Researchers in the United States have found that women who have a hysterectomy that also removes the ovaries have a reduced risk of developing ovarian cancer, other cancers, and heart disease. Surprisingly, the rate of hip fractures (due to osteoporosis – an expected risk of ovarian removal) did not increase either.
The data comes from the Women’s Health Initiative study of over 25,000 women who had a hysterectomy were post-menopausal, aged over 50 and under 79 and who did not have a family history of ovarian cancer. 56% of the women had their ovaries removed and 79% had taken HRT.
The women were followed for between five and seven years and were monitored for ovarian cancer, heart disease and hip fractures. Ovarian cancer was found in one in 300 women of the women that just had the removal of the uterus (a hysterectomy), however those who had their ovaries removed as well, found that the risk reduced to one in 500. However, other studies have shown the opposite effect, at the end of the day it will need more investigation.