Oophorectomy: the debate between ovarian conservation and elective oophorectomy

Menopause. 2013 Jan;20(1):110-4. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31825a27ab.


Ovarian cancer remains the fifth deadliest cancer among women because of its early asymptomatic nature and lack of efficacious screening methods, leading to frequent late-stage diagnosis. Elective oophorectomy is an option for women undergoing benign hysterectomy as a means of reducing their ovarian cancer risk. Benefits also include reduced risk of repeat surgical operation due to adnexal masses and reduced anxiety related to perceived risk of ovarian and breast cancer. The potential negative side effects of elective oophorectomy, such as decreased cognition and sexual function and increased risk of osteoporosis and cardiac mortality, offer support for ovarian conservation. The implications of this elective procedure and the possible consequences without it require physicians to review the pros and cons with patients in light of the patient's individual circumstances and ovarian cancer risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / etiology
  • Heart Diseases / mortality
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Osteoporosis / etiology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Ovariectomy* / adverse effects
  • Ovariectomy* / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology