The Morality of oophorectomies


Hi everyone. I am just wondering what the morality of a oophorectomy is? For those of you who don’t know what a oophorectomy is, here is the definition:

excision of one or both ovaries; called also ovariectomy. The procedure is done for sterilization, tumors, severe infection, or other disorders of the ovary. Removal of the ovaries from a sexually immature animal prevents the development of secondary sex characters. If both ovaries are removed from an adult animal reproduction is not possible and the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are no longer produced.

This definition is taken from the medical dictionary at The Free Dictionary.

So basically, an oophorectomy is removal of one or both ovaries.

I am asking about the morality of this question because I have a high risk of ovarian cysts. I am also at a high risk for uterine or cervical cancer (can’t remember which). This is due to a family history of cancerous/precancerous cells being found in close family members.

So, I may end up having to get either an oophorectomy or a hysterectomy. What is the morality of this considering that it would render me infertile? :shrug:


My understanding is that an oophorectomy for purposes OTHER than intentional sterilization would be acceptable by the principle of double effect. IE, if you intended to treat/cure a tumor, infection, high risk cysts, etc., it would be allowable as long as your intent is not to sterilize.


Oh okay. Thank you. I would never do anything to intentionally sterilize myself now that I am a reverted Catholic (and a former Protestant). I am totally against birth control, contraception, and sterilization except for purely moral purposes such as treatment of a disease. :slight_smile:


You should probably ask a Priest, but I’m pretty sure that Dr. Piano is correct.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit