Oophorectomy is the surgical removal of the ovaries, the part of a woman's reproductive system that stores and releases eggs for fertilization and produces female sex hormones.
Oophorectomy may be done alone or as part of a hysterectomy.
Oophorectomy is often needed when pelvic disease, such as ovarian cancer, is present. And it is sometimes recommended when the hormones produced by the ovaries are making a disease such as breast cancer or severe endometriosis worse.
In some cases the ovaries are removed to try to reduce the possibility of developing a future disease, such as ovarian cancer. This is called a prophylactic oophorectomy.
Most hysterectomies do not include oophorectomy. Oophorectomy is done for conditions and diseases such as:
If you do not have an increased risk of ovarian cancer or another disease that requires the removal of your ovaries, consider the benefits of not having your ovaries removed. These benefits include:
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Other Works Consulted
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2008, reaffirmed 2010). Elective and risk-reducing Salpingo-oophorectomy. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 89. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 111(1): 231–241.
Parker WH, et al. (2013). Long-term mortality associated with oophorectomy compared with ovarian conservation in the Nurses' Health Study. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 121(4): 709–716. DOI: http://10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182864350. Accessed October 9, 2014.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah A. Marshall, MD - Family MedicineDonald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology
Current as ofOctober 6, 2017
Current as of: October 6, 2017
Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
& Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology
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