A woman's reproductive system contains two ovaries, which are vital in the role of reproduction. The ovaries are attached to either side of the uterus and are responsible for producing eggs and sex hormones, including estrogens and progestins.
Sometimes, it is necessary to surgically remove one or both ovaries because of certain medical conditions. This procedure is called an ovariectomy, or oophorectomy.
Reasons for the removal of one or both ovaries include ectopic pregnancy, endometriosis, cysts, benign or malignant tumors, or breast cancer. Removal of the ovaries may also be recommended as part of a hysterectomy.
If only one ovary is removed and a healthy second ovary remains, a woman can still become pregnant.
There are several methods for removing the ovaries, and it is important to discuss with a physician which method is most appropriate.
This medical animation describes the ovaries and their function in the body. Learn about the common reasons for removal of the ovaries, including cancer.