We aimed to evaluate histopathological changes, to detect HIF-1 alpha staining intensities and to determine MDA levels in rat ovaries, which were subjected to torsion and detorsion and treated with L-carnitine or N-acetyl cysteine (NAC). Forty-eight prepubertal female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into five groups (n = 8): 1, control; 2, ischemia; 3, reperfusion; 4, L-carnitine; and 5, NAC groups. In groups 3, 4 and 5, an ischemic period of 3 h was followed by reperfusion for 24 h. In groups 4 and 5, ischemia was performed and either L-carnitine or NAC was infused intraperitoneally 30 min before reperfusion. Ovarian tissues were examined histopathologically; tissue MDA levels and serum IL-6 levels were determined biochemically. HIF-1 alpha was applied to all ovaries immunohistochemically. Total tissue damage scores, tissue MDA levels and HIF-1 alpha scores, were significantly higher in group 2 (all P < 0.001) than group 4, and group 3 than group 4 (P < 0.001, P = 0.05 and P < 0.001, respectively). They were also significantly higher in group 2 (all P < 0.001) than group 5. When group 3 is compared to group 5, total tissue damage scores and tissue MDA levels were significantly higher in the former (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively). Serum IL-6 levels were significantly higher in group 2 when compared to groups 1, 4 and 5 (all P < 0.01). The degree of tissue damage of the torsioned ovaries decreased after a reperfusion period of 24 h in the torsioned ovaries. However, ovaries of both L-carnitine and NAC groups showed better recovery than the reperfusion group.