Impact of risk-reducing bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy on non-cancer outcomes in young high-risk women: a multicentre prospective study.

Project Details

Surgical menopause due to bilateral oophorectomy (surgical removal of both ovaries) in pre-menopausal women is the commonest cause of premature and early menopause. Despite this, there is currently very little information about the short- and long-term health consequences of surgical menopause, although these are thought to be more problematic than natural menopause.

This 2-year prospective observational study will measure key physical and psychological outcomes of surgical menopause in pre-menopausal women choosing to have cancer risk-reducing bilateral oophorectomy due to high familial and/or high inherited risk of ovarian and breast cancer. We are focussing on this high-risk population because: (1) a growing number of women are discovering they carry pre-disposing genetic mutations (such as BRCA1/2) and are electing to have risk-reducing surgery, and (2) these women are otherwise well, and so will provide a clear picture of the effects attributable to surgical menopause.

The measured outcomes include menopausal symptoms, sexual function, bone turnover and density (fracture risk), cardio-metabolic health, mental health and sleep quality. The effects of age and lifestyle will be controlled for by the inclusion of a comparison group of age-matched, pre-menopausal women who are not planning to undergo surgical menopause.

The study is anticipated to provide new and clinically important information that will address the gap in existing evidence and inform new international evidence-based guidelines for surgical menopause. Such information can be used to better inform clinicians and women considering surgery, and also to optimise the post-operative clinical management of symptoms and disease prevention.



  • Dr Mary-Ann Davey, Mother and Child Health Research, Latrobe University
  • Associate Professor Bettina Meiser, Psychosocial Research Group, UNSW
  • Associate Professor Judy Kirk, Familial Cancer Service, Westmead Hospital, NSW
  • Dr Alison Brand, Familial Cancer Service, Westmead Hospital, NSW
  • Professor Susan Davis, The Alfred Centre, Monash University
  • Dr Lesley Andrews, Hereditary Cancer Clinic, Prince of Wales Hospital, NSW


NHMRC APP1048023

Research Group

Gynaecology Research Centre - Hickey Group

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine, Women's Health, Infectious Diseases and Immunity

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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