Fertility hope for cancer patients

Women having cancer treatment could have the chance to preserve their fertility, say German researchers.

They have stimulated ovaries to produce eggs in the final or luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Until now, ovarian stimulation has been performed in the first part of the cycle, meaning some women would have to wait up to six weeks.

But a pilot study of 40 women has shown success rates if ovarian stimulation is started in the luteal phase. The average time to ovarian stimulation was 11.4 days in this group, compared with 10.3 days in those who had ovarian stimulation in the proliferative phase.

Three quarters of eggs were mature in both groups. A similar proportion were fertilised after intracytoplasmic sperm injection. The research was presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona this week.

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

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