Skip to content
Includes Expert Content
Egg Harvesting after a Partial Hysterectomy
An_242015 posted:
Is it possible to extract eggs from healthy functioning ovaries after a partial hysterectomy?
Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear An: Yes, generally the ovaries are intact as far as hormonal status. We absolutely know that many women continue to have ovulations after the uterus is removed. There are two caveats however:

1. If the woman was not ovulating regularly due to advanced age (eg late thirties through forties), or polycystic ovarian syndrome, the "harvested" eggs may be less viable. One may also need ovulation stimulating drugs to grow a larger cohort of available eggs.

2.. There is literature which confirms that women with removal of the uterus often go through menopause/ovarian failure earlier (say 2-3 years earlier). One proposed explanation for this is that some of the blood supply to the ovaries is altered with removal of the uterus.

Bottom line, this is a great question for your GYN. There are a couple of basic tests which look at "ovarian reserve" (ie how viable are your eggs) before you consider IVF. It is also important to recognize the need for a surrogate uterus for growing embryos.

There are over 20 citations on IVF after hysterectomy at the National Library of Medicine site. Here is one of the more current:

Reprod Biomed Online. 2009 Aug;19(2):250-1.
Long-term follow-up after cervical cancer treatment and subsequent successful surrogate pregnancy.
Agorastos T, Zafrakas M, Mastrominas M.

1st Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Preservation of fertility is a major concern for premenopausal women after diagnosis of cervical cancer. Successful surrogate pregnancy after treatment for cervical cancer has very rarely been reported. In the present report, a case of successful surrogate pregnancy after radical hysterectomy, lymphadenectomy and ovarian transposition for cervical cancer, followed by radiation therapy, is presented. After stimulation of the transposed ovaries using the short gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogue protocol, four oocytes were retrieved transabdominally from the genetic mother. IVF followed and two embryos were transferred to the surrogate mother, leading to an uneventful singleton pregnancy, and ultimately normal vaginal delivery of a healthy female infant at term. The unique aspect in this case is the long-lasting favourable outcome for both genetic mother and child, observed during 8.5 years of follow-up, the longest follow-up period reported to date in such cases.

An_242015 replied to Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP's response:

Thank you kindly for answering my question and providing me with sources where I may find further information.

Best Regards,


Helpful Tips

Be the first to post a Tip!

Expert Blog

Below the Belt: Women's Health - Jane Harrison-Hohner, RN, RNP

From HPV to irregular periods to PMS to fibroids, Jane Harrison-Hohner, RN, is here to share her knowledge and insight...Read More

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.