Tubal Reversal: New Experimental Therapy Protects Fertility During Chemotherapy

Patients interested in tubal reversal are often in the know of the latest fertility developments. We hope our patients never have to undergo chemotherapy, but an experimental new treatment for women who do is quite exciting.

Tubal Reversal and Fertility

Chemotherapy is very harsh on the system. Most women who undergo aggressive chemotherapy face the risk of losing their fertility. This can be devastating to young women who were still planning on having children.

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a current solution to this problem. A woman can have her eggs harvested, fertilized, and frozen until she is done with her chemotherapy. When the woman is ready, her fertilized eggs can be implanted into her uterus for pregnancy.

The downside to this treatment is the cost. A single round of IVF costs around $10,000. The high cost of IVF is also a reason why tubal reversal surgery is a better option for couples who want to conceive after a tubal ligation. Read more about tubal ligation reversal surgery on our website.

Scientists have been experimenting with the idea of freezing a woman’s ovaries during her chemotherapy. This prevents the ovaries from producing eggs and induces a temporary menopause. When the ovaries are not actively producing eggs, they can be less affected by the chemotherapy drugs. This can help a woman’s ovaries to retain their fertility through treatment.

The drug used to freeze the eggs in the latest experimental trial was Zoladex, or goserelin as the generic equivalent. Goserelin is a GrNH agonist that is already used to treat breast and prostate cancer but has not been used to therapeutically induce menopause during chemotherapy. 257 randomly selected women with an average age of 38 comprised the study, with half receiving the drug and the other half receiving a placebo. For women receiving Zoladex, they had abdominal injections every three weeks during their chemotherapy. Abdominal injections during chemotherapy are no walk in the park, but the participants felt that they were well worth the chance of having more children.

11% of patients who received the placebo were able to conceive after chemotherapy. 21% of patients who received Zoladex conceived. Researchers from this study conclude that Zoladex did increase a woman’s chances of conception after chemotherapy. “The drug is not perfect, but it does put the odds in one’s favor,” says Dr. Halle Moore of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

This is exciting news for the future of fertility oncology treatments. This trial was experimental and this type of treatment with Zoladex is not yet common. However, as researchers learn more and more about how chemotherapy and fertility are connected, advanced therapies are being developed.

Dr. Morice specializes in tubal reversal surgery, fertility, and OB-GYN. Patients travel from around the world for a tubal ligation reversal with Dr. Morice. Call us at (985) 702-BABY for a tubal reversal consultation today!

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