Elective oophorectomy in the gynecological patient: when is it desirable?

Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Aug;19(4):350-4. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e32821642d1.


Purpose of review: Oophorectomy is electively performed in approximately 300,000 US women per year who are having hysterectomy for benign disease.

Recent findings: New studies have suggested that elective oophorectomy may not be advisable for the majority of women, as it may lead to a higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease and hip fracture, and may result in a higher incidence of dementia and Parkinson's disease. Women with known BRCA 1/2 germ-line mutations clearly benefit from oophorectomy after childbearing.

Summary: Prophylactic oophorectomy should be undertaken with caution in the majority of women with an average risk of ovarian cancer who are having a hysterectomy for benign disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / methods
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / etiology
  • Ovariectomy / methods*
  • Risk Factors