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to keep your ovaries or not to keep them to keep your ovaries or not to keep them

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Unread 01-18-2009, 02:56 PM
to keep your ovaries or not to keep them


I am having my hysterectomy on January 22, 2009. I want to know what is the difference if you keep your ovaries or if you don't?
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Unread 01-18-2009, 03:07 PM
to keep your ovaries or not to keep them

Hi Darlene

I see this is your first post so welcome to Hystersisters :-)

In a nutshell......

Leaving your ovaries will mean that you will go through menopause normally with your hormones gradually decreasing.

Taking your ovaries would throw you in to surgical menopause straight away.

That makes it all sound very simple but it isn't quite like that. Some women sail through menopause (surgical or natural) without having to deal with hot flashes and night sweats, others have a rough time of it and need HRT to help them through.

The general feeling is that if you have nothing wrong with your ovaries they should be left behind to do the job they do.

But do your own research and decide what is best for YOU as we are all different. Maybe read some of the articles under the hormones link above or some of the posts there.

Good luck with your journey

Unread 01-18-2009, 03:10 PM
to keep your ovaries or not to keep them

Hi Darlene5110,

When I had my hyst...I was 46 and I decided to keep my ovaries since they were healthy and ovarian cancer does not run in my family. In pre-op, my Dr. told me that ovarian cancer occurs in approx. 5% or less of that was good odds for me. I am 5 yrs. post-op now and my ovaries are still working great. Newer studies are showing that the ovaries secrete their important hormones well into menopause and in keeping the ovaries after a hyst, it helps with heart health.

I might suggest you check out the Hornone Issues (HRT-No HRT) forum area if you are thinking about keeping the ovaries or not. It has Hyster Sisters who are sharing their surgical and natural menopause stories.

In the end...just do what is *best* for you. That is what is most important.

Sending best wishes~

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Unread 01-18-2009, 11:32 PM
to keep your ovaries or not to keep them

Welcome to HysterSisters! You are going to find tons of support and a wealth of information here!

You might want to check out these articles found on the Pre-Op Page in your research:

Keep Ovaries? Planning Hysterectomy
Keep Ovaries During Hysterectomy? Keep One or Both?

Welcome again! Please make yourself at home!

Unread 01-19-2009, 07:42 AM
to keep your ovaries or not to keep them

Hi! I see your surgery is coming up pretty quickly.

You've gotten some great resources to help you do some research on this issue. I'll give you my perspective as a (((sister))) who elected to keep her ovaries.

The main difference between keeping your ovaries and having them removed is that if they are removed, you'll go into surgical menopause right away. Surgical menopause is often more severe than natural menopause, so symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings can be more pronounced.

The other big difference is that you'll no longer benefit from the hormones being produced by your ovaries. If you retain your ovaries, you'll always have the hormones produced by them (unless they fail after your hysterectomy, which while not common does occur ). If you keep your ovaries on the other hand, they will continue to produce hormones well after natural menopause -- just at a lower level than before.

Many ladies have their ovaries removed because of family history of ovarian cancer or for other health reasons when recommended by the doctor. However -- and this is only my opinion -- I really believe that without a medical reason to remove the ovaries, it's a very good idea to try and retain them. There's really no such thing as "being done with them" or figuring they may as well get removed "while the doctor is in there".

My doctor told me that I would have very strong ovarian function for approximately 10 years after my surgery (I was 44 when I had my hyst), so for me, the prospect of being able to put off difficulties for that long was more than worth it for me.

Another consideration is hormone replacement therapy. It can take months or even years to get the right balance -- and sadly, sometimes it never happens. The reverse is also true, and some women find just the right combination right away.

That being said, there's really no right or wrong answer here. I have seen more ladies seem to struggle with hormones and surgical menopause; then again, ladies with struggles seem to post more. In the final analysis, it's a decision to be made by you with the help of your medical team. You might consider retaining your ovaries for now, and if there's a problem down the road, you can always have them removed. My roommate in the was 74 and she was just having her ovaries removed, many years after her own hysterectomy!

Best wishes for a successful surgery and uncomplicated recovery.
Unread 01-19-2009, 10:58 AM
to keep your ovaries or not to keep them

Hi Darlene. Has your doctor made a recommendation one way or the other? Mine recommended that I keep mine because I'm probably at least ten years before menopause and it would keep me from having to go on HRT for a while. But we talked about it in relation to my individual and family medical history.
Unread 01-20-2009, 07:19 PM
to keep your ovaries or not to keep them

Thank you all so very much for your input. I think I am going to keep my ovaries. I am only 44 years old, and I don't think I will be going through menopause for awhile. Thanks again.

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