Hysterectomy Community
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Avatar universal

Leave an ovary or not?

I am 53 and im still in Perimenopause. I am scheduled for a total hysterectomy in a couple of weeks and one of my ovaries has had multiple cysts. My surgeion wants to take both during the surgery but so many women are telling me to keep the one that has not had any cysts on it. Is there an advantage to keeping your ovary after menopause?
10 Responses
134578 tn?1546634665
Yes, especially since you are not in menopause yet.  Your ovary still has a little hormone to give, and it will help ease the sudden transition you would undoubtedly have if your doctor took it all.  Some doctors say that they may as well take everything because usually they have to go back for the other ovary six months later, but that is lazy doctoring.
Avatar universal
Thats exactly what he said AnnieBrooke!! He also said since I have so many cysts on the right one that I wont have to worry about the left if he takes it... :( I tell you what, this is all so confusing to me!
134578 tn?1546634665
If you don't have confidence in the doctor, you can cancel and reschedule when you find a doctor you like better.  But probably, if he knows you want to keep the one ovary, he will try harder to keep it.
134578 tn?1546634665
Frankly, in your shoes and given that it is not a life-threatening situation, I would cancel on this doctor and find one who is more serious about a woman keeping her ovaries.  
134578 tn?1546634665
At the least, a woman doctor would not be casual about dumping a functioning ovary out the window if the woman is still perimenopausal.  If your male doctor was told that one of his testicles had to be removed due to cysts, and while there they might as well take the other, he would be pretty mad.  But somehow it does not translate when a guy doctor is thinking of ovaries.
Avatar universal
Hi AnnieBrooke you hit that one right on the head about the testicles!!! I am making another appt with him to talk this over.. Thank you so much for you support and input!!!
Avatar universal
I had a hysterectomy and wish I had "run for my life" when my doctor mentioned removal of ANY organ. I am 8 years post-hysterectomy and not a moment goes by that I regret having trusted him even though I had for 20 years. My figure has been destroyed and bowel function has not been normal since.

Hysterectomy is grossly overused and is associated with long-term problems, ovary removal or not.

We need all our organs our whole life just as men do (uterus, ovaries, tubes). The ovaries do not shut down at menopause and continue producing hormones into our 80's if they have not been "crippled" by a gyn procedure such as hysterectomy, tubal sterilization, or ablation. Medical studies show many increased health risks associated with ovary removal.

If you care to share, what is the reason for the hysterectomy?
Avatar universal
If you are not comfortable with having the surgery, PLEASE DO NOT GET IT.!!!!

NOT all hysterectomy are horror stories..It all depends on your doctor.

Mine went well, not one problem.(had both ovaries removed) All my co-workers had full hysterectomies for one medical reason or another and they had theirs done will over 15-30 yrs. ago. They are ALL fine and still work fulltime. The only issue I have heard from them is the vaginal dryness, but they have options for that.
Avatar universal
From my experience, observations of women who had hysterectomies especially if they are several years post-op are usually more "telling" than what they say. For one, some are hesitant to share and many do not connect the after effects back to the surgery since some can take awhile to manifest.

If you knew women before their surgery and observe them over time afterwards, you will see their figures transform into the "boxy" shape (loss of their waist - the space between the rib cage and hip bones) even if they do not have the typical post-hysterectomy weight gain. (The uterine ligaments are the pelvis' support structures. Once they are severed, everything falls.)

If they still have one or both ovaries and they continue to produce hormones (about 40% of the time they fail due to loss of blood flow), then you won't see symptoms of "surgical menopause" (such as blurred vision and the need for glasses, hair loss, hair graying, hair texture changes, dry skin, loss of youthful-looking skin due to collagen loss, loss of muscle tone, hot flashes, etc).

Since MOST hysterectomies are overused and the uterus has lifelong anatomical, skeletal, hormonal, and sexual functions, please be sure to do your own research into the after effects of the surgery. Granted, women who have had long-term, debilitating gynecologic problems may find a hysterectomy is worth the trade-offs. And of course, CONFIRMED cancer would be a good reason to have one. But once it's done, there is obviously no going back.
Avatar universal
Oops I missed a number of medically documented health risks associated with ovary removal (termed "surgical menopause" by the medical community). There are a number of studies that list these increased health risks (PubMed is a good source). They include coronary heart disease, stroke, hip fracture, Parkinsonism, dementia, cognitive and memory impairment, depression and anxiety.

Heart disease is the #1 killer of women, far more so than ovarian cancer. 1 in 3 women has a hysterectomy by age 60 and 1 in 2 by age 72. 1 in 3 women dies of heart disease. To put the numbers in perspective, a 2009 study said that ovarian cancer accounts for 14,800 deaths per year in the USA while heart disease accounts for 350,000 deaths per year. Additionally, 100,000 cases of dementia per year may be attributable to prior bilateral oophorectomy.

I became suicidally depressed shortly after my hysterectomy despite having absolutely no history of depression. In fact, I was the opposite in that people constantly commented on how I was always happy and smiling. And my severe lack of ability to think and remember were scary. And I was far from young at the time of my surgery. I was just shy of 50 years old.  
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