Oophorectomy is the surgical removal of the ovaries of a female animal. In the case of non-human animals, this is also called spaying. It is a form of sterilization.

The removal of the ovaries together with the Fallopian tubes is called salpingo-oophorectomy. Oophorectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy are not common forms of birth control in humans; more usual is tubal ligation, in which the Fallopian tubes are blocked but the ovaries remain intact.

In humans, oophorectomy is most usually performed together with a hysterectomy - the removal of the uterus. Its use in a hysterectomy when there are no other health problems is somewhat controversial.

In animals, spaying involves an invasive removal of the ovaries, but rarely has major complications; the superstition that it causes weight gain is not based on fact. Spaying is especially important for certain animals that require the ovum to be released at a certain interval (called estrus or "heat"), such as cats and dogs. If the cell is not released during these animal's heat, it can cause severe medical problems that can be averted by spaying or partnering the animal with a male.

Oophorectomy is sometimes referred to as castration, but that term is most often used to mean the removal of a male animal's testicles.

See also


Zikri is a small Islamic sect that is concentrated in Balochistan. The sect is generally seen as heretical by mainstream Muslims. There are about seven-hundred fifty thousand followers of the religion.

The sect is based around the teachings of Nur Pak, a figure who lived in the 15th century, and claimed to be the Mahdi, and who is seen by Zikris as a prophet. In religious practice, the Zikris differ greatly from mainstream Muslims. Zikris do not perform the five daily prayers (Salah), and do not perform the Hajj. They have their own pilgrimage, to a local shrine in the Baluchi city of Turbat that is carried out on the twenty seventh night of Ramadan. The name Zikri comes from the Arabic word zikr that refers to rememberence, usually of Allah. This is reflective of the Zikri worship centring on the recitation of Islamic credos.

Almost all Zikris live in Baluchistan. They tend to vote for secular parties in elections, and they constitute the majority religious group in the district of Gwadar. Zikris have faced persecution from other Muslims, but this usually occurs in areas where they are a minority such as Iran or the city of Karachi.

Last updated: 02-05-2005 21:57:24