An article in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that the male hormone, testosterone, can increase sexual interest and feeling of well being, in women who have had their ovaries removed by surgery. This is a very important article because it strongly confirms existing data that show that the male hormone, testosterone, and not the female hormone, estrogen, drives a woman's interest in making love. It confirms what you have heard on this show for more than 20 years that doctors should never remove ovaries from a woman unless it is absolutely necessary. On the other hand, the uterus produces hormones only during pregnancy, so the uterus is not necessary for any known function in older women.

Doctors used to say that all women who must have their uteri removed should also have their ovaries removed because it prevents ovarian cancer and women don't need it. More than 25 years ago, reports started to appear in the medical literature showing that women who have had their ovaries removed often lose their interest in making love, also lose their assertiveness and become more docile, and also lose their strength.

The same applies to the menopause. A woman is born with more than 4 million eggs. Each month, one egg ripens and 10,000 deteriorate. When she run out of eggs her ovaries stop making the female hormone, , estrogen and keep on making testosterone which strengthens bones, makes her muscles stronger, makes her more assertive and keeps her interest in making love.

NEJM September 7, 2000

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