Role of childhood adversity in executive function and mood after early removal of ovaries

March 18, 2020

CLEVELAND, Ohio (March 18, 2020)--Nearly one-third of women who choose to have their ovaries removed before the natural age of menopause are susceptible to negative mood and executive dysfunction. A new study shows that a woman's risk for such disorders may be linked with the degree of childhood adversity she experienced. Study results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Women with mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 susceptibility genes are more likely to undergo a risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy in order to help lower their risk of breast and ovarian cancers. The premature loss of ovarian hormones caused by the procedure has been shown to increase the risk of central nervous system impairment and an overall decline in quality of life. Previous studies have shown that women who have their ovaries removed before natural menopause are at increased risk of dementia and cognitive dysfunction. More specifically, the largest declines in cognitive performance after oophorectomy occur in the executive functioning domains.

This new study of cognitive function in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers who underwent risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy examined the association between childhood adversity and executive function as well as the role of mood. Women with higher levels of childhood adversity reported more symptoms of dysfunction and also performed worse on executive function tasks.

These results could provide valuable insights to healthcare providers when they are counseling women who would benefit from risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy. Assessment of childhood adversity may help identify women who are more likely to experience executive function difficulties and mood symptoms after surgery and provide an opportunity to treat these difficulties before symptoms negatively affect quality of life.

Study results appear in the article "Executive function after risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers: does current mood and early life adversity matter?"

"Assessment of childhood adversity and mood symptoms in women undergoing risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy in the setting of high-risk mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes may help identify women who are more likely to experience difficulty with executive function and allow for management of mood symptoms before they negatively affect quality of life," says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.
For more information about menopause and healthy aging, visit

Founded in 1989, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is North America's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging. Its multidisciplinary membership of 2,000 leaders in the field--including clinical and basic science experts from medicine, nursing, sociology, psychology, nutrition, anthropology, epidemiology, pharmacy, and education--makes NAMS uniquely qualified to serve as the definitive resource for health professionals and the public for accurate, unbiased information about menopause and healthy aging. To learn more about NAMS, visit

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)

Related Menopause Articles from Brightsurf:

Cannabis use for menopause symptom management
CLEVELAND, Ohio (September 28, 2020)--As legislation relaxes regarding cannabis, it is being used to manage numerous chronic health conditions and mood symptoms.

Could your menopause symptoms be hard on your heart?
Menopause is accompanied by numerous symptoms that can interfere with a woman's quality of life, but can they also cause health problems?

Research provides new insights into menopause and weight gain
Can women in menopause get the benefits of hormone replacement therapy without the health risks?

Executive function in women post-menopause
Assessing adverse childhood experiences and current anxiety and depression symptoms may help ease cognitive distress in women who have undergone a surgical menopause for cancer risk-reduction, or RRSO, according to a new study published in Menopause.

An apple a day might help keep bothersome menopause symptoms away
A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is known to benefit the human body in so many ways.

Menopause timing hard to determine in every third woman
Is it possible to investigate menopausal age, or not? In more than one in three women aged 50, the body provides no clear answer about the menopause, Swedish study shows.

Having less sex linked to earlier menopause
Women who engage in sexual activity weekly or monthly have a lower risk of entering menopause early relative to those who report having some form of sex less than monthly, according to a new UCL study.

Getting a good night's sleep complicated by menopause
The value of a good night's sleep can't be underestimated.

Early menopause predictor of heart disease
Women who reach menopause before the age of 50 have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to researchers from The University of Queensland.

Microbes are a key marker of vaginal health during menopause
Certain species of bacteria are actually necessary to maintain vaginal health.

Read More: Menopause News and Menopause Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to