Does An Oophorectomy Affect A Woman’s Sexuality?

Oophorectomy Affect A Womans Sexuality
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

The removal of one or both of a woman’s ovaries is referred to as an Oophorectomy. The ovaries are a part of a woman’s reproductive system and are responsible for storing and releasing the eggs when it is time to be fertilized. The ovaries are also responsible for producing* female sexual hormones. Often the procedure is done as part of a hysterectomy, but it can also be performed alone. It is estimated that out of every 100 women who have a hysterectomy preformed, 10 of these women will also need to have an Oophorectomy.

Reasons to Have an Oophorectomy

An Oophorectomy is normally performed when ovarian cancer is present in a woman, or when the ovaries are overproducing the female hormones. This can often makes certain illnesses like endometriosis or breast cancer worse. Other reasons to remove* one or both of a woman’s ovaries can include preventative measures against developing ovarian cancer. This procedure is referred to as a Prophylatic Oophorectomy.

Studies have shown that women who are carrying the abnormal genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are at an increased risk of developing both ovarian and breast cancer. Having an Oophorectomy performed can help to treat* existing illnesses, and help prevent them. The procedure can be especially helpful in treating breast cancer, since the removal of the ovaries eliminates* the production of the female sexual hormones. In some cases, a woman may only schedule the removal of one ovary because she may be at risk for a certain disease, and end up having them both removed when the disease is found during surgery.

Reasons to Consider Not Having the Surgical Procedure

While you should always follow the advice of your health care provider, there are some benefits to not having your ovaries removed if not necessary.

  • Fewer Broken Bones and Fractures: With the removal of the ovaries, women are at a higher risk of developing brittle bones, or Osteoporosis. The ovaries are responsible for producing* estrogen in the body, and with the lose* of this hormone, bones can begin to loose their density and become weak and brittle.
  • No Hormonal Treatments and Therapies: The ovaries are responsible for producing* most of the female hormones in the body. While the body gradually does reduce* the amount of hormones it is producing* as women age, removing* the ovaries can upset the body’s natural cycle, especially in younger women. Often hormonal treatments are used to help with menopause and Osteoporosis.
  • Longer Life Span: Research is showing the women who do not have the ovaries removed before the age of 65 tend to live longer and healthier lives. It suggests that these women may be at a lesser risk of developing heart disease and have fewer broken bones.

Risks Associated with Oophorectomy

This surgical procedure is generally safe, with an extremely low risk of complications. Some of these can include,

  • Bleeding
  • Cuts or damage to other internal organs
  • Small risk of infection
  • Ruptured tumor
  • Possibility of ovary cells remains in the body and continuing to cause complications

Women who do have the procedure performed either by itself or as part of a hysterectomy can also experience symptoms associated with premature menopause including,

  • Decreased* interest in sex
  • Vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and other symptoms of menopause
  • Heart disease
  • Depression and moodiness
  • Osteoporosis
  • Premature death

The Oophorectomy Procedure

There are a few things women can do to prepare for their brief stay in the hospital. Packing an overnight bag, and following your health care provider’s instructions will help make the procedure go smoothly. One of the most important things for younger women to take into consideration is that they might not be able to become pregnant. Having a counselor or therapist to discuss your feelings and to help plan for the future, can help to take much of the stress and fear out of having an Oophorectomy preformed.

There are two different procedures for an Oophorectomy, one incision, or several smaller cuts. During the first type of procedure, one large cut is made across the abdomen to allow removal off the ovaries. In the second operation, several small cuts are made on the stomach area. After a small camera has been inserted, a robotic arm will also enter into the abdomen to remove* the ovary through the small cut. After the procedure, women can normally expect to spend one night in the hospital before beginning to slowly move around.

While having an Oophorectomy preformed may save your life, it can also dramatically change it as well. Having a strong system of support* is recommended, as well as following the advice of a health care professional. Women are finding that they can still lead a full and active life, even after they have had their ovaries removed.

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Author

Expert Author : Mark Simms (Consumer Health Digest)

Mark Simms is a prolific freelance health and beauty writer, independent researcher with a long history and expertise of providing reliable and relatable health content for magazines, newsletters, websites including blogs and journals. He also enjoy exploring men’s and women’s health category writing articles about sex and relationships, product review and providing information on sexual health.