Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Menopause Int. 2008 Sep;14(3):111-6. doi: 10.1258/mi.2008.008016.

Prophylactic oophorectomy in premenopausal women and long-term health.

Author information

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Women's Health Clinic, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



To review the data on long-term outcomes in women who underwent prophylactic bilateral oophorectomy, a common surgical procedure that has more than doubled in frequency since the 1960s.


Literature review of the published data on the consequences of prophylactic bilateral oophorectomy. Special emphasis was given to the Mayo Clinic Cohort Study of Oophorectomy and Aging. Main outcome measures Overall mortality, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment and dementia, parkinsonism, osteoporosis, psychological wellbeing and sexual function.


There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that the premature loss of ovarian function caused by bilateral oophorectomy performed before natural menopause is associated with several negative outcomes. In particular, studies have revealed an increased risk of premature death, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment or dementia, parkinsonism, osteoporosis and bone fractures, decline in psychological wellbeing and decline in sexual function. The effects involve different organs (e.g. heart, bone, or brain), and different functions within organs (e.g. cognitive, motor, or emotional brain functions). Estrogen treatment may prevent some but not all of these negative outcomes.


The potential adverse effects of prophylactic bilateral oophorectomy on heart health, neurological health, bone health and quality of life should be carefully weighed against its potential benefits for cancer risk reduction in women at average risk of ovarian cancer.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk