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Should a Woman’s Ovaries Be Removed During a Hysterectomy for Noncancerous Disease?
New Rochelle, NY, July 25, 2013—While ovary removal during hysterectomy protects against future risk of ovarian cancer, the decision to conserve the ovaries and the hormones they produce may have advantages for preventing heart disease, hip fracture, sexual dysfunction, and cognitive decline. Other than a woman’s cancer risk, the most important factor that should determine ovarian conservation vs. removal is her age—whether she is older or younger than 50—according to a Review article published in Journal of Women’s Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available on the Journal of Women’s Health website.
Catherine Matthews, MD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, emphasizes the difficult choice women must often make in the article “A Critical Evaluation of the Evidence for Ovarian Conservation Versus Removal at the Time of Hysterectomy for Benign Disease.”
Conflicting data regarding the potential benefits of removing a woman’s healthy ovaries at the time of a hysterectomy have led to confusion. When there is no acute reason to remove a woman’s ovaries at the time of hysterectomy and she has no increased genetic risk for ovarian cancer, the accumulated data indicate that elective bilateral ovary removal should be discouraged in women younger than 50 years. The withdrawal of ovarian hormones can have negative health consequences in this population. However, in postmenopausal women, it is advisable to remove the ovaries to protect against ovarian cancer, as the medical literature shows that elective ovary removal is not likely to have an adverse effect on heart disease, hip fracture, sexual dysfunction, or cognitive function at this stage of a woman’s life.
“As 600,000 hysterectomies for benign disease are performed annually in the U.S. alone, it is imperative that we have clear guidelines for retaining versus removing normal ovaries,” says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women’s Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women’s Health.
About the Journal
Journal of Women’s Health, published monthly, is a core multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the diseases and conditions that hold greater risk for or are more prevalent among women, as well as diseases that present differently in women. The Journal covers the latest advances and clinical applications of new diagnostic procedures and therapeutic protocols for the prevention and management of women’s healthcare issues. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Women’s Health website. Journal of Women’s Health is the Official Journal of the Academy of Women’s Health and the Society for Women’s Health Research.
About the Academy
Academy of Women’s Health is an interdisciplinary, international association of physicians, nurses, and other health professionals who work across the broad field of women’s health, providing its members with up-to-date advances and options in clinical care that will enable the best outcomes for their women patients. The Academy’s focus includes the dissemination of translational research and evidence-based practices for disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of women across the lifespan.
About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Population Health Management, Thyroid, Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, and Breastfeeding Medicine. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 70 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.