Radical hysterectomy - should the ovaries stay or go?

Hi everyone!

I have my RH on 12th Dec and I have to decide whether they should whip the ovaries out at the same time. The oncologist's thinking is that it would stop ovarian cancer or cysts and they will stop working anyway if I end up having chemoradiation.

I'm 44. I'd rather not have the menopause now and worry that the GP will be iffy about prescribing HRT as I've had some aural migraines which prevented me from being able to take the combined pill.

I'm seeing the GP for advice next week but want to have as much info as possible beforehand. Has anyone got any advice?


Kirsty x

Hello Kirsty - sorry to hear of your diagnosis - but welcome to the club.

I was older than you at 51 when I was diagnosed  and having already had the menopause, I elected to have the ovaries out during surgery.  Mainly because I thought that the less that's in there the better it was for me.    If I hadn't  had the menopause, I'd still have had them out for the same reason & would have braced myself for the menopause. You're gonna get it anyway.  As it turned out for me, after surgery & they analysed everything, it was found to have spread to the ovaries,  micro-metastasis and not picked up by mri.   So it was in the end, a good decision to have them out.   This is unusual but not rare so it may be something to consider before you make your decision.


Hi Sharon, 

Thanks for that. It must have been horrible for you - thank goodness you decided to have them out!  I'm so pleased  your scans are good now.  I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. I love this forum! 

Kirsty x

Hi Kirsty

Sorry that you’ve found yourself here but a very warm welcome!

I was 35 when I had my RH and wasn’t given a choice really about my ovaries, they were staying! My consultant never suggested otherwise, he felt that at my age I’d be better with them left in. I don’t know how I’d have decided if given the choice, as it was I just did what I was told!

I developed liver adenomas later (not cancer or surgery related) and hrt would have made them much worse so it was fortunate for me that the ovaries stayed!

Good luck with your decision, do what feels right. And all the best for your surgery.

Ali x

Hi there. I'm 6 weeka post op RH with my ovaries removed. I see the consultant again tomorrow and he's happy for me to start HRT. I'm really looking forward to getting started as the hot sweats are horrendous for me. I was also given a choice and he was happy to leave them. I decided that I would worry to much about C coming back. I have two children and our family was complete. I've spent a lot of time with my friend looking at new creams lotions and potions to help my skin cope with the changes that Menp will bring x so far I feel fine and other than the heat I radiate am coping with the post surgical men just fine! xx 

Hi Kirsty,

I'm in a similar boat to Sharon, I was 50 and had already begun the menopause when I had my surgery. However, because I was going through a fairly rough time with the menopause I did quite a lot of reading up on it, and lots of stuff about it includes hysterectomy-related menopause as well as natural menopause. To the best of my recollection there is a high chance of the ovaries failing anyway after a hysterectomy, with or without chemo-radiation. Your doctor will be able to tell you more accurately than I can. As Sharon points out, sooner or later the menopause is inevitable. If you are allowed HRT then that might be an option, I am not so I'm just sweating it out. It is something you learn to live with, it's not like having two heads or anything :-)

Go well


Hi Ali

Thanks for your reply. I see from your signature that you have been on a real emotional roller-coaster. So good that your scans are looking good now. :) 

Kirsty x


Thanks, Victoria. That's good to know. Good luck with the rest of your recovery! (Everyone will want to sit next to you and your radiating heat during this cold snap! :))

Kirsty x


Thanks, Tivoli! You're so right that I'm going to be getting the menopause anyway. I've booked an appointment with my GP to discuss my options. You're right about it not being like having two-heads. I think I've heard a few horror stories so it's good to get it in perspective. 


Kirsty x

Hi Kirsty,

Sorry you have had to join Jo's,but welcome :-)

I wasn't given a choice but I was glad I kept them.I was 37.

They say your ovaries only function correctly for 5years after a

hysterectomy,then start to die off.So I had some symptoms when

I had my recurrence, which involved the ovary,but it originated from

the lymph nodes,so if they had not been there maybe it would have gone

somewhere else.

I am now full blown menapause after my treatment(chemo/rads) I can't take

HRT either but I have accupuncture which has got rid of most of the flushes,and

the bonkers mood swings I had at the start!!

Hope everything goes well for you.If you want to know anything just ask.All the

ladies on here are wonderful and full of great advice and understanding.

Take care

Becky x


Hi Hun, I chose to have my ovaries taken at the same time. I couldn't live with the thought of the cancer spreading there. I ended up having RT anyway so would have gone through the menopause. I'm currently on hrt which I had no problem in getting prescribed as the surgical/treatment menopause tends to hit you worse than naturally going through it. 1year on and I feel great. Wishing you well for your operation. Lea xx

Hi Lea,

"One year on and I feel great" has to be the phrase to remember! :) Thanks for your positive reply.  

Kirsty xx

Hi hon,

I had them out because, like some others, I couldn't bear the thought of them turning cancerous. Although it is a very good point that if there is anything in the lymph, then perhaps the ovaries are not the worst place for it to settle, If you know what I mean. Also, I'm 42, but had already started feeling a bit menopausal! Although I suppose there could have been lots of funny things going on from having had cc! My mum had an early menopause, so that influenced me as well. 

I am on HRT now. I think you need to find out what your options are for that before you make a decision, although my GP did say that for every menopause symptom there is a treatment other than HRT. Ie if you just had hot flashes they could give you something for that.

sorry this is waffly!

hugs, Molly xx

Hiya Molly,

I am going to so much better informed when I speak to the GP. Thank you!

Kirsty xx