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Can Removing One Ovary Cause Menopause

Hysterectomy With Ovaries Left Intact

Before You Get Your Ovaries Removed: WATCH THIS! Dr.Berg

People who have their ovaries intact, but without their uterus, won’t get their period anymore. They may, however, still experience premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder because the hormones made by the ovaries cause the body to continue to “cycle” monthly.

Occasionally, people whose ovaries were not removed during a hysterectomy experience hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. This is mostly due to the disturbance of the blood supply to the ovaries during surgery.

In addition, some people may undergo menopause a few years sooner than they normally would if they never underwent a hysterectomy .

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Fallopian Tube Removal

The biggest pros of fallopian tube removal have to do with health, particularly where disease prevention and pain reduction are concerned, while cons include reduced fertility and potentially serious side effects of surgery. Women who are at high risk of ovarian or breast cancer or who are prone to cysts and tumors often choose tube removal as a way of preventing problems later on. Except in situations where only part of the tube is removed, however, the surgery often greatly diminishes or eliminates the possibility of getting pregnant. Post-operative women also frequently experience a range or hormonal shifts and sometimes go through early menopause. Anyone considering tube removal should carefully weigh the pros and cons with a healthcare provider who can offer personalized advice.

Women who have already developed cancer may also want their tubes removed in order to stop the growths from further development. This is usually less effective the further advanced the disease is, as it tends to spread through the lymphatic tissues relatively quickly. In these cases the surgery can sometimes provide relief and a slowing of symptoms, but not necessarily a complete cure.

Preventing Hemorrhage

Fertility Issues

Hormone Imbalance

What Will One Ovary Do After A Full Hysterectomy

Following a full hysterectomy, one ovary still produces enough hormones to keep a woman out of early menopause, states the American Cancer Society. Usually, a surgeon leaves one ovary if a woman is under 40. Women over 50 usually have both ovaries removed during surgery.

For women who are between the ages of 40 and 50, doctors look at the benefits of removing the ovaries or leaving one when it comes to a hysterectomy, explains the American Cancer Society. A woman should make sure to discuss all choices with her doctor to make the right decision for her. It is also recommended for women to speak with a gynecologist and a sex therapist, as removing both ovaries may have negative effects on sexual desire. Women also may want to speak with other women who have had one or two ovaries removed in order to compare experiences.

Women should understand that following a hysterectomy, even if they keep one ovary, they do not have a period, and they cannot become pregnant, according to the American Cancer Society. A hysterectomy may also negatively affect bladder function during the recovery period, and some women may need a catheter for the short-term. A small number of women have permanent bladder issues following a hysterectomy.

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What Is The Recovery Period After Having An Oophorectomy

If your surgeon performs your surgery using laparoscopy or a vaginal approach, you may be able to leave the hospital the same day. Patients who have a larger incision spend between two to four days in the hospital.

Patients are usually told to start walking the same day of their surgery and are able to eat and drink regular foods. Once home, patients are told to hold off from heavy lifting or exercise for a number of weeks. Before leaving the hospital, you will be told how to clean and care for your incision sites.

Your surgeon will tell you what pain medication you can take. Call your surgeon immediately if you have too much pain or bleeding.

What Causes Ovarian Cysts During Menopause

Menopause : Menopause after hysterectomy

Ovarian cysts during menopause can be caused by the same factors as ovarian cysts before menopause, which include:

  • Hormonal problems. One of the most common endocrine system disorders that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts is polycystic ovary syndrome . PCOS can continue into menopause.

  • Endometriosis. This painful disorder causes the type of benign ovarian cyst known as an endometrioma.

  • Severe pelvic infections. Pelvic infections can cause ovarian cysts during perimenopause since it is not uncommon for the infection to spread to the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

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How Is Premature Menopause And Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Treated

Management of the condition can vary depending on why menopause started earlier than normal. Given the health risks associated with early menopause, hormone replacement therapy is routinely recommended to all women with premature menopause or primary ovarian insufficiency, unless there is a compelling reason it cant be used. There is a lot of confusion about the safety of hormone therapies. Many of the risks of hormone therapy used after natural menopause are not thought to apply to women who have premature menopause. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of hormone therapy with your doctor. Some healthcare providers have additional certification in the management of menopause, and these providers will be a valuable resource when receiving conflicting information about the safety of hormone therapy.

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Are There Any Risks And Precautions

Certain risks are common to all surgery and anesthesia. These risks depend on many factors including the type of surgery and your own medical condition. The possible, but very rare, side effects include: side effects of the anesthetic, breathing problems, infection, bleeding, scarring, and death.

Although oophorectomy is generally considered safe, it does have some risk of side effects or complications. These include:

  • damage to nearby organs during the procedure
  • blood clots
  • rupture of a tumour, which can lead to the spreading of cancerous cells
  • continued signs and symptoms due to leftover ovary cells

If you experience any of these side effects or complications, contact your doctor immediately.

If you are concerned about any symptoms following this procedure, speak to your doctor. Take the time to be sure you understand all the risks of complications and side effects as well as any precautions you or your doctor can take to avoid them. Be sure your doctor understands all your concerns.

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What Happens To Hormones And Pcos After Ovary Removal Or Hysterectomy

As you may know, a big part of PCOS is an excess of androgen hormones, such as testosterone. Yes, its true that our ovaries produce very small amounts of androgen hormones, and so if we remove the ovaries, we shouldnt have as much testosterone- right?

Well, thats not entirely true. For example, your adrenal glands produce androgens as well, often in higher quantities than the ovaries. Additionally, an androgen hormone known as DHT or dihydrotestosterone is created at the tissue site , with no ovarian involvement at all.

Secondly, many women with PCOS struggle with insulin resistance and weight problems. Removing ovaries alone or performing a total hysterectomy is incredibly bad news for the metabolisms of women with PCOS. Because our metabolisms are often already slow, removing the ovaries will slow this down even further.


Estrogen is a major hormone produced in the ovaries, and when you remove the ovaries, you have drastically less estrogen. In a sense this could put women into immediate and early-onset menopause. Without enough estrogen, women with PCOS are at higher risk for things like heart disease and diabetes- diseases already at higher risk simply by having PCOS.

Libido may also disappear, abdominal weight gain could increase and mood and skin may not be favourably effected after ovary removal.

Reactions To Surgical Menopause

Premature Ovarian Aging and Early Menopause

A surgical menopause can be a difficult time for many women. Menopausal symptoms are often severe, and depression and anxiety are more likely.

How you react can be influenced by the reason for the surgery. If your surgery is necessary because of a diagnosis of cancer, this creates challenges to cope with at the same time as coping with menopausal symptoms. On the other hand, if your surgery is the solution to ongoing chronic pain, then a surgical menopause may offer relief.

Whats happening in your life will affect your reactions to surgical menopause. This includes your age, whether you are in a relationship, whether you have children, whether you wanted to have children or more children, and whether you have support and help.

Some women say the impact of surgical menopause is that they no longer feel like a woman other women feel a sense of freedom from pain and fear. Some women feel they might not be as sexually attractive to their partner, and others feel they can be more sexual because they are not worried about pain or heavy bleeding.

No feeling should be dismissed as silly or small. It is important to talk to someone if you are upset and distressed about a surgical menopause. You can ask your doctor for help with symptom relief and with referral to a psychologist to discuss your feelings.

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What Health Effects Will A Woman With One Ovary Experience

Dear Alice,

Im a 19-year-old female. I had my right ovary removed three years ago due to a very large ovarian cyst. I was assured by my gynecologist that Im still capable of bearing children but wasnt informed thoroughly of all of the pros and cons in regards to this type of operation . If you could shed some light on this matter, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

รข Desperate

Dear Desperate,

There are pros and cons to every surgical procedure. Three years ago, before your surgery, some people weighed the pros and cons to decide if the oophorectomy was the best option for you. It sounds like you werent too involved in this decision, or maybe things werent explained in a clear, understandable way. For your peace of mind, the people who decided to operate might have considered some potential benefits, such as a lower risk of ovarian cancer and its associated pain and discomfort, etc. A con might have included the general risks of any surgical procedure, among others. Ultimately, they decided to operate.

So, here you are three years later, and you want to know if this procedure will impact your life in any way. You asked specifically about the effects of the oophorectomy on estrogen. Fortunately, your body should be making the same amount of estrogen it always did. Ovulation normally alternates between the two ovaries. When one is removed, the other ovary takes over the entire fertility function, popping out an egg each month and continuing to produce estrogen.

What Are The Symptoms Of Ovarian Cyst After Menopause

Its important to understand that most ovarian cysts dont cause symptoms. Most cysts develop and resolve without any issues whatsoever. Women are often unaware that a cyst is present until their healthcare provider discovers one during a routine pelvic exam. Not all women will experience the same symptoms. The most common symptoms of an ovarian cyst after menopause are:

  • Pressure or pain in the abdomen or pelvic area.
  • Swelling in the abdomen or pelvic area.
  • Pain in the thighs.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Weight gain.

If a woman feels the symptoms below, she should seek assistance from her healthcare provider right away:

  • Severe pain in the abdomen or pelvis which occurs suddenly.
  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath.
  • Faintness, dizziness, or weakness accompanied by pain.
  • Pain with fever.
  • Pain with vomiting.

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In The Months After Prophylactic Ovary Removal

Your surgeon will see you for an office visit at about 2 weeks and again at about 4-6 weeks after surgery. The surgeon will check to make sure your incision is healing properly.

For some women, the symptoms of surgical menopause can continue for many months. You might plan on seeing your regular doctor or gynecologist more frequently during the first year after surgery, or for as long as it takes your body to adjust.

Some women choose to take short-term hormone replacement therapy for relief from hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and sexual side effects. Although HRT has been found to increase breast cancer risk, research also has shown that short-term HRT is safe for high-risk women who undergo ovary removal. In other words, if you take HRT to help with the symptoms of surgical menopause, this does not wipe out the reduction in breast cancer risk that comes from having the ovaries removed. The general recommendation is to use the lowest dose needed for the shortest time possible.

Still, individual doctors may have different opinions about whether or not you should take HRT after ovary removal. You can work with your doctor to weigh the risks and benefits and determine what is right for you.

How Long Does Recovery Take

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Recovering from an oophorectomy will vary based on a few different factors, including the type of surgery. Laparoscopic surgery may require only 1 day in the hospital, but open abdominal surgery will typically need 2 or more days in the hospital.

Recovery recommendations will vary, depending on the individual, but some general recovery tips include:

  • resting before surgery and during recovery
  • taking relaxed, deep breaths
  • avoiding using tampons during recovery
  • making dietary changes and taking medications for constipation as needed
  • avoiding infection risks, such as taking baths and wearing tight or synthetic clothing

Doctors will also instruct their patients on how to take care of their incision site, including regular cleaning, keeping the area dry, and monitoring it for signs of infection.

Although an oophorectomy is often performed to help treat or prevent diseases, it may put women at risk of other issues.

Serious complications are rare, but people who smoke, are obese, or have diabetes may be more at risk for surgical complications.

Women who have had pelvic surgery or serious infections in the past may also be more vulnerable to complications.

Women who have both ovaries removed will no longer be able to become pregnant. A woman who wishes to become pregnant or is considering pregnancy in the future should discuss alternative options to oophorectomy with a doctor.

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Hot Flashes And Night Sweats

Estrogen deficiency throws off how the brain regulates body temperature, and this may lead to hot flashes. A hot flash is a sudden, intense feeling of heat or burning in the face, neck, and chest, often accompanied by redness.

A night sweat refers to a hot flash that occurs during sleep. Night sweats can negatively impact your sleep cycle, which may lead to tiredness during the day.

Increasingly Doctors Are Turning To Prevention For This Hard

Ovarian cancer is a challenging foe. Its often found at an advanced stage when its difficult to treat.

In recent years, researchers have learned that many cases of ovarian cancer dont even start in the ovaries. It turns out that ovarian cancer is a bit of a misnomer. We think a portion of ovarian cancers actually arise from cells in the fallopian tubes, says Shelley Tworoger, adjunct associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard Medical School and associate center director of population science at the Moffitt Cancer Center.

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The Surgery Itself: Getting Prepared

A hysterectomy lasts around 1-2 hours and is performed in a hospital under general anesthesia. Your doctor will advise you on how to prepare in the days building up to your procedure. This might include:

Consuming soft foods for several days prior to surgery and then fasting in the 12 hours immediately beforehand.

You may be instructed to shower using soap provided by your doctor on the morning before surgery in order to reduce the risk of infection.

You might benefit from making extra effort to maintain a nutritious diet in the weeks leading up to surgery.

Once your surgery is complete, the recovery process beings. Your stay in hospital will generally last from between a day up to a few days.

Recovering at Home

At this stage youll be advised to avoid any strenuous or even moderate physical activity for the first 4-6 weeks. Since youll be spending a significant amount of time in bed at first, you might benefit from purchasing a wedge pillow to improve your comfort whilst sitting.

Women have also reported benefit from using a hospital-style table. This allows you to write, read, or use a computer without having to rest the object on your abdominal area.

And, remember, dont feel ashamed to call in help and assistance from family and friends. You deserve all the support you can get while you recuperate from surgery.

Things to be Aware of

Core Lesson

Do Postmenopausal Ovarian Cysts Go Away

Can Woman Keep Ovaries After Hysterectomy?

Most ovarian cysts last a few weeks to a month. Others, however, can last for years. A postmenopausal ovarian cyst may remain undetected for years without any problems. Historically, doctors would recommend postmenopausal women to remove ovarian cysts to prevent any cancer threat if theyre found. Recently, however, studies show that a watchful waiting approach might be a less invasive approach. Allowing a cyst to remain if its not cancerous or isnt causing problems avoids unnecessary adverse effects from surgery.

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What Resources Are Available For Those Going Through An Oophorectomy

An oophorectomy can be a scary procedure, especially if you are not done having children or are worried about menopause.

For this reason, it is important to work with a team of doctors who will recommend the best type of surgery for your conditionand also deal with the after-effects of an oophorectomy.

The Cleveland Clinic Center for Womens Health and Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and fertility specialists can provide more information and advice on oophorectomies.


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