What Should You Do?
Each woman needs to weigh the risks and benefits of having the ovaries removed at the time of surgery. Women tend to make very different decisions based on their particular circumstances. However, it is always best to make these decisions based on accurate and current medical information. This decision is yours to make and should be discussed in detail with your doctor. As always, if there are unanswered questions or concern, get a second opinion.
Other Issues Concerning Ovaries and Hormones
Testosterone also influences sexual feelings, desire, arousal and mood. Women with hormones from their own ovaries have a lower rate of depression than women who have had them removed, even if estrogen therapy (ET) is taken. These issues are harder to measure and, for that reason, were not included in our study.
Some Women Should Still Have Their Ovaries Removed
However, there are a few situations where women may wish to have their ovaries removed at the time of hysterectomy. If the ovaries are affected by endometriosis or a woman has severe endometriosis and pelvic pain, studies show that removing the ovaries is associated with better long-term relief of pain than if the ovaries are not removed. Severe adhesions, or scar tissue, around the ovaries may also cause continued pelvic pain and women with this problem may chose to have their ovaries removed.
Some women have a family history of ovarian cancer. A genetic counselor can help evaluate your risk and may suggest BRCA (breast/ovarian cancer) gene testing to determine if you have inherited this gene that increases your risk. For some women, this risk may be as high as 50%. If you have an increased risk, you should strongly consider having your ovaries removed. In this case, the benefits of removing your ovaries and preventing ovarian cancer should far outweigh the benefits of keeping your own ovarian hormones.