Review question: Cochrane authors reviewed the evidence on the risks and benefits of the removal or conservation of ovaries at the time of hysterectomy for benign gynaecological disease in premenopausal women.
Background: removing the ovaries at the time of hysterectomy could potentially reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and the need for future gynaecological procedures. However, premenopausal women who have had their ovaries removed have also been reported to have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other complications due to early menopause. It is not clear yet whether premenopausal women should be advised to have their ovaries removed or conserved at the time of hysterectomy.
Study characteristics: studies were sought up to January 2014. No randomised studies were available that compared hysterectomy without removal of the ovaries versus hysterectomy plus removal of the ovaries.
Key results: because of the lack of appropriate studies this review does not provide evidence to support removal or conservation of the ovaries at the time of hysterectomy in premenopausal women. Therefore, until evidence is available prophylactic removal of the ovaries should be regarded with caution.