Only one ovary and chance of early menopause? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-13-2007, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I was 17 I had to have an ovary removed because it had a tumor (benign) on it.

I was told by my doctors that everything would be exactly the same as before, fertility wise, etc.

I have tried to research this on the 'net and seen some obscure references to women with only one ovary possibly having early menopause.

I was wondering if anyone knows more about the long term effects of having an ovary removed... not just from a fertility standpoint, but from a general standpoint?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
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Old 03-13-2007, 08:07 PM
 
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Hey there,
I only have one ovary too. My right was removed with a 5lb cyst at 14 years old. I went to the Dr. and he said that there is a small chance I could go through early menopause but said most likely I will be normal. They ran blood work at 31 because my Dr. thought I was showing signs of early menopause. I was just fine. Two different Dr.s said that it is very unlikely to go through menopause early.

I had no problem getting preg with my first three kids. We have been trying for over a year now to have another, I had my first infertility consult today. The Dr. said he didn't think the problem was due to one ovary. But said that scarring from the surgery to remove the ovary could be possibly be the problem. I have more blood work to check my hormones and make sure it isn't my one ovary causing the problem.

Hope that helps.
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:18 AM
 
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Hi,
I was searching on web for any similar info. I am 42, had my left ovary removed when I was 29 due to a benign dermoid cyst. At the time the doctors assured me that current research showed that women with one ovary usually still had their menopause at about the same age as their mother.
My mum had her last period when she was 53, after that she was on tamoxifen for breast cancer so her periods stopped, so I can't be sure when her menopause would have occurred naturally.
My gran (my mum's mum) had one ovary removed as a child (not sure of reason why), and had her menopause at 36.
To cut a long story short, I have had just two very light periods in the past year, plus cannot bear hot weather any more! Definately not pregnant. I have done two home menopause tests, both very positive. My GP has sent off blood to test my hormone levels. At moment I am waiting for the results, but feel sure results will show menopausal levels.
Judging from my family history, it would seem that having one ovary removed does tend to bring on an earlier menopause.
Hope this info helps,
Angela.
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for posting, Angela! I am going to keep this in mind. I am 33 and I am pretty sure I would like another baby, so it seems like early menopause must be an early possibility for me.
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Old 10-26-2007, 05:26 AM
 
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Hi ShadowMom,

Just a quick message re my blood test results. Fsh/lh in the late perimenopausal range. My GP said that if I have not yet had my last period, I will very soon. (At least 10 years before my mum). If you would like another baby, it might be best to try sooner rather than later, it seems single ovaried women's biological clocks may tick a bit faster.

Angela.
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Old 11-16-2007, 07:01 PM
 
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A couple of days ago I went to my OBGYN to have a second u/s of my right ovary which has a large cysts on it. It turns out she doesn't like the appearance of the cyst. It has pinched my ovary to the side and is misshaping it. She want to go in an remove ovary and all. I don't know how I feel about this. My concern is with side effects of only one ovary.

Before I left she ran a CA-125 panel on me. I should get the results Monday, to see if there are good chances of cancer or not.

If the results come back high, I will be having surgery pretty soon. If the levels are low, I will have it in January.

Those of you who had the surgery, do you remember how long it took to recover?
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How big is the cyst? Is it, like, baseball sized, or more like a cantaloupe, or a watermelon?

Also, how old are you?
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry, I didn't answer your question. My cyst was HUGE... about the equivalent of having two footballs in there. My stomach was distended, it looked like I was a bit pregnant.

Because of that, the incision is very long (above the belly button and down past where my pubic hair starts) and it took me a really long time to recover... probably at least 1 full month of resting and not doing too much. The first couple of weeks, I was pretty much an invalid. I believe I spent a full week in the hospital.

I think the size of the cyst is a big variable... if yours is smaller, they won't have to make as big of an incision. If it's not that big, say smaller than a baseball, I would think they would make a pretty small incision (but I am not a doctor or anything ,that's just my uneducated opinion).

I was 17 when mine happened... I think as we get older it gets harder to recover. So that could be a factor too.

Good luck, mama... I hope you will keep us posted! I will be thinking of you and hoping it's not cancer. With me, it was the part of the ovary that produces male hormone and it went crazy but it was benign. However, my voice got very deep and I have several embarrassing body changes.
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Old 11-17-2007, 01:33 PM
 
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Erika - I had an ovary removed in May due to cysts and infection. Maybe she won't need to remove the ovary and can do a cystectomy instead. If you are able to do a consult with an RE, maybe that person can do the surgery.

They did a CA-125 panel on me too and mine was elevated so there was an oncologist in the surgery too but there was no cancer.

It took me about 5 weeks to recover but I had the infection for about a week and a half before the surgery and was on antibiotics for a long time so I think that was all effecting my energy levels and it took me a long time to feel normal. I also had 5 small incisions and was under anesthesia for a few hours.

I had another laparoscopy a few weeks ago with 2 incisions and was only under for about 25 mins and that only took me about 2 days to recover from so I guess it's different with every surgery.

I don't know about menopause but from what I have read, as long as you have one ovary, your hormone levels should stay about normal and the other ovary should pick up the slack and you should ovulate normally. I ovulated fine the first few months after surgery (and then I was put on BCP in preparation for IVF).

Jamie, DW to Jeff, birth and postpartum doula and Hypnobabies instructor.
4 years and 5 IVF cycles in the making, Elliott was born at home in water on 2/2/11.
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:58 PM
 
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I just found this article. Appartently, having one ovary CAN cause early menopause, especially if the ovary was lost before age 35, according to this article. They think it's simply because of fewer eggs being present in the body and them just running out faster.

http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/cgi...nt/5/5/546.pdf

Jamie, DW to Jeff, birth and postpartum doula and Hypnobabies instructor.
4 years and 5 IVF cycles in the making, Elliott was born at home in water on 2/2/11.
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