25 Oophorectomy Risks
Your ovaries produce estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, hormones that are important for many aspects of your health. So without your ovaries, you won’t have adequate amounts of these hormones. As a result, you can see many changes to your physical, mental, emotional, and sexual health.
Approximately 50% of women who have a hysterectomy in the United States also choose to have their ovaries removed, and the rate increases for women over 40. Research, however, has shown that there are many health risks for removing the ovaries for benign reasons. Before choosing an elective bilateral oophorectomy, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of your decision. Yes, you can decrease your risk for ovarian cancer; but, on the other hand, you can also increase your risk of several other health conditions.
Below are some of the risks you should consider when deciding whether or not to keep or remove your ovaries if you do not have a cancer risk. Keep in mind, the farther you are from natural menopause, the greater the risks can be.
25 Oophorectomy Risks:
- Heart disease
- Sun sensitivity
- Buildup up of plaque in your arteries
- Increased LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides
- Dry skin
- Cognitive impairment
- Increased risk of dementia
- Eye problems
- Decrease in sexual pleasure
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Sleep disturbance and insomnia
- Less flexible blood vessels
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk for lung cancer
- Increase risk for colorectal cancer
- Achy joints
- Thinning tissues
- Bladder dysfunction
- Mood swings
- Increased risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Premature death
Using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help decrease some of the risks involved with an elective oophorectomy for non-cancerous concerns. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to use HRT and it can require some trial and error to find the right type, delivery system, and dose.
If you do not have a cancer concern, do your research, talk to your doctor, and get a second opinion before making a decision to remove your ovaries. You should also discuss whether or not HRT will be an option for you.
Reprinted by permission: 25 Oophorectomy Risks. 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.