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Hormonal Imbalance after unilateral oopherectomy

I had my left ovary removed almost 1 year ago. I experience a lot of mood swings especially emotional distress, anger etc and hot flashes. Now however the mood swings have improved quite a bit. But there is a new problem that I am facing. I get excessive water retention in my body, i can feel my hands padded up,my breasts are extremely painful and feel exhausted and tempramental. This worsens close to mid cycle and gets better as I head towards menses, but breast pain never completely goes away through the entire cycle. This extent of discomfort varies somewhat from one month to another. This (especially breast pain, water retention  and exhaustion) has started affecting my normal life and my emotional and psych health . Do you have any idea what could be going on and what should I do about it?

This discussion is related to Hormone irregularity after unilateral oophorectomy.
10 Responses
599170 tn?1300977493
Hi welcome to our forum.

Hope to offfer you a few clues and options...after a unilateral oopherectomy the remaining ovary is a bit shocked. It may stop functioning for a few months...then in theory it should begin to do the work of both ovaries..Kinda like when a person looses one kidney the other does double time.

Since its been one year you definiatley should get a full work up. pelvic exam, pap smear, blood work..also get full hormone panel,,,the reg blood work is for white , red count etc...

I almost wonder if perhaps your right ovary is only functioning ever other month..like it did when you had two. you know how we ovulate from one ovary one month and the opposite the next.

I had alot of the symptoms as you before my hysterectomy..and a lot after until I went on estrogen,

I checked your profile and see no indication of your age,,some symptoms could be pre or peri menopausal..and may I ask  1. your age 2. what was the reason you had left ovary removed.

remember we are not drs just volunteers who have had hysters and have earned the role of co or co cl..or advice is not equal to what you should get from a dr,,,but honestly Id get a second opinion...if it is a hormonal imbalance there are nurse practioners and some drs who specilty is hormones,  Go Bio-Idendical,

let us know how you are ok?

any more questions we are here


Avatar universal
Hi Cherie

Thankyou for the response. I am 28 years old and my ovary was removd because I had a huge dermoid cyst in the left ovary that had eaten up the entire ovarian tisue. I have got my pap smear and pelvic exam done recently, they look okay. The last time i got blood work for hormones done, my estrogen and progestron were quite out of range, but that blood exam was done just a month or so after the surgery and the doc said that the hormones will get back to normal after a while. I havent got a hormone test done since then. You are right i should get blood work done.
Avatar universal
I'm 25 yr old doctor (medical officer). I had unliateral opherectomy due to dermoid cyst in 2008. I was 21 yrs of age I was told that it was cystectomy only, by my father who is a physician. I didn't feel well since that time. I have bouts of depression and crying. I noticed that my colour has become dark and pale and my skin is dry. I used to have smooth and soft skin and now my body fats get less in my cheeks and thighs and back and in  my entire skin. I became very thin. I actually knew that it is opherectomy by the symptoms I experienced and got very angry they didn't tell me or councelled me about the things I may experience. I has regular cycles throughout my life and after the operation, but I didn't feel the fluid retention and premenstrual tension I used to feel before unilateral opherectomy during the first year following it. Only in the third year I started to have it back. These symptoms last to about two yrs to the extent that I felt that I may not come back to as I was. I've consulted some of the major gynecolgists in my country and was told that I can have normal cycles hormones and may perceive. and one assured me about my shape and dimensions are normal after he did some physical assesment. I asked about delay in marriage would it affect me he answered it wouldn't affect your case specifically but would rather affect females in general since studies shown that both fertility and sexual performance are affected by the age of both partners, the younger the better. And assured me when I asked him about menopause that it is not affected by unilateral opherectomy.  He commented no gynecological pathology on ultrasound report and asked me no need for coming back. hopefully after 2 yrs I started to regain my  fair colour and my skin get less dry, started to look more female than before. and by this year 2011 I feel I'm very much better my colour more fair ang bright my skin more soft and smooth my pelvis get wider and my face thighs and pelvis regained some of their fats and I think get more taller (lol. It's true, estrogen maintains cartilage and bone built. Honestly speaking during my first shift in my internship I had very tough work and used to stand for long time and my legs are very exhausted and started to feel pain and discomfrot which turned to be ligamenus laxity when I consulted an orthopedist. I have no reason to develop such a disease I could only explain it by the general effect of estrogen deficiency I experienced) and I feel that I'm improving and this is going on, hopefully till back to before opherctomy. Actually I used to believe that I lost half of my store of ova, and that I'm consuming from one overy and then it will runout of ova earlier or that the only half of my store is not satisfactory for supplying my body with hormones. But when I started to read and enquire from my father, he told me that the hormone axis of  hypothalmus-pituitary-ovaries will adapt to induce the overy to get the sufficient hormones you need (seems that adaptation will take a while). Also  one of my colleagues who had a top academic score in the university years informed me that loss of ova is not a quantitative loss but rather aging, by the age of menopause the ova are not actually lost but had undergone atresia.
Avatar universal
I am 38 and had  my right ovary and fallopian tube removed due to a grapefruit size dermoid  cyst 4 years ago.  Since the surgery, I have experienced bouts of anxiety, depression and was also diqgnosed with fibromyalgia. I read about how my left ovary should sustain my hormone levels. The dr. who performed my surgery thought I might be hypoglycemic, but all tests including hormonal tests a few years ago came bAck negative. I get severe Pmdd and still continue to suffer from bouts of anxiety and depression. Before the surgery, I was in excellent aerobic shape. Now, I am feeling cheated in life.  The good thing was that the dermoid cyst was benign, but the procedure seemed to have trapped me in this miserable roller coaster state.  Tired of feeling this way.
Dear Mikaela, we are on the same boat. I have my right ovary and tube removed due a BOT on November last year. As you, I was informed “that nothing will change”.
My left ovary seems to work well, but my hormone levels shift down and now the leves it’s like 1/3 that it was before surgery.

I was on testosterone replacement, it helps to gain muscles and loose part of the weight that I gained. I also in anti depressants because my life really turn up side down.

I’m writing for you because even with one ovary working,  I completely lost my sex drive. And I’m desperate.

Did this happen to you too? Are you feeling better?
Thank you and hope everything can be better for us..
Avatar universal
I am 77 years old. I have had my right ovary removed due to 6.5cms cyst found when MRI scan was done for hip replacement. I was fit & happy enjoying life until the removal 4 weeks ago. 2 weeks after op I was driving when suddenly I had a very weird feeling & thought I was having a stroke ending up in A&E - I wasn't. This feeling passed but is returning quite frequently and worried it out fir myself now that it is probably a hormone imbalance so please can someone tell me how to balance my hormones?
I am sorry you are going through this. It is amazing that most people mistakenly think the ovaries shut down after menopause. And many think that removing one will not affect us. Sometimes, the other ovary takes over but not always.

Post-menopausal ovaries produce mostly testosterone that can be converted into estrogen. But there is no FDA approved testosterone. I have been taking estrogen since my ovaries were unnecessarily removed. I did take testosterone for awhile but it did not benefit me (although it was probably preserving my bones).
Have you talked to your doctor about this?
17335557 tn?1455752167
You do not ovulate from one ovary and then from the opposite the next month. It doesn't work like that. Your brain (more especially the anterior pituitary gland) produces Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) which basically sends a message and tells your ovaries to spit out an egg. Which ever ovary gets the message, or hormone, first will be the one to produce the egg. It's almost random as to which ovary will get it. Once you have one ovary removed, the remaining one will always get the hormone and if functioning properly will always spit out an egg.
Avatar universal
Can someone help I have a female friend who has a tumour to be removed soon! She has really high oestrogen levels that could be the cause of her tumour! She is thinking of having a hysterectomy that seems a bit extreme for a 27 year old! Could she simply have a unilateral oophorectomy to reduce her oestrogen levels!
Dan - Hysterectomy at any age is usually extreme! This surgery is only necessary about 10% of the time. Not only that, hysterectomy causes permanent damage and trades one set of problems for a whole new set for which there are no fixes. I'm speaking from personal experience as well as 11 years of research on the subject.

Just as a man's prostate and testicles have essential lifelong functions, so do a woman's uterus and ovaries. But gynecologists treat women's organs as if they're disposable because these surgeries are very lucrative.

The tumor may be the cause of her high estrogen level versus the other way around. Is the level outside the lab range? How big is her "tumor"? What sort of tumor or cyst does her imaging report say it is? And how big is it? Almost all ovarian cysts or masses are benign and most resolve on their own, no intervention needed.

If her mass has been monitored for a few months and isn't shrinking, then surgery may be necessary. But it's best to have just the cyst removed (cystectomy) so that the ovary or enough of it can be saved for normal ovarian function / hormone production. The ovaries produce hormones a woman's whole life to keep her in optimal health. Removal of any part - uterus, one ovary, tube(s) - can permanently disrupt the whole endocrine system and predispose to many health problems. There are numerous studies about the adverse effects of loss of ovarian hormones.

If she has a family history of ovarian cancer, then closer monitoring along with genetic testing would be a good idea. But the average woman's lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is extremely low at less than 2% (1.3% per U.S. government stats).

I hope this helps!
If you have an ovarian cyst for which surgery is recommended, I would suggest pls take another opinion from a naturopath or Ayurvedic doctor. There are many herbal remedies which can shrink the cysts in couple of months. Specific diet may also help. Apple Cider Vinegar, Blackstrap molasses, wheatgrass juice are some of the known remedies for ovarian cyst. Plus breathing yoga may also help. Pls avoid oophorectomy or hysterectomy at any cost.
I lost one ovary at the age of 21 and from
Age 28 I am experiencing menopausal like symptoms. It has wrecked my whole life..personal, professional and social. I believe it also decreases your life span and you age faster. I wish and pray that no one has to go through this ever. It's like living in a dead body. May Almighty heal us women. Lots of love and prayers to those who are suffering.
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
Pls see my comment above.
Avatar universal
I'm sorry for all of you who have had an ovary removed. It's a shame that so many gynecologists take the easy way out and remove the ovary versus just the cyst (cystectomy). According to this website - http://ovaryresearch.com/ovarian_cysts.htm - almost all ovarian cysts are benign and can be removed without removing the ovary.

It's also concerning that women are not told about the many negative effects and increased risk of health problems after removal of an ovary or any part of the "reproductive" system.

It's critical that we keep trying to get this issue out in the open.
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