The possibility of sustaining ovarian damage as a consequence of an inguinal hernia becoming strangulated is well recognised. However, the mechanism by which this gonadal damage occurs is rarely stated; it is assumed that the injury is secondary to compression of ovarian vessels by an entrapped bowel loop. Eleven cases of ovarian torsion within an inguinal hernial sac are reported. In all cases the primary aetiological event was torsion of the ovary and tube on its pedicle whilst suspended from the neck of the hernial sac. This mechanism constituted the major cause of ovarian damage within irreducible herniae in our series.