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


The Bektashi order is a Sufi Dervish order which has evolved into a religious sect. It was founded in the 13th century by a Persian Hajji Bektash Wali . However it reached its definitive form in Turkey the 16th century. The Bektashi are a Shia order. The Shia hero Ali and the Prophet Muhammad are elevated to the same level and form a trinity along with Allah. In the Balkans certain Christian practices were adopted: confessions were given and bread was ritually shared. Women take part in rituals along side men; and wine although considered haram by most Muslims is often used. The Bektashi order found nearly all of its support in Turkey (where they are closely linked with the Alevis) and the Balkans especially Albania. However the Bektashi were important beyond their numbers because they dominated the Janissaries. In 1925 when Kemal Atatürk banned all Sufi orders in Turkey most of the Bektasi leadership moved from Turkey to Albania and set up headquarters in Tirana. However these headquarters were shut down in 1967 when the Albanian government banned all religion. By this time however Bektashi had evolved from an order into a sect. Approximately 20% of Albanians are Bektashi. Several important poets are considered to have been Bektashi, such as Yunus Emre; however the number is probably somewhat exaggerated. It is unlikely for example that Ismail I was a Bektashi.

Last updated: 02-08-2005 08:55:35