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Oophorectomy and Health Risks

From the Separate Surgeries Articles List

Oophorectomy Health RisksWhat extra health risks do I face if I have my ovaries removed?


There are several heath risks related to an oophorectomy, especially a bilateral oophorectomy for bengin reasons. Some risks can be minimized by using hormone replacement therapy (HRT), however, due to more serious risk factors, current research is suggesting women keep their ovaries whenever possible.

A bilateral oophorectomy causes surgical menopause which can be more severe than natural menopause, which occurs more slowly over a period of years. During natural menopause, the ovaries continue to secrete traces of hormones, but a bilateral oophorectomy eliminates all remaining ovarian hormones. Because hormones are essential for overall health, menopause creates a variety of health risks for women who enter it prematurely.

Removing the ovaries is sometimes seen as a way to prevent ovarian cancer, a condition that can be hard to detect and diagnosis. However, while ovarian and breast cancer risks might be reduced, a bilateral oophorectomy increases the risks of heart disease, lung cancer, and overall death. It can also lead to dementia issues, osteoporosis, and sexual dysfunction.

While using HRT can reduce the risks of heart disease, osteoporosis, sexual dysfunction, mortality, and some cognitive issues, it may not help with all issues (e.g. cognitive decline). Additionally, finding the right HRT balance can be difficult and frustrating as women try to cope with menopause related symptoms including hot flashes, insomnia, and mood swings.

Before having an oophorectomy, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons for your situation. Before you make any final decisions, seek a second opinion. If your ovaries are healthy and you have no cancer concerns, current research and studies indicate it may be in your best interest to conserve your ovaries.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

08-17-2013 - 10:05 AM


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