Introduction: Prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) is recommended at an early age to BRCA mutation carriers to prevent ovarian cancer. It is critical to evaluate the impact of BSO on non-cancer outcomes, including quality of life (QOL), menopausal symptoms and sexual functioning. Methods: BRCA mutation carriers who elected to undergo a BSO completed three questionnaires prior to surgery and then again approximately one and three years following surgery which included: 1) medical history questionnaire, 2) Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Intervention questionnaire and 3) Sexual Activity Questionnaire. The change in quality of life, menopausal symptoms and sexual functioning before and after oophorectomy was determined using a paired t-test and stratified by menopausal status at surgery. Results: We included 140 BRCA mutation carriers with an average follow-up of 3.5 years following BSO. Among 93 women who were premenopausal, oophorectomy was associated with an increase in menopausal symptoms (vasomotor, physical) (P < 0.001) and a decline in sexual functioning (discomfort, pleasure) (P ≤ 0.0001), but had no impact on overall QOL (P = 0.31). HRT mitigated, but did not eliminate the adverse effects. Women who were postmenopausal at surgery (n = 47) experienced an increase in physical symptoms (P = 0.03) and a decline in sexual functioning (discomfort) (P = 0.004) and in overall QOL (P = 0.04). Conclusions: This study demonstrates that 3.5 years after oophorectomy, BRCA mutation carriers experience a significant worsening of menopausal symptoms and a decline in sexual functioning, particularly among those who underwent surgery prior to natural menopause. The use of HRT mitigated some but not all the effects. Overall, women who were premenopausal at surgery did not experience a decline in their QOL.
Hall, E., Finch, A., Jacobson, M., Rosen, B., Metcalfe, K., Sun, P., … Kotsopoulos, J. (2019). Effects of bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy on menopausal symptoms and sexual functioning among women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. Gynecologic Oncology, 152(1), 145–150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2018.10.040