A new study indicates removing both ovaries doesn’t increase a woman’s risk of death.
An estimated 600,000 women have their uterus removed during a hysterectomy each year, researchers say, and over half also have their ovaries removed because doing so is believed to lower their risk of ovarian cancer. Some 20,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the study, researchers reviewed records of 130,000 teachers between 2000 and 2004. For women who were under 45 years old at the time of the surgery, there was no increased risk of death associated with ovary removal. Women 45 or older showed a lower chance of dying.
The study was undertaken to address concerns that the ovary removal process was linked to an increased risk of death, said lead author Katherine Henderson of the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope National Medical Center in California.
The findings were published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.