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Ovaries: Cause for shrinking ovaries | Ask the Expert
If ovaries are not removed surgically, they are still present. After <a href="https://www.mylifestages.org/health/menopause/menopause_perimenopause.page">menopause, our ovaries do shrink. Pre-menopause ovaries are 3-4cm but after menopause they can be 0.5cm-1.0cm. The older we get, the smaller they become but they never disappear. Sometimes imaging with ultrasound, MRI or CT can have a hard time identifying ovaries for a multitude of reasons; the most common being menopausal ovaries or lots of gas in the bowel, which can hide ovaries. <strong>More Information:</strong> - <a href="https://www.mylifestages.org/health/menopause/menopause_perimenopause.page">Perimenopause and menopause articles, videos and other resources</a> - <a href="https://www.mylifestages.org/medicallibrary/MedLibrary.page?medlib=1&section=healthinfo&page=article&sgml_id=tb1884">Hysterectomy: Should I also have my ovaries removed?</a> - <a hre="https://www.mylifestages.org/medicallibrary/MedLibrary.page?medlib=1&section=healthinfo&page=article&sgml_id=uf6200spec">Premature ovarian failure</a>
Menopause,Women's Health,

Question:

18 years ago I had a partial hysterectomy (my ovaries were not removed). Lately I've been having pain and cramping so recently had x-rays and an ultrasound. The doctor could not find my ovaries. Can ovaries just disappear on their own?

Answer:

Heidi Wittenberg, MDHeidi Wittenberg, MDGynecology, Urogynecology, NeuroUrologyCalifornia Pacific Medical Center
Expert
Heidi Wittenberg, MDGynecology, Urogynecology, NeuroUrologyCalifornia Pacific Medical Center

Dr Wittenberg specializes in minimally invasive approaches for pelvic issues like urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence; uterine, bladder, rectal prolapse; urinary or fecal retention; fibroids, abnormal bleeding, &endometriosis. Approaches she recommends include physical therapy, behavioral therapy (biofeedback), electronic stimulation, dietary regimen, medication, nerve testing (sacral neuromodulation like Interstim), vaginal surgery (slings), advanced laparoscopy, single site laparoscopy, & DaVinci robotic surgery. Dr Wittenberg was the first to do DaVinci robotic sacrocolpopexy procedures in San Francisco. She has also treated more female patients with neuromodulation for urinary and fecal problems than any other physician in San Francisco. Dr Wittenberg is often quoted “If your quality of life is affected by prolapse, leaking or retention, don’t assume that it is due to age; get an assessment, get treatment, and then go enjoy your life.” Menopause consultation is also her forte and she has a large following for women’s next stage of life. She was awarded 2011 Operation Access Unsung Hero for devoting her time and skills for patients unable to afford healthcare.

If ovaries are not removed surgically, they are still present. After menopause, our ovaries do shrink. Pre-menopause ovaries are 3-4cm but after menopause they can be 0.5cm-1.0cm. The older we get, the smaller they become but they never disappear.

Sometimes imaging with ultrasound, MRI or CT can have a hard time identifying ovaries for a multitude of reasons; the most common being menopausal ovaries or lots of gas in the bowel, which can hide ovaries.

More Information:
- Perimenopause and menopause articles, videos and other resources
- Hysterectomy: Should I also have my ovaries removed?
- Premature ovarian failure

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