When women experience menopause, especially early menopause, they often wonder how it will affect their lives.  Aside from the emotional impact that comes with early menopause, women will have to deal with a series of physical changes. In some cases, these changes may increase a woman's risk for certain side effects, both in the short and long term.  Estrogen, the most important female hormone, plays a role in regulating many different functions throughout the body. When estrogen production diminishes for the reasons discussed above, women often feel the effects immediately. In young women facing early menopause, this decrease in estrogen levels represents a risk of developing other health conditions. Each individual is different, so the side-effects and the intensity will vary.  Talk to your doctor to find ways best suited to you to reduce any menopausal symptoms you may experience.

Common symptoms:

Hot Flashes
Night Sweats
Irregular Periods
Loss of Libido
Vaginal Dryness
Mood Swings

Possible long-term side-effects:


Heart issues

Ovary Removal


Ovary removal causes early menopause.

Since its discovery in 1995, this type of hereditary cancer has changed from one type of cancer, caused by mutations in only one gene to several types of cancer, caused by mutations in any of many different genes. As a result, all labels used to describe this syndrome, such as ''breast cancer gene'', ''BRCA'', ''hereditary breast and ovarian cancer'' and ''HBOC'' tell only part of the story, leaving out well over half of those who are affected.  To better serve our patient group, we are in the process of changing our name and updating all resources to reflect the fully inclusive and future forward RISKY GENES™ brand.  We ask for your patience during this process.  

Possible short-term side-effects

Joint Pain
Burning Tongue
Electric Shocks
Digestive Problems
Gum Problems
Muscle Tension
Itchy Skin
Tingling Extremities

Ovaries and fallopian tubes are a package 

Research has proven that much of ovarian cancer is really fallopian tube cancer, so the ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed in the case of prophylactic (preventative) surgery.  In some cases, dependent on a variety of factors that could include type of HBOC syndrome gene mutation carried and family history, doctors will suggest removal of the uterus and/or top of cervix as well. Prophylactic salpingo-oopherectomy has been proven to reduce ovarian cancer by up to 90%, with some research suggesting it reduces all cause mortality.  It has also been shown to reduce breast cancer risk in some cases.

In women who have not had a cancer diagnosis, hormone replacement therapy is usually prescribed to help with the symptoms. Lifestyle changes and exercise have also been proven to be helpful in reducing symptoms. 

If you are BRCA1, you may want to consider having your uterus removed as well:  Hysterectomy at the time of risk-reducing surgery in BRCA carriers