a minimally invasive procedure that aims to restore ovulation and improve fertility in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). However, consulting with a qualified healthcare professional is essential to determine if LOD is the right option for you based on your circumstances.


    1. Mercorio, A., Della Corte, L., De Angelis, M. C., Buonfantino, C., Ronsini, C., Bifulco, G., & Giampaolino, P. (2022). Ovarian Drilling: Back to the Future. Medicina, 58(8), 1002.

    2. Nayak, P., Agrawal, S., & Mitra, S. (2015). Laparoscopic ovarian drilling: An alternative but not the ultimate in managing polycystic ovary syndrome. Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, 6(1), 40.


    Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling in Telugu, Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling in Tamil, Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling in Bengali

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    Medically Reviewed by

    Dr. Shruti Tanwar

    C-section & gynae problems - MBBS| MS (OBS & Gynae)

    View Profile

    Written by

    Madhavi Gupta

    Dr. Madhavi Gupta is an accomplished Ayurvedic doctor specializing in Medical content writing with an experience of over 10 years.

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