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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
Oophorectomy may be done alone or as part of a hysterectomy.
Oophorectomy is often needed when pelvic disease,
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.
About 10 out of 100 women who have a hysterectomy also have a condition or
disease that may increase the need for an oophorectomy.1 These conditions or diseases include:
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:
Parker WH, et al. (2005). Ovarian conservation at the
time of hysterectomy for benign disease. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 106(2): 219–226.
January 9, 2012
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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