Ovary Removal Effects on Your Life

Most women who are considered to be a high-risk for getting breast cancer will have a higher-than-average chance to develop ovarian cancer. If you want to determine if you are at risk to develop cancer, you should consult a doctor or genetic counsellor.

If through this consultation you find that you are a high-risk to develop ovarian or breast cancer, remember, there are different strategies to explore in order to reduce your risks.

Prophylactic removal of the ovaries can reduce your risk to develop ovarian and breast cancer significantly. Yet, it must be done before menopause. Although this choice of surgery is serious, especially if you do it before menopause. It might have a greater impact on your life than you thought.

With the sudden estrogen loss, it may cause side effects like depression, hot flashes, difficulty to sleep and also lessen your sex drive. It can affect your heart and bone health, plus, you won’t be able to have any more children.

The reasons for removing your ovaries

You might consider removing your ovaries when there is evidence of ovarian and breast cancer that runs in the family.

The doctor and you can decide that a prophylactic ovary removal will be the option for you if:

You have been tested for BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 gene mutations and it was positive. This can increase your risks for ovarian and breast cancer. Most of the women that have these mutations will choose either a prophylactic ovary (removal) or breast (mastectomy) surgery.

Making your decision will depend on which mutation you have, BRCA1 or BRCA2. A study that involved about a thousand plus women with high-risk showed the benefits to removing the ovaries solely depends on which type of mutation they had.

With BRCA1 carriers

There were great benefits with ovary removal in terms of the risk for ovarian cancer, but not with the risk of breast cancer. With the BRCA1 mutation carriers, it reduced the risk of cancer by eighty-five percent. Woman with this mutation will be more inclined to develop cancer of the breast that’s not fuelled by the estrogen hormone. By removing your ovaries that is the body’s main source of estrogen, it won’t provide benefits towards the risk for breast cancer.

With BRCA2 carriers

With this mutation when ovaries are removed there will be great benefits in reducing the risk of breast cancer. However, it does not do much to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

The risk for women with BRCA2 mutation towards breast cancer, after ovary removal decreased with seventy-two percent. The fact is that breast cancer in women with BRCA2 mutations would most likely be estrogen-receptor-positive.

The doctor will be able to sort through all of this information and decide which prophylactic ovary removal can benefit you the most.

When there is a family history of two or more relatives that had ovarian cancer or someone that was diagnosed before the age of fifty. The closer related the family is to you, the higher the risk that you can get it too.

If you have a history of breast cancer that you had earlier in your life. In your twenty’s, thirties or your forties before you were at the age of reaching menopause. It will leave you with a higher risk of developing cancer of the ovaries, or a recurrence of breast cancer.

Some side effects

If you remove both of your ovaries surgical it is known as a bilateral oophorectomy. Because the ovaries manage your hormones to regulate your menstrual cycle, which include progesterone and estrogen, it will cause a surgical menopause.

This may cause side effects that include all of the symptoms that occur with natural menopause, but just more severe. This is due to the fact that with natural menopause your ovaries still produce a low level of the female hormones. Once removed your body has no female hormones. Even with replacement hormone therapy it won’t give you the benefits that you have with natural hormones.

The menopausal side effects

With a bilateral ovary removal side effects that normally are associated with your menopause will occur.

It will include the following: the inability to get pregnant, hot flashes, cessation of menses, mood swings, night sweats, fatigue, anxiety and sleeplessness. It can also decrease your sex drive and affect your sexuality.

The medical side effects

Women that had their ovaries removed are 7 times more susceptible to develop a heart disease. This risk is much greater in women that have gone through natural menopause. An oophorectomy will also cause testosterone production to drop. The decrease in estrogen and testosterone will increase the risk of osteoporosis-related bone fractures and osteoporosis.

If women remove their ovaries before menopause without taking a hormone replacement till the age of fifty, their risk factor will increase to develop dementia, cognitive problems and Parkinson disease.

Women that are under the age of forty-five when they removed their ovaries, have a risk of mortality more than one and a half time as women that still have their ovaries.

Estrogen therapy will alleviate the medical increased risks with ovary removal. If women had their natural menopause before an oophorectomy is performed, there might not be any increased side effects.

The surgical side effects

All surgeries have side effects. Some of the side effects with an ovary removal will be abdominal pain, infection, nausea, scar tissue formation, vomiting, fatigue, bleeding and amnesia. Any organs that are nearby might also be damaged with the surgery procedure.

Talk to a professional in this field before having your ovaries removed. You must be sure this is what you want or if for medical reasons, it must be the only option.