What Brangelina Didn’t Cover in Their Discussion of Angelina’s Surgeries

As individuals they were legendary. As a couple they made us truly understand the definition of the word perfect. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt…Brangelina. Aside from being the two most beautiful people on earth and incredibly talented actors and having more money than god, they also seem to be very down to earth and giving people. I would hate them if I didn’t love them so much. You would think there was no way they could get any more perfect and then Angelina decides to get a double mastectomy and have her ovaries removed to prevent her high likelihood of getting cancer and she handles it with such strength and grace and he is so supportive that they cement their place as best humans in history. The ”Lara Croft actress and her hubby went on the Today Show to discuss her choice for surgery and how they got through it together.

Yahoo reports that Angelina had her double mastectomy in 2013 after a test confirmed she had a an 87% chance of getting breast cancer, and she had both her ovaries removed earlier this year after exhibiting early signs of ovarian cancer in her blood. In other words, she said ‘fuck you’ to cancer. Talk about some serious surgeries for a woman to get. However, according to her interview on the Today Show she says, “you just have to make the choices you make in life, I made the choices I made because I believed they were right for me.” As for the Brad half of the Bradgelina, he has nothing but pride and support for his wife. “Whatever’s got to be done to keep the family together, and keep the family together as long as possible, is going to be done. This was her charge. No question, it’s a scary decision. There’s many things that can go wrong and go many different directions, but it was really led by her dedication: ‘This is what I gotta do. This is what I’m gonna do.'”

All joking and envy aside they truly are an inspiration. However as badass as her decision was to have these surgeries I would also like to make it known that these surgeries, especially removal of the ovaries, has less negative results for her as an older woman. She made a preventative and empowering decision to have an oophorectomy, and its completely understandable for women to want to follow in those footsteps, but there are more consequences for younger women.

The obvious one is infertility. Angelina Jolie has six children, and although it’s still difficult to make the choice to not have children, it’s much more difficult when you don’t already have them. It would be possible to have children if only one ovary were removed or if one’s eggs were frozen. Another side effect, regardless of age, is immediate menopause, which can cause hot flashes, mood swings, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, problems sleeping and even change in cognitive function. Menopause sounds like it sucks no matter what, but probably sucks more if you were 25 rather than 55. Having an oophorectomy when you are younger has also been specifically linked to bone thinning and arthritis, cardiovascular disease and sexual dysfunction.

There’s no doubt Angelina Jolie made a very tough decision to have these surgeries, especially an oophorectomy, but it also needs to be made clear for women considering this procedure, that there are more negative side effects if you are younger. Like she said it was the right decision for her, in that she inspires us to make the right decisions about our health and our bodies.

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