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Should I have my ovaries removed when I have a hysterectomy?

The ovaries were once routinely removed when postmenopausal women were having a hysterectomy, and they still are when the reason is cancer. The decision seems reasonable: doing so almost eliminates the risk of ovarian cancer. However, data from the Nurses' Health Study have challenged that notion. The study indicates that when a woman has a hysterectomy for a benign condition, her risk of breast and ovarian cancers decline, but her likelihood of developing heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer goes up. In fact, losing her ovaries increases her risk of dying from any cause. If you're considering a hysterectomy for pelvic prolapse or any other benign condition, discuss the risks and benefits of conserving your ovaries with your doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.