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Remove ovaries or keep ovaries? Remove ovaries or keep ovaries?

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Unread 04-30-2010, 09:45 AM
Remove ovaries or keep ovaries?

Scheduled for next Friday. Dr is trying LAVH but warned me that we may need to do abdominal. He is encouraging me to take both ovaries bc "we can regulate your hormones with estrogen". I agreed and thought it was a simple solution until I started reading this site.

It seems there is a very strong benefit to keeping at least one ovary. He told me that if they are in terrible shape that we need to take both of them, but what if they are in ok shape. Should I leave them?

this is a huge decision. I am only 41 and don't want to fight hormone issues for the next 20 years.

And....I have terrible migraines now and am exhausted constantly. Will that get worse?
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Unread 04-30-2010, 11:44 AM
Re: Remove ovaries or keep ovaries?

South- I'm 38 yrs old and I opted to keep my ovaries with the understanding that if something was wrong they would be removed. I didn't want to go through the HRT. My mom had an emergency Hyst in her early 20s and I spoke with her about it. It is a personal decision, one only you can answer. My thought process was...why do the HRT if my ovaries were healthy and capable of doing it. Maybe you should ask your DR if there are other reasons that he's advising you to do it. If ovarian cancer is apart of your medical history than maybe removal IS the best one for you. Wishing you the best
Unread 04-30-2010, 12:56 PM
Re: Remove ovaries or keep ovaries?

South: I would not have my ovaries out just because my doctor thinks it would simplify life. Some people, myself included, have a very difficult time getting their hormones regulated after surgery. I would give this a lot of serious consideration and even consult a second opionion if needed. If it were me, unless there was cancer or risk factors for cancer I would keep my ovaries.
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Unread 04-30-2010, 01:09 PM
Re: Remove ovaries or keep ovaries?

THis has to be completely your decision and your alone.

Does it matter that I agree with the previous replies?

I am 43 and I am scheduled for a TAH on Monday. I am waiting on the BRCA results. If we don't get those results back in time, I will be keeping both ovaries unless they look funky once the surgeon is in there.

I know what a struggle it is to make this decision, but once you start researching it becomes much clearer what to do!

Keep researching and don't let anyone (Not even your doctor!!) tell you what to do!!
Unread 04-30-2010, 01:21 PM
Re: Remove ovaries or keep ovaries?

You are all incredible. Thank you for the emails. You said EXACTLY what I was thinking.....
Unread 04-30-2010, 02:04 PM
Re: Remove ovaries or keep ovaries?


While I agree that one should keep her ovaries if they are healthy and there are no health risks with keeping them, something you said caught my eye and might explain why your doctor wants to remove yours and "regulate your hormones with estrogen."

Are your migraines hormonal migraines? Some doctors feel that removing the ovaries and giving a steady dose of hormones can help with those types of headaches. For what it is worth, my neurologist doesn't so I have my ovaries even with hormonal migraines (and endometriosis)!

You might want to consider a second opinion and talk to whomever treats your headaches to determine if what your doctor is suggesting is the best route for you. Keep in mind, you can always have your ovaries removed later, but you can't put them back! And finding the right balance of estrogen is not always easy for women in surgical menopause! It can take a lot of patients and trial and error!

Good for you for asking questions!

Unread 04-30-2010, 02:31 PM
Re: Remove ovaries or keep ovaries?

I suffered from debilitating hormonal migraines and when it came to my TAH, I opted to have my ovaries taken out. I went into surgery with an excruciating headache, and the second I woke up, I noticed that I was pain free. I can't describe the happiness and relief that gave me. It's been 13 months since my TAH/BSO, and I haven't had a migraine headache. I am not on any kind of HRT or estrogen.
Unread 04-30-2010, 06:19 PM
Re: Remove ovaries or keep ovaries?

1st surgeon said said "at age 50 I take ovaries, but you're 48 so let me know." 2nd surgeon said, "cancer risk is small and some evidence you live longer with ovaries so I leave more than I take." Primary Care Dr said, "Great! If they take your ovaries, you'll get rid of these debilitating hormonal migraines."

ARGH! I confess I don't want to make this decision. I know a lot of women whose migraines disappeared with menopause. But if I choose to have ovaries removed, then there's the whole estrogen question... which I don't want to deal with either.

Letting my fingers do the walking through google for informed choices?
Unread 04-30-2010, 08:46 PM
Re: Remove ovaries or keep ovaries?

I've had terrible migraines since i started having periods. Over the last couple of years they got to the point where i was losing 8 to 10 days a month due to them. I've a fantastic neurologist (he's the guy that the Drs go see when they have issues) who suggested that i get a hormone profile done at the same time he gave me a different medication to try. Long story really short, i had my ovaries taken and the hormonal migraines were one factor (out of 4 reasons total).

So far (a week and a half post-op) I haven't had any hint of a migraine. I'm on Estradial, 1mg once daily only because of hot flashes. Talk to your Dr about possibly having a hormone profile done? That might help you both decide better.
Unread 05-01-2010, 12:56 AM
Re: Remove ovaries or keep ovaries?

It is a decision you have to make. I had both ovaries taken out and went into surgical menopause. It took me a year and a half to get back on track finding the right HRT combination. Now I understand why they call it the Hormone Jungle. If I had to do it again - I would have left the one healthy ovary. Just my two cents to throw into the pot. Good luck making your decision and trust your instincts.

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