Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jurek Durczak
The human body has several sets of organs in pairs, including the ovaries. When one organ is removed, the other organ usually does a good job of keeping up with the demand placed upon it.
The ovaries are the female organs in charge of the production and maturing of eggs for fertilization. The ovaries also produce two hormones, estrogen and progesterone.
Estrogen and Progesterone Function
These hormones are in charge of, among other things, secondary sexual characteristics in women (such as breast development), preparing the female body for pregnancy and maintaining the balance of calcium in the body.
An oophorectomy is a surgery to remove an ovary. This surgery is used in cases where the ovary is damaged due to disease or trauma, or, in some cases, to prevent breast cancer in women with strong family histories of breast cancer.
The Remaining Ovary
When only one ovary is removed, the other ovary continues to produce estrogen and progesterone as well as eggs. Removing one ovary does not have a significant impact on the levels of hormones.
Even without removing the ovaries, they cease to function in women after menopause. The consequences of this are reduced bone mass, reduced fat metabolism and, in some women, mood changes.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jurek Durczak