In a recent study, increased health risks were seen in women who received premenopausal bilateral oophorectomy when under the age of 46 years.
According to a recent study published in Menopause, the journal of The Menopause Society, early removal of ovaries increases the risks of health problems and accelerated aging.
Over time, increasing concerns over long-term adverse effects of premenopausal bilateral oophorectomy (PBO) have been observed. This has led to a decrease in the number of women removing both ovaries to prevent ovarian cancer.
Following cesarean delivery, hysterectomy is the second most common surgical procedure women receive. Of women aged 40 to 44 years and those aged 45 to 50 years, 23% and 45%, respectively, are estimated to have received a PBO by the time of hysterectomy.
Ovaries impact multiple organsystems throughout the body along with serving a reproductive function. Hormone secretion is accomplished by the ovaries before and after menopause, meaning that ovary removal may lead to endocrine disruption in multiple tissues and organs.
Tissues and organs impacted by ovarian removal include muscles, bone, brain, heart, blood vessels, and gastrointestinal tract. Ovarian removal has also been associated with increased risks of cognitive impairment, dementia, and cardiovascular disease.
While recent studies have shown the risks of PBO may not outweigh the potential benefits, reductions in PBO rates have only been observed in certain geographical areas. Most studies identified the greatest risk in women aged under 46 years, but these studies were based on outcomes obtained primarily through medical record abstraction.
A recent study conducted in-person assessments of over 500 women, more than half of which had received PBO. Assessments took place an average 22 years after PBO.
The risks of arthritis, asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, and bone fractures were increased in patients who received a PBO when aged under 46 years. These patients also had a decreased performance during a 6-minute walk. Arthritis and sleep apnea risks were also increased in women who received a PBO when aged between 36 and 49 years.
“These results highlight the potential negative long-term effects of premenopausal bilateral oophorectomy and are important for women at average risk for ovarian cancer to consider when weighing the risks and benefits of bilateral oophorectomy with or without hysterectomy before menopause,” said Stephanie Faubion, MD, MBA, medical director for The Menopause Society.
Early ovary removal likely to accelerate aging process and health problems. The Menopause Society. September 13, 2023. Accessed September 15, 2023. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/1001245#:~:text=Because%20they%20secrete%20hormones%20both,heart%2C%20and%20the%20gastrointestinal%20tract