Ovaries after hysterectomy – keep or lose? More study needed
April 26th, 2011
12:02 PM ET

Ovaries after hysterectomy – keep or lose? More study needed

A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that removing the ovaries during a hysterectomy is not bad for the heart, contrary to what other studies have found.

When a woman has a hysterectomy, surgery to remove the uterus, a decision has to be made about whether to also remove the ovaries. Doctors have known for years that taking out the ovaries reduces the risk of ovarian cancer but various studies have found conflicting results when it comes to the risks and benefits to the heart and bones.

This study looked at more than 25,000 women who are enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative, a long-term study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. The researchers found that women who had their ovaries removed  were no more likely to suffer or die from heart trouble, hip fractures or cancer than women who kept their ovaries.

But the lead researcher is quick to point out that there is no right answer for everyone.

"It's a personal decision and I recommend that women speak to their doctor about the risks and benefits and make an informed decision based on an individual basis," says Dr. Vanessa Jacoby with the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco.

About 600,000 women each year undergo hysterectomy to relieve abnormal uterine bleeding, to remove fibroids or for other health reasons. After cesarean delivery, hysterectomy is the second most common surgery performed in women of child-bearing age in the United States. About half of all women who undergo the surgery have their ovaries removed, with higher rates in women who are older. But there is concern that the change in hormones after the procedure may increase the risk for osteoporosis, heart disease and stroke. To combat this, doctors used to advise women to take hormone replacement therapy to boost hormone levels, but with the more recent reports of health risks from HRT, based on data from the same Women's Health Initiative, this practice has fallen out of favor.

But these new findings about heart health directly contradict an earlier study, which, like this one, is large and highly reputable. The Nurses' Health Study found that women who had their ovaries removed when they got a hysterectomy were in fact more likely to die from heart disease and stroke, especially younger women under the age of 50. So what should women do?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends ovaries be removed during hysterectomy for postmenopausal women who have a family history of ovarian cancer. Younger women with no such family history are encouraged to keep their ovaries.

The author of an accompanying editorial says the conflicting data from these two large studies highlights the importance of talking to your doctor about a family history of heart disease or ovarian cancer.

"What may be right for a younger woman with heart disease in her family might be a different decision than a young woman without heart disease in her family, or somebody who might already have osteoporosis," explains Lauren Arnold, epidemiologist from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

Jacoby says we may not have all of the answers until researchers conduct the highest quality study possible, a randomized clinical trial.

soundoff (906 Responses)
  1. gKGwzrqdXP

    need help starting my research paper customer support essay sample justification letter for procurement pay for someone to do my math homework

    May 20, 2021 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Washing Los Angeles

    I blog often and I genuinely thank you for your content. Your article has really peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your site and keep checking for new information about once per week. I opted in for your Feed as well.


    May 20, 2021 at 23:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. rv furniture southern california


    May 21, 2021 at 00:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Mercedes Sprinter Body Repair


    May 21, 2021 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. oc collision center


    May 21, 2021 at 00:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. orange coast trailer supply


    May 21, 2021 at 01:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rv collision and restoration

    Can I simply say what a comfort to find somebody who actually knows what they are talking about online. You certainly understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people really need to check this out and understand this side of the story. I can't believe you aren't more popular because you most certainly possess the gift.


    May 21, 2021 at 03:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Body Shop Orange County

    I blog often and I really appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed too.


    May 21, 2021 at 06:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. thực phẩm giàu vitamin d và canxi

    great publish, very informative. I ponder why the opposite experts of this
    sector don't understand this. You should continue your
    writing. I'm sure, you have a great readers' base already!

    May 21, 2021 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. eWRzUjGsWX

    umi thesis order chinese essay exam for civil service novobiocin test hairdressing homework help

    May 21, 2021 at 08:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Entertainment System Riverside

    Can I simply say what a comfort to discover somebody that genuinely understands what they are talking about over the internet. You definitely know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people really need to check this out and understand this side of the story. I was surprised that you are not more popular because you most certainly possess the gift.


    May 21, 2021 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. truck roof repair


    May 21, 2021 at 12:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Internet Marketing Company


    May 21, 2021 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Internet Marketing Service Near Me


    May 21, 2021 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Headlights Riverside


    May 21, 2021 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Social Media Marketing Firms Near Me

    It’s hard to come by educated people for this subject, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 21, 2021 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. SEO Marketing Firm


    May 21, 2021 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. remodel center

    I enjoy reading through an article that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!


    May 21, 2021 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. trailer repair shop near me


    May 21, 2021 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. recreational vehicle repair service

    Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a really good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don't manage to get anything done.


    May 21, 2021 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Dashboard California

    Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of the issues. It was really informative. Your site is extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing!


    May 22, 2021 at 06:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. motorhome interior remodel

    I want to to thank you for this excellent read!! I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I have you saved as a favorite to look at new things you post…


    May 22, 2021 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Video Marketing Specialist


    May 22, 2021 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Chere

    You actually make it seem really easy with your presentation however I in finding this matter to be really something which I feel I would by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely large for me. I am looking forward on your next publish, I’ll attempt to get the grasp of it!


    May 22, 2021 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Flooring Riverside

    I love it when folks come together and share ideas. Great site, keep it up!


    May 22, 2021 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Kitchen Los Angeles

    Hello there, There's no doubt that your web site could possibly be having browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, excellent site!


    May 22, 2021 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. socal upholstery


    May 22, 2021 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. accident repair shop near me

    Very good post. I am going through many of these issues as well..


    May 23, 2021 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Social Media Marketing Consultants


    May 23, 2021 at 00:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Kitchen Los Angeles

    I truly love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my own personal website and want to know where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Thanks!


    May 23, 2021 at 04:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. motorhome body repair


    May 23, 2021 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Tembepteriope

    what is tadalafil https://tadalafilww.com/ – tadalafil dosage tadalafil order online no prescription cheap generic cialis for sale cheap cialis pills for sale

    May 23, 2021 at 18:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Countertops California

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Thank you for providing this info.


    May 23, 2021 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Restoration California


    May 23, 2021 at 22:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Tembepteriope

    tadalafil order online no prescription cialis without a prescription tadalafil price walmart tadalafil online https://tadalafilol.com/

    May 24, 2021 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Setsuko

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your web site by accident, and I'm shocked why this accident did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.


    May 24, 2021 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. nearby rv repair

    Your style is really unique compared to other folks I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this site.


    May 24, 2021 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Fabrication Los Angeles


    May 24, 2021 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. bucket truck band


    May 24, 2021 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Windows Near Me


    May 24, 2021 at 19:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. motorhome repair shops near me


    May 24, 2021 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Tembepteriope

    tadalafil drug https://tadagatadalafil.com/ – cialis without a prescription tadalafil dosage generic tadalafil from uk https://apcalisetadalafil.com/

    May 24, 2021 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. brimonidine

    combigan brimonidine

    May 25, 2021 at 03:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Social Media Marketing Agency Around Me

    Itís hard to find knowledgeable people about this subject, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    May 25, 2021 at 03:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Digital Marketing Company Near Me

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I think that you ought to write more about this issue, it might not be a taboo subject but typically people don't speak about these issues. To the next! All the best!!


    May 25, 2021 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Tritreviewifind

    tadalafil generic where to buy tadalafil side effects what is tadalafil tadalafil dosage https://tadalafilol.com/ – tadalafil order online no prescription

    May 25, 2021 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Content Marketing Firms


    May 25, 2021 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Internet Marketing Consultants

    Aw, this was a very good post. Finding the time and actual effort to make a really good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and never manage to get anything done.


    May 25, 2021 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Local Marketing Company

    You're so awesome! I don't believe I've truly read through anything like this before. So great to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is needed on the web, someone with some originality!


    May 25, 2021 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Tembepteriope

    https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ tadalafil price walmart cost tadalafil generic buy tadalis tadalafil goodrx

    May 25, 2021 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.