The ovaries are prone to tumors, which is why some specialists recommend removing the ovaries during menopause as a precautionary measure. In a few cases, this is also advised to much younger women.
The ovaries are almond-shaped organs the size of a nut that are located under the fallopian tubes on either side of the uterus.
Even before the onset of menopause, some women have irregular bleeding, which can be triggered by hormone fluctuations, cysts on the ovaries or fibroids in the uterus.
It’s not a hysterectomy
This is an important point because many people think that a hysterectomy also removes the ovaries. This is wrong.
The surgical procedure to remove one or both of the ovaries is called ovariectomy. The ovaries can be removed, but the rest of the reproductive organs can be left intact.
In some cases, this surgery is done with the goal of stopping the production of a hormone that could cause breast cancer.
The ovariectomy provokes premature menopause
After the surgical procedure, the woman can no longer get pregnant naturally because no more eggs are produced. If you still want to get pregnant, you have to undergo a specialist fertility treatment.
There are several methods, such as artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization, that can increase the chances of conceiving.
It should not be forgotten that menopausal symptoms become noticeable after the operation:
- Hot flashes
- Sleep disorders and mood swings
- Night sweats
- Decrease in sexual desire
If you don’t want to accelerate the onset of menopause, ask your doctor about possible alternative treatments for your problem.
The operation can be less complicated than it looks
Many women fear this surgery because they believe it will result in a cut and a large scar. However, you should know that there is a less invasive treatment for removing the ovaries: laparoscopy.
It consists of inserting a small camera through a small incision in the belly button to perform the removal of the ovaries.
This surgery will reduce the risk of complications and blood loss and will reduce the amount of time you spend in the hospital compared to open surgery. No scars are left behind. The scar after a conventional procedure is comparable to that of a caesarean section.
Your specialist will assess the treatment options that are suitable for you if an operation is necessary.
Hormone therapies hide risks
Hormone replacement therapy is controversial. Some gynecologists recommend this step because it can help reduce symptoms such as hot flashes, stress, and perspiration. But there are also risks, so taking hormone tablets should be carefully considered.
Progesterone, which is used for this treatment, protects against endometrial cancer, but has been linked to breast cancer. Discuss the options with your doctor and assess your priorities with them.
If you’ve had breast cancer before, you may want to choose another treatment.
Removing the ovaries increases the risk of heart disease
Surgical removal of the ovaries must be carefully considered, because a hormone deficiency can have very negative effects on the female body, especially in childbearing age.
A US study found that around 300,000 women with healthy ovaries perform removal to prevent ovarian cancer. As a result, however, there are more heart diseases.
This is why check-ups are particularly important after surgical removal of the ovaries. This should be done every 6 months to make sure there are no problems. Anyone who chooses to remove should follow the doctor’s instructions carefully.
Risk of bone loss
Older women are at greater risk of bone loss after their ovaries have been removed.
In a 2014 study, scientists looked at 222 healthy menopausal women.
Those with ovaries who had been through menopause more than ten had twice the mineral density in their bones than those who had their ovaries removed before menopause.
Do not take the decision lightly
Ovarian diseases are often not recognized in the initial phase; examinations are difficult due to the location of these organs. That is why problems are usually only recognized at an advanced stage.
If you are faced with a decision to move away, do your research and have your doctor explain all the options and risks so that the effects do not affect your quality of life.