Following a full hysterectomy, one ovary still produces enough hormones to keep a woman out of early menopause, states the American Cancer Society. Usually, a surgeon leaves one ovary if a woman is under 40. Women over 50 usually have both ovaries removed during surgery.
For women who are between the ages of 40 and 50, doctors look at the benefits of removing the ovaries or leaving one when it comes to a hysterectomy, explains the American Cancer Society. A woman should make sure to discuss all choices with her doctor to make the right decision for her. It is also recommended for women to speak with a gynecologist and a sex therapist, as removing both ovaries may have negative effects on sexual desire. Women also may want to speak with other women who have had one or two ovaries removed in order to compare experiences.
Women should understand that following a hysterectomy, even if they keep one ovary, they do not have a period, and they cannot become pregnant, according to the American Cancer Society. A hysterectomy may also negatively affect bladder function during the recovery period, and some women may need a catheter for the short-term. A small number of women have permanent bladder issues following a hysterectomy.