Q:

What are the side effects of having an ovary removed?

A:

Quick Answer

Risks immediately following ovary removal include the development of painful scar tissue and infection related to the surgical procedure itself, according to Breastcancer.org. Removal of an ovary places a woman in perimenopause into menopause, making it impossible to conceive children, and may result in intense menopausal symptoms.

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In the weeks following surgery, women experience pain and fatigue as the body recovers. These side effects are typical of both abdominal and laparoscopic surgical procedures, explains Breastcancer.org. Menopausal symptoms following ovary removal are described as strong and sudden hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings and vaginal irritation. Onset of menopausal symptoms takes place in the days and weeks following surgery, and occur alongside surgical recovery. Some women also experience depression related to their loss of fertility and changing sexual experience.

Over time, ovary removal can result in an increased risk for osteoporosis related to unnatural menopause onset. These woman also demonstrate an increased risk for dementia, according to a 2006 Mayo Clinic study reported on Breastcancer.org. Long-term side effects are not fully known, but woman whom have had ovaries removed have experienced joint and muscle pain, chronic heart palpitations, insomnia, reoccurring urinary tract and yeast infections, incontinence, anxiety, depression and mood swings. There are conflicting opinions in the medical community over the use of hormone replacement therapy to alleviate these symptoms, as of 2014.

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