Changes in Sex Steroids and Relation With Menopausal Complaints in Women Undergoing Risk-reducing Salpingo-oophorectomy

Lennart J. van Winden, Ravi F. M. Vermeulen, Vincent van den Noort, Katja N. Gaarenstroom, Gemma G. Kenter, Monique M. A. Brood-van Zanten, Catharina M. Korse, Marc van Beurden, Huub H. van Rossum

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Context: Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) is performed in BRCA1 or 2 mutant carriers to minimize ovarian cancer risk. Although studies have been performed investigating sex steroid levels, menopausal complaints, and sexual functioning in relation to RRSO, their exact relationship remains unknown. Objectives: To investigate the impact of RRSO on serum sex steroid levels and their association with menopausal complaints and sexual functioning. Methods: This prospective observational cohort study included 57 premenopausal and 37 postmenopausal women at risk of ovarian cancer and opting for RRSO. Data collection involved validated questionnaires on sexual functioning and menopausal complaints. Testosterone, androstenedione, estradiol, and estrone levels in serum determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry were obtained 1 day before, 6 weeks, and 7 months after RRSO. Results: In premenopausal women, all 4 steroids were decreased both 6 weeks (P < 0.01) and 7 months (P < 0.01) after RRSO. Furthermore, in these women, decreases in estrogens were associated with a decrease in sexual functioning 7 months after RRSO (P < 0.05). In postmenopausal women, only testosterone was decreased 6 weeks and 7 months (P < 0.05) after RRSO, which was associated with an increase in menopausal complaints at 7 months post-RRSO (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Our results suggest that in premenopausal women, decreases in estrogens are related to a decrease in sexual functioning and that in postmenopausal women, testosterone is decreased after RRSO, which indicates that postmenopausal ovaries maintain some testosterone production. Furthermore, in postmenopausal women, a large decrease of testosterone was associated with more menopausal complaints, indicating that future studies investigating testosterone supplementation are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbvac069
JournalJournal of the Endocrine Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • androgens
  • estrogens
  • menopausal complaints
  • risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy
  • sexual functioning

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