You Should Keep Your Ovaries for These 7 Reasons
Once you’ve made the decision to have a hysterectomy, you may also need to decide if you should have an oophorectomy, removal of the ovaries. Your diagnosis, age, and symptoms are some of the variables that may come into play as you make your decision.
While there are pros and cons to consider, research has found that there are some significant health risks involved with having the ovaries removed for benign reasons, besides some quality of life concerns. Before deciding if you should or should not keep your ovaries, it is very important to talk to your doctor as well as seek a second opinion.
As you make your decision, here are some reasons why you should consider keeping your healthy ovaries when you have your hysterectomy if you do not have a significant cancer concern.
- Your own hormones are free and you don’t have to remember to take them.
If you have your ovaries removed, you’ll likely need to consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to minimize menopause related health risks and alleviate a wide variety of quality of life issues. Depending on which HRT you choose, it can be expensive and frustrating to try to remember to refill your script and take or use them as directed.
- Your ovaries produce trace amounts of hormones, even during menopause.
During natural menopause, the ovaries produce trace amounts of hormones which can be helpful. If you have the ovaries remove, all of those hormones are suddenly and forever eliminated.
- Your own hormones adjust to life’s changes, HRT doesn’t.
A steady dose of hormones can sound ideal, but changes in life can affect how much estrogen you need to feel well. Stress, exercise, dietary changes, health issues, and medications are just some of the things that can affect how much estrogen your body will require on a day to day basis. Your ovaries will adjust automatically to meet your needs, but HRT is the same dose, every day, regardless of circumstances.
- You don’t have to try to find the right brand, delivery system, or dose.
Finding the right HRT balance can require trying a wide variety of hormone brands and types, hormone delivery systems, and doses of hormones. Changing when you take a pill, where you wear a patch, and how you apply a cream can impact how well the HRT works for you at any given time. With your ovaries, you have the right hormones, at the right time, when you need them–without having to find a combination in a pill, patch, or cream that works for you.
- You avoid surgical menopause.
Having your ovaries means you can put off menopause for a few more years, and you can enter it slowly rather than abruptly as can happen with surgical menopause. Natural menopause versus surgical menopause can occur over several years, letting you ease into menopause. On the other hand, surgical menopause may cause more severe symptoms since it occurs immediately and often years earlier than usual.
- You minimize your risk of some serious menopause related health concerns.
Though you could reduce the risk of ovarian and breast cancer, removing the ovaries creates a risk for heart disease, lung cancer, osteoporosis, dementia, cognitive concerns, sexual dysfunction, and more. You could also face premature death.
- Your quality of life is important.
Many menopause symptoms affect quality of life which can leave you feeling dissatisfied, grumpy, and frustrated. Without adequate hormones, you could face hot flashes, insomnia, brain fog, mood swings, sexual concerns, and more. If you are coping with menopause symptoms, your overall peace of mind and happiness can be negatively impacted, preventing you from fully enjoying life and those around you.
Content Sponsored by: MIRI Women – The Minimally Invasive Reproductive Surgery Institute (MIRI) brings together highly skilled, board-certified specialists who are focused on women’s health. Our team of professionals is trained in advanced gynecology, specifically hysterectomy surgery. Philosophically, our partner physicians take a “less is more” approach to health care, by first treating patients with the most conservative therapies. MIRI focuses on physical healing, while emphasizing that a patient’s emotional well-being is just as important.