Harvard Women's Health Watch

Should my doctor take out my ovaries during my hysterectomy?

Ask the doctor

Q. I'm having a hysterectomy for uterine prolapse. Are there advantages to leaving my ovaries, or should they be removed as well?

A. It depends on your age. In the past, it was common to recommend that women who were planning hysterectomies for benign problems to have their fallopian tubes and ovaries removed to greatly decrease the risk of ovarian cancer—a deadly cancer for which there is no good screening test. If you are nearing or have completed menopause, there is little disadvantage to this approach.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »