- Question from Website Question: If there is ovarian damage due to chemotherapy (indicated by elevated FSH levels), is it possible for the ovary to recover through the use of Chinese herbs and acupuncture?
- Answers - Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D. We really have no Western medicine clinical trials to evaluate that.
- Kutluk Oktay, M.D. Our current knowledge dictates that once an egg is lost, nothing can bring it back. I haven't seen any scientific data or anything in my practice to support non-traditional ways to restore fertility.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. If a woman's fertility level is marginal and she's pursuing fertility therapy, does acupuncture add value in that situation?
- Kutluk Oktay, M.D. Based on what we know now, you can't regenerate eggs or increase the quality of eggs with any medicine. So in my mind there's no benefit to using these remedies.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. I think there was some study recently about it that's in the popular media.
- Kutluk Oktay, M.D. If your problem is low 'quality' of eggs, as opposed to lack of ovarian function, acupuncture treatment may be of some help, but it may be a matter of choice about what patients feel comfortable with. The only way I know of to protect women from chemotherapy-induced infertility is to preserve eggs prior to subjecting them to damage.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Pregnancy and Fertility Issues featured Kutluk Oktay, M.D., Leslie Schover, Ph.D., and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about pregnancy and fertility before, during, and after breast cancer treatment, as well as the options of adoption and gestational carriers (surrogate mothers).
Editor's Note: This conference took place in August 2004.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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