Should the Ovaries be Removed at Time of Hysterectomy for Benign Disease? Interview with:

Catherine A. Matthews, MD
Associate Professor and Division Chief
Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Matthews: Women under 50 should try and preserve their ovaries at the time of hysterectomy for benign disease; however, women over 50 should consider elective ovarian removal as a way to reduce ovarian cancer. There is no adverse impact on cardiovascular, bone or sexual health in women over 50 who elect ovarian removal. Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Matthews: Based on a prior decision analysis, some have recommended ovarian preservation until age 65. Based on a critical review of the literature, we believe that 50 is a more appropriate discriminatory age. What should clinicians take away from this report?

Dr. Matthews: The beneficial effects of postmenopausal ovarian function have been overstated and there is no robust evidence that ovarian preservation after age 50 significantly benefits cardiovascular health. In women who elect ovarian preservation, removal of the fallopian tubes can reduce the rate of ovarian cancer.


A Critical Evaluation of the Evidence for Ovarian Conservation Versus Removal at the Time of Hysterectomy for Benign Disease.

Matthews CA.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina , Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2013 Jul 18.
[Epub ahead of print]


Last Updated on July 26, 2013 by Marie Benz MD FAAD