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Ovarian Blood Supply

From the Separate Surgeries Articles List

Questions about blood supply to ovariesHow do the ovaries get their blood? Does a hysterectomy affect their blood supply?


The ovaries receive most of their blood from two sources: the uterine artery and/or the ovarian artery. How much the ovaries will be affected by a hysterectomy will depend on how much of their blood is supplied by which artery. It can differ for each woman.

In over 50% of women, the ovaries receive blood from both the ovarian and uterine arteries. For approximately 40% of women, the blood supply to the ovaries is from the ovarian artery. In less than 5% of women, the ovaries receive all of their blood from the uterine artery. Besides the arteries, there are blood vessels that also help supply some blood to the ovaries.

A hysterectomy can have a greater impact for women if the uterine artery is the bigger source of blood for the ovaries. When that artery is cut with the removal of the uterus, the blood flow to the ovaries becomes compromised. Without that blood, the ovaries may shut down, either temporarily or permanently.

The body does have ways to compensate when an artery is cut, but it may take some time. If a new blood supply to the ovaries is established, the ovaries can begin functioning normally again.

Whether or not your ovaries will continue to function after your hysterectomy will depend a lot on how much of their blood supply is provided by your uterine artery. It can also depend on how well your body is able to reestablish a new blood supply and how much blood is provided via the various blood vessels. If the uterine artery is the primary source of blood, your ovaries are more likely to be negatively affected by your hysterectomy.

If your ovaries do fail, either temporarily or permanently, you may experience a variety of menopause symptoms and menopause related health risks. Using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help relieve those symptoms and minimize some of the oophorectomy health risks related to early and surgical menopause. So if you notice that after your hysterectomy you are experiencing menopause symptoms even though you kept your ovaries, start keeping a symptom diary and get in touch with your doctor.

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.

12-29-2015 - 08:07 PM


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