There are so many reasons to keep the ovaries that I don't even have the space to list them here! Besides what we already know about them, scientist are still making new discoveries everyday and they are continually being amazed at their complexity and importance.
I didn't know anything about the ovaries before my surgery but removing them proved to have a disastrous effect on my health and I have since learned quite a bit. The hard way. I'll share some of what I have learned in the hopes that you will be able to learn from my experience
To begin with, the ovaries are not just the egg sack part of your reproductive system, they are also an important part of your endocrine system. The endocrine system is comprised of organs that supply your body with the necessary chemicals to run every single part of your body. The other organs in your endocrine system, besides the ovaries, (or testes if you are a man) are the pituitary, thyroid, kidneys and the adrenal glands. As you can see by these other organs, they are ALL very important and they all interact with each other. Removing any one of these glands produces a negative impact on the body and certainly affects their interaction with each other; thus depriving your body in some way of important chemicals. Our bodies are delicately balanced and "replacement" therapy does NOT, despite our best efforts, exactly duplicate the chemicals our own body makes. (For free, I might add.)
Most of us have heard of the "chemistry of love" or "body chemistry" or "brain chemistry" but not too many realize that you can substitute the word "hormones" for "chemistry." Also, most people are under the impression that ovarian (or testes) hormones are for sex or reproduction only and this is not true. The hormones (or chemicals) the ovaries produce ALSO play a big part in your overall health. Especially cardiovascular chemistry. In other words, removing your ovaries puts you in a significantly higher risk of heart attack, strokes and vascular disease. (By the way, heart disease is already the number one killer of women.) The ovaries also protect you against osteoporosis. Either one of these diseases kill far more women that ovarian cancer. Another surprising fact is that you can get osteoporosis within MONTHS of oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries). It is not the far removed, disease of "old age" that many think.
Another myth is that the ovaries cease to function with menopause. This is NOT true. The ovaries contribute to your overall health until the day you die. It is the decrease in hormones that add to our old age health problems and removing the ovaries can put you on the fast tract to aging. Your ovaries contribute to your skin, hair, vision, dental (gums and teeth) bowels, bladder digestive tract and auto immune system, just to name a few.
I am not saying all this to scare you, but hysterectomy is a very serious, permanent, life-altering surgery and should only be used as a last resort after all other options have been considered. Hysterectomy jeopardizes the ovaries and should not be taken lightly. (No pun intended.)
It is GOOD that you are asking questions and learning. Learn all you can about your condition, treatment options and the long term effects of any decision you make. It is very important that you make an informed decision and are 100% certain that this is the right thing for you before making a final decision, and ALWAYS, get at least one other opinion before consenting to ANY surgery. (Don't get a referral for your second opinion from your first doctor either as there could be a conflict of interest.)
I see you are having the surgery for fibroids so if you haven't already done so, you may want to go to www.alternativesurgery.com
for some good information on other treatments available.
Wishing you all the best and a long, happy, HEALTHY life!