Farah and Natalie talk about the changes
to their body after their oophorectomies

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You’re so concerned about your breasts, and losing your breasts, and that’s going to have such a huge impact on your appearance, which it does, but almost the bigger impact is the oophorectomy for what it does internally.

Natalie

Although a risk-reducing oophorectomy will not change what you look like, it will have a major effect on your body. Removing your ovaries will put your body into “sudden” or “surgical” menopause because the ovaries are no longer producing sex hormones, mainly estrogen.

This sudden drop in hormone levels can cause you to abruptly
experience the following menopausal symptoms:

  • hot flashes (sudden feelings of warmth)
  • night sweats (excessive sweating while you sleep)
  • vaginal dryness and irritation
  • decreased libido (sex drive)

You can learn more about oophorectomy on managing ovarian cancer risk.


Andrea and Farah talk about the
side effects of their oophorectomies

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I literally felt like I was a different person after the surgery. I am. Even with the hormones, it’s not the same as the hormones that my body was producing.

Andrea

The menopausal symptoms you may experience after an oophorectomy can affect your sex life. You may find that vaginal dryness and irritation makes sex uncomfortable. You may also find that your orgasms are not as intense as before. Or you just might feel like sex is “different”.

Fortunately, there are ways to manage some of the sexual side effects of an oophorectomy, including lubricants and moisturizers, as well as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) Your doctor can help you determine how to best manage your side effects or refer you to a specialist who can help. Things may not be exactly the way they were, but you can find a “new normal” that satisfies both you and your partner. This can take time. You might need to try a few things before finding something that helps. It’s important to talk to your partner about what will make sex comfortable and enjoyable for you.

Talking about sexual intimacy with your partner

If you are currently in a relationship and considering an oophorectomy, spend some time talking with your partner about your sex life. You can begin the conversation by talking about how things are going now. Let your partner know how the side effects of an oophorectomy will impact the way in which you are sexual and discuss how you can deal with this together. You might want to talk about how open you both are to exploring other ways to express intimacy.