How Long After Oophorectomy Can I Get Pregnant (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Beyond 6 weeks

Also called an ovariectomy, oophorectomy is a surgical procedure that is performed to remove either one or both of the woman’s ovaries, in order to treat or even prevent harmful bodily conditions such as endometriosis, ovarian cancer, benign tumors, BRCA gene mutations, cysts, and abscesses, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), etc.

The surgical procedure can be performed in a few hours, and the recovery time can differ from person to person. Hence, it is imperative to take good care of yourself, and even request help from a loved one, as proper recovery is important to prevent risky complications.

There are various types of oophorectomy, including unilateral oophorectomy, bilateral oophorectomy, unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Each of them differs in how they are performed, and the functions they serve.

How Long After Oophorectomy Can I Get Pregnant

How Long After Oophorectomy Can I Get Pregnant?

Type of oophorectomyPregnancy after surgery
Unilateral oophorectomyBeyond 6 weeks of recovery
Bilateral oophorectomyNot possible
Unilateral salpingo-oophorectomyBeyond 6 weeks of recovery
Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomyNot possible

Although recovery time depends on the patient’s health before surgery, the cause for the surgery, and the way that it was performed, a general estimate is 6 weeks after surgery. Usually, women can resume their normal and daily activities after 6 weeks of undergoing the oophorectomy. However, patients who had laparoscopic surgery or robot-assisted surgery have reported recovering in approximately 2 weeks only.

Unilateral oophorectomy is a surgical procedure in which the surgeon removes one of the ovaries from the body, leaving the second one behind. In this case, you can still get pregnant because you’re still left with one normally functioning ovary. You may conceive a child after the 6 week recovery period.

Through bilateral oophorectomy, the surgeon removes both the ovaries from the woman. This may be performed to reduce the risk of cancer cells spreading, and to prevent disorders. Since both the ovaries are removed, you will not be able to get pregnant after the surgery.

Unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is a surgical procedure through which the surgeon removes one ovary and its corresponding fallopian tube. The fallopian tube is the small tube that connects the uterine cavity to the ovary and carries the ovum from the ovary to the uterus. Since the other ovary with its fallopian tube is still functioning normally in the body, you will be able to get pregnant, beyond the 6 week recovery period.

Pregnant

The surgeon removes both the fallopian tubes and their connecting ovaries during bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. This means that the patient cannot become pregnant after undergoing the surgery.

As many women are worried about not being able to become pregnant after surgery, it is advised to thoroughly discuss your queries regarding pregnancy, and the consequences of the surgery, with the doctor, before undergoing the procedure.

Why Does It Take That Long To Get Pregnant After Oophorectomy?

It is advised to wait for six weeks after surgery to exercise, heavy lifting, and engage in any sexual activity. Hence, for both unilateral oophorectomy and unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, you can become pregnant any time after 6 weeks of undergoing the surgery.

This is because if the woman still has one working ovary remaining, ovulation and menstruation still take place regularly. Ovulation is the process through which the ovary releases an egg each month. For women with two ovaries, they take turns at random when it comes to releasing the ovum. So if the woman has only one ovary, it takes control and becomes solely responsible for the process of ovulation. Thus, it can release an egg each month by itself.

Pregnancy still occurs because the fallopian tube is still intact and connected to both the ovary and uterus. This allows the egg to safely travel to the uterus from the ovary and enables fertilization.

Pregnant

For bilateral oophorectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, both the ovaries are removed, and/or both the fallopian tubes are removed as well. This makes the woman go through early menopause. This means that there is no egg to be fertilized and no fallopian tube to carry it to the uterus. Hence, the patient will not be able to become pregnant after the surgery.

However, if you still wish to have a child, you can always opt for in-vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF is the procedure through which the ovaries are previously stimulated using medications, to release an abundance of eggs. These eggs are then surgically removed and fertilized with your partner’s sperm in the laboratory. After fertilization, the developed embryos are then placed into the uterus.

Conclusion

To conclude, if you underwent unilateral oophorectomy, then you still have the chance to become pregnant, as you will still have a working ovary and its respective fallopian tube. You will still be having a regular menstrual cycle, allowing you to become pregnant.

But the same does not go for bilateral oophorectomy, as both ovaries will not be present to release an egg, in order to fertilize and become pregnant. In this case, you can opt for in-vitro fertilization, if you wish to have a child.

Whether you have a unilateral or bilateral oophorectomy depends on the doctor’s diagnosis of your condition.

Oophorectomy poses its own list of potential complications and risks, so it is important that you consult the doctor regarding your options, before you undergo the surgery.

References

  1. https://www.webmd.com/ovarian-cancer/ovaries-removal-surgery
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320555#recovery

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25 Comments

  1. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the oophorectomy procedure, its recovery period, and the possibility of pregnancy afterward. Very informative and helpful!

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Leah65. The details about the different types of oophorectomy and their impact on pregnancy are valuable information for women considering this procedure.

  2. The discussion about the relationship between ovulation, the fallopian tube, and pregnancy following different types of oophorectomy is fascinating and illuminating.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Tmatthews. The biological intricacies of fertility post-oophorectomy are explicated in a manner that’s both engaging and educational.

  3. As a woman considering oophorectomy, the clarity and depth of information provided here are immensely valuable. It’s good to have access to this level of detail.

    1. Absolutely, Amelia96. This article serves as a valuable resource for individuals navigating the decision-making process around oophorectomy.

  4. The detailed explanation of the recovery period and its variations based on the type of surgery is very helpful for individuals preparing for oophorectomy. Important information.

    1. Absolutely, the recovery period is often underestimated in discussions about surgical procedures. This article brings much-needed attention to this aspect.

    2. I agree, Wmason. The recovery process is a crucial aspect of any surgery, and this article sheds light on the nuances of oophorectomy recovery exceptionally well.

  5. The mention of IVF as an alternative for women undergoing bilateral oophorectomy is a glimmer of hope for those who still wish to have children. It’s a crucial point to include in this discussion.

    1. Indeed, Jclarke. IVF can be a source of optimism for individuals facing the challenges of infertility due to surgical procedures like oophorectomy.

    2. Absolutely, the mention of IVF is an important aspect of this article. It’s essential to provide hope and alternatives to those affected by the impact of oophorectomy on fertility.

  6. The article provides a balanced view of the implications of oophorectomy on pregnancy, including the optimism of alternative options. A well-rounded discussion.

    1. Absolutely, Echapman. The acknowledgment of alternative pathways post-oophorectomy is a testament to the comprehensive nature of this article.

    2. I couldn’t agree more. It’s essential to present a holistic view of the implications of oophorectomy, and this article certainly achieves that.

  7. The discussion about the possibility of pregnancy post-oophorectomy is very thorough. It’s evident that a lot of research and knowledge has gone into this article.

    1. Absolutely, Simpson Michael. The depth of information provided here is a testament to the importance of informed decision-making in healthcare.

  8. It’s a bit disheartening to learn that pregnancy is not possible after a bilateral oophorectomy. I appreciate the explanation of the reasons behind this, though.

    1. I share your sentiment, Martin Caitlin. The article has clarified the reasons behind this outcome, but it’s still a difficult fact to accept for many women.

    2. I understand the disappointment, but it’s important to remember that there are alternative options like in-vitro fertilization for those who still wish to conceive.

  9. The explanation about how ovulation and pregnancy are affected by the different types of oophorectomy is very enlightening. It’s important to understand the biological processes involved.

    1. Absolutely, Uclarke. This insight is crucial for women to make informed decisions about their reproductive health, especially in the context of surgical procedures like oophorectomy.

    2. I couldn’t agree more. Understanding the physiological impact of oophorectomy on fertility is essential for patients and healthcare providers alike.

  10. The information about early menopause following certain types of oophorectomy is a significant point to highlight. It adds another layer of consideration for patients.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Jonathan50. The broader impact on hormonal health post-oophorectomy is a topic that deserves attention and understanding, and this article does it justice.

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