Thumbnail image of: Female Pelvis: Illustration

Oophorectomy Discharge Information

What is an oophorectomy?

Oophorectomy is surgery to remove one ovary or both ovaries. The ovaries are part of the female reproductive system. They make and store eggs and the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. There are many reasons why you might need to have an ovary removed. You may have endometriosis, cysts, or tumors on the ovary, or scar tissue (adhesions) of the ovary. The ovary may be infected or have other problems. Some women have their ovaries removed because they are at high risk for ovarian cancer.

Depending on the reason you need the surgery, you may have one ovary removed (unilateral oophorectomy) or both ovaries removed (bilateral oophorectomy). If both ovaries were removed you cannot become pregnant, and menopause will start right away. The fallopian tubes may be removed with the ovaries in a procedure called a salpingo-oophorectomy. If the ovaries are removed with the uterus, the procedure is a total hysterectomy.

How can I take care of myself when I go home?

How long it takes to get better depends on the reason you needed an oophorectomy, your treatment, how well you recover, your overall health, and any complications you may have.


  • Your provider will give you a list of your medicines when you leave the hospital.
    • Know your medicines. Know what they look like, how much you should take each time, how often you are to take them, and why you take each one.
    • Take your medicines exactly as your provider tells you to.
    • Carry a list of your medicines in your wallet or purse. Include any nonprescription medicines and supplements on the list.
    • Talk to your provider before you use any other medicines, including nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins.
  • Your provider may prescribe medicine to:
    • Treat pain
    • Treat or prevent an infection
    • Prevent side effects, such as nausea or constipation, from other treatments
    • Soften stool and reduce straining with a bowel movement
    • Relieve symptoms of menopause after your ovaries are removed
  • To care for your surgical wound:
    • Keep your surgical wound clean.
    • If you are told to change the dressing on your surgical wound, wash your hands before changing the dressing and after disposing of the dressing.
  • Follow activity restrictions, such as not driving or operating machinery, as recommended by your healthcare provider or pharmacist, especially if you are taking pain medicines.
  • Do not put anything in your vagina, including tampons, or have sex until your provider says it is okay.
  • Ask your provider if you need to limit your activities. Do not do any heavy lifting or otherwise strain the belly muscles for 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Take care of your health. Try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Eat a healthy diet and try to keep a healthy weight. If you smoke, try to quit. If you want to drink alcohol, ask your healthcare provider how much is safe for you to drink. Learn ways to manage stress. Exercise according to your healthcare provider’s instructions.


  • Follow your provider’s instructions for follow-up appointments.
  • Keep appointments for any testing you may need.
  • Talk with your provider about any questions or concerns you have.

Call your healthcare provider if you have new or worsening:

  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain or cramping in your belly
  • Change in bowel habits, such as pain, mucus, diarrhea, constipation, or other intestinal problems
  • Trouble emptying your bladder
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Vaginal discharge with a bad odor or itching
  • Signs of infection around your surgical wound. These include:
    • The area around the wound is more red or painful
    • The wound area is very warm to touch
    • You have blood, pus, or other fluid coming from the wound area
    • You have a fever higher than 101.5° F (38.6° C)
    • You have chills or muscle aches
Developed by RelayHealth.
Acute Care Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-11-07
Last reviewed: 2014-10-10
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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