The effect of hysterectomy on the age at ovarian failure: identification of a subgroup of women with premature loss of ovarian function and literature review

Fertil Steril. 1987 Jan;47(1):94-100. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(16)49942-5.


The age at ovarian failure was determined in 90 women who had previously undergone abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral ovarian conservation and in 226 women who had undergone a spontaneous menopause. The mean age of ovarian failure in the hysterectomized group was 45.4 +/- 4.0 years (standard deviation), and this was significantly lower than the mean age of 49.5 +/- 4.04 years in the nonhysterectomized control group (P less than 0.001). There was a significant correlation between the age at hysterectomy and the age of ovarian failure in the women who were 44 years or less at the time of ovarian failure (r = 0.62, P less than 0.001), implying a causal relationship. The indication for hysterectomy did not influence the time of ovarian failure. Two explanations are proposed as to how conventional surgery for hysterectomy may adversely affect ovarian function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / adverse effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Diseases / etiology*