Background:  In 2009, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) published College Statement C‐Gyn 25: “Prophylactic oophorectomy at the time of hysterectomy for benign gynaecological disease, which recommended that caution should be exercised in performing bilateral salpingo‐oophorectomy (BSO) at the time of hysterectomy for benign disease in women younger than 65 years of age.”
Aims:  The aims of the study were to assess current practice with regard to prophylactic oophorectomy in this setting and to assess knowledge about the College Statement. We also sought to review the evidence behind the Statement.
Method:  An anonymous email survey of all consultant gynaecologists and gynaecology registrars in Sydney West Area Health Service (SWAHS) was conducted.
Results:  The response rate was 52%. The survey found that there was an increasing tendency to remove ovaries with increasing patient age, and over 60% of gynaecologists would routinely recommend removal of ovaries during a hysterectomy for benign disease in a 60 year old woman. The survey also revealed a lack of knowledge as to the existence or content of the College Statement. A review of the literature found that evidence suggesting benefit in retention of ovaries in postmenopausal women has been extrapolated from a modelling study, observational studies or from data on premenopausal oophorectomy.
Conclusion:  A survey of gynaecologists revealed that few currently appear to adhere to the College Statement regarding prophylactic oophorectomy at the time of hysterectomy for benign disease. High quality evidence regarding either harm or benefit following retention of ovaries after menopause is lacking. Nevertheless, dialogue between clinicians and patients on this topic is important.