Written by Dr. Anitha Paderla | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond)

Oophorectomy - Overview

Synonyms: Surgical Removal of Ovary, Oophorectomy, Ovarian Surgery, Ovariectomy, Ovarian Ablation

Surgical removal of one or both ovaries is called Oophorectomy. It accelerates menopause by a few years in a menstruating women.

The ovaries are a part of a woman's reproductive system that store and release eggs (ova) for fertilization and produce the female sex hormones called estrogen and progesterone. There are two ovaries that lie by the side of the uterus. If one of the two ovaries is removed, a woman may continue to menstruate and have children. If both ovaries are removed, menstruation stops and a woman will lose the ability to have children.

Anatomy Of The Female Reproductive System
Normal Anatomy of the Female Reproductive System

In an Oophorectomy, one or a portion of one ovary may be removed or both ovaries may be removed. When Oophorectomy is done to treat ovarian cancer or other spreading cancers, both ovaries are always removed. This is called a Bilateral Oophorectomy.


In younger women with early-stage ovarian tumors who have not yet completed their families, the surgeon may perform removal of ovaries from only one side (called Unilateral Oophorectomy). This approach is called fertility saving or fertility-sparing surgery as it allows the women to reproduce.

Occasionally uterus removal (hysterectomy) is performed in women above the age of 40 along with the ovaries and fallopian tubes. The surgery is then called "Total Abdominal Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingo- Oophorectomy", abbreviated as TAH-BSO.

Oophorectomy is sometimes recommended when the hormones produced by the ovaries are making a disease, such as breast cancer or endometriosis, worse.

In rare instances where there is a strong family history of ovarian tumors, the ovaries are removed in an attempt to reduce the possibility of developing a future disease, such as ovarian cancer. This is called a Prophylactic Oophorectomy.

If a patient with ovarian cysts wishes to have children, only the affected ovary oophorectomy may be removed, leaving the other ovary intact.

Most Popular on Medindia


maligi, Niue

I had my left ovary,fallopian tube and the cyst removed a week ago. I had a lot of adhesions that is why my left ovary and tube had to be removed. Now am having stabbing pain on my right lower abdomen and some discharges. Discharges were brown and think on the second day post op, red and clotty on the 5th day, today the discharge is black. Can i have some advice please?

Sabrina2U, Canada

I had surgery two days ago, as I had a cyst on my right ovary. My doctor remove the ovary and tube as it was full of Endrometrioma, I feel ok today, except my stomach is really swollen and quite red will the swelling go down? How long after can I start to exercise? I feel like my body looks so ugly. Other then that Iam just tired and a bit weak. Will I get normal periods as they were normal before.

MissP32, United Kingdom

In April this year I had my left ovary and fallopian tube removed due to a tumour the size of a grapefruit. Eight months on and I am getting stabbing pains and shooting pains, deep inside where my scare is. Its making me feel sick and I'm having hot flushes at the same time. Has anyone else experienced this also? If so is this normal or should I contact my consultant about it?

peggy1, United Kingdom

had left overy and cyst removed Aug 2011, all seem to be okay had some dicharge ,checked no infection now got bad pain comes and goes in left side bad back pain started bleeding with some clots is all okay. instions sites slightly lumpy stomach appears swollen/bloated

Velinda79, United States

I had a right unilateral oopherectomy 2 years ago because I had a cyst. Since my surgery I have experienced weight gain, irritability, water retention and extremely hot palms and soles of feet. I have tried an estrogen spray, estrogen injection,birth control pills and natural estrogen pills....all without success! I have recently started applying a natural progesterone cream that seems to help a little. I am also taking lasix as needed for the water retention, which seems to be getting worse. Any suggestions?