Let’s say you and your doctor have come to the conclusion that the uterus has got to go (maybe there are bad fibroids or abnormal bleeding unresponsive to medical therapy, etc). Should you remove your ovaries at the time of hysterectomy if the hysterectomy is for non-cancerous indications?
First consider family history… do you have breast or ovarian cancer in the family? Population risk for ovarian cancer is 1/80. Taking ovaries out obviously will dramatically reduce the risk for ovarian cancer in the future. But… just taking the fallopian tubes out at time of surgery can reduce risk for epithelial ovarian cancer!
Is there something suspected to be abnormal in your ovary like a cyst or is endometrosis a concern? Ovary/ovaries may need to come out in these cases.
There is actually some survival benefit to keeping the ovaries in up to age 65! The postmenopausal ovary is still active and provides androgens (precursors for estrogen metabolism)! This can be helpful for bone health, heart health, cognition, and sexual function.
Based on overall health risks to women, keeping ovaries in can reduce overall mortality.
Hormone therapy can be used to help mitigate some of the risk (but compliance isn’t always awesome here).
Lots to consider! We are here for all your questions!