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ZOLADEX - PRESERVING FERTILITY?

13 REPLIES 13

Re: ZOLADEX - PRESERVING FERTILITY?

Congratulations Chewbecca, wonderful news for you both.

I'm about to be given my first Zoladex injection before chemo starts and am hoping it will increase my chances of remaining fertile after the treatment is all over. I'm a little older though at 43, so really pushing things for a family but I only met my husband 2 years ago and we were married less than 8 months when the DX happened. We're still getting the hang of being married and still considering if we want children or not. I was getting some comfort from the newer research indicating that contrary to common wisdom, women's fertility isn't that bad in their 40s so was fairly relaxed about it and happy to spend time thinking about it and enjoying married life. The DX was a bit of a kick in the teeth for that. 

Thanks for sharing your story and wonderful news.

xx

Re: ZOLADEX - PRESERVING FERTILITY?

Just an update to anyone who may search this thread for advice about fertility after Zoladex; I had Zoladex in 2005 to protect my ovaries during FEC chemotherapy. I can now happily report that, over eight years later and at the age of 38, I am now pregnant with my first child. Proof that Zoladex is an effective treatment option, in some cases, for women wishing to preserve their fertility whilst undergoing chemo. Good luck to those who chose this option, as it can work, and has for me. Best wishes, 🙂

Re: ZOLADEX - PRESERVING FERTILITY?

Hi All.  I was diagnosed with aggressive non-hormonal breast cancer in Jan 2005, aged 29.  Had lumpectomy, followed by 6 cycles of FEC chemotherapy, then daily radiotherapy concluding in November 2005.  I had Zoladex implant to temporarily shut down my ovaries, to protect my fertility during chemo.  When my treatment finished, my periods came back within four weeks of the Zoladex implant wearing off, in 2005.  Fast forward to December 2013, and I have been trying to conceive since having my coil taken out in Jan 2012 (implanted 2008).  I am starting to wonder if the chemotherapy may have some way damaged my ovarian reserve, or the quality of my eggs.  I have had an ultrasound scan of my uterus and ovaries in August 2012 and all was normal.  The sonographer said a follicle on my left ovary was enlarged and about to release an egg, but no good news to date.  Any advice?  Does me having periods mean I am fertile?  I am producing viable eggs?  I have a regular cycle, average 27 days...  Thanks, 🙂

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Re: ZOLADEX - PRESERVING FERTILITY?

Thanks to all for your help 🙂
I'll see what they say, it's a long shot but anything is worth trying if they'll let me. Chemo on Tuesday so need to know fairly quickly - eeek.
Going to choose my wig today at the hospital, bit depressing, hope cold cap works and dont have to use one.

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Re: ZOLADEX - PRESERVING FERTILITY?

Hi,

I was diagnosed July 2009, and after bi lateral mastectomy, chemo (zoladex for 6 mths to protect ovaries) rads, herceptin for 12 months and now on tamoxifen and just had my recon 3 weeks ago.
My periods returned to normal after 3 months post chemo much to my amazement as I had polisitic ovaries had clomid and a real hard time concieving then luckily had two daughters now 3 and 5 before this journey started,
My doctor has actually warned me to be careful as they have tested me and am apparently very fertile now!!!
I really really hope the zoladex works for you, if you want any furtehr info please message me
Regards

Nicki

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Re: ZOLADEX - PRESERVING FERTILITY?

Hi,

There has been a trial by cancer research, the trial is now closed, but the results aren't out yet. Link below.

http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/trials/a-trial-looking-at-ovarian-protection-for-premenopausal-women-ha...

When I spoke to the fertility consultant he said that there was no definite results, but I guess there wouldn't be a trial if they didn't think there was some chance. I chose to freeze some eggs instead. I finished chemo on 31st March, and my periods stopped around the same time.

Re: ZOLADEX - PRESERVING FERTILITY?

Dear El Katrano,

Here is the link to the publication on Standards of Care for Younger Women which Tors mentioned:

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/upload/pdf/youngerwomensstandards_0.pdf

Very best wishes

Janet
BCC Facilitator

Re: ZOLADEX - PRESERVING FERTILITY?

Hello El Kotrano

So sorry to hear of your dx-life just ain't fair is it?

Hope this will encourage you a little ; my daughter had an aggressive BC at 32; she was put on Zoladex and after completing surgery, chemo and rads, 6 months later she was pregnant. She already had a 4 year-old daughter so obviously not quite in your situation but the Zoladex certainly protected HER ovaries.
Incidentally, despite a 2nd primary 4 years later in her other breast and all the subsequent treatment for that, she is now 41 and she is well and NED

All good wishes and good luck
Mary

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Re: ZOLADEX - PRESERVING FERTILITY?

Hi ladies,

I can share all your concerns. I am 34 dx last Oct and just going through radiotherapy after FEC and Tax. Also on Herceptin and will be on Tamoxifen for the next 5 years.

I decided not to go down the IVF route prior to chemo as I had just split up with my boyfriend of 11 years just a few days before so that together with dx, I was in a strange place. I suppose if I had a partner I would have done it but was offered the chance to use a donor but for some reason this didn't seem right. Ultimately I would like to meet a partner later on and I thought about how he would potentially feel about me having another man's baby. Bit stange! But I have been worrying about it every since re did I make the right decision????

To be honest I was scared about delaying chemo and just wanted to get it started asap. But after reading on this site during chemo, read about Zoladex, but this hadn't been discussed with me at all. Obviously too late now! All that was said that my periods 'should' come back and hopefully that is true together with fertility!

I don't know about others but found that the professionals (Onc and BCC nurse) didn't focus very much on this issue. I feel that they should have spent more time discussing this especially at a time when you are not at your most logical and there are so many things going round in your head. It seemed to me that as I was not at the point of wanting a family right now they were not very interested.

Re: ZOLADEX - PRESERVING FERTILITY?

hi sorry to hear your dx, i have had a couple of bad days and no energy to read posts, i will get back to you, i had bc 14 years ago also at 34 ihad similar to you, i had zoladex and tamoxifen for three years then had two beautiful kids feel free to pm me xxxxx

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Re: ZOLADEX - PRESERVING FERTILITY?

Hi.

Sorry you're here too. And I understand your pain/dilemma.

I'm 36 and got married a few weeks after being diagnosed at the end of 2010 and we had been planning to try for kids. But now i'm in the middle of chemo, then will have radio and tamoxifen so there will be no chance of that for a while.

I wasn't offered Zoladex but I do know others who were put on it during chemo to try to protect their ovaries (instead of having IVF). I hadn't actually heard of Zoladex when I was diagnosed but I read stuff on here about it afterwards and asked my onc about it. She said she has never put any patients on it during chemo and it didn't seem to be an option for me because of this (not sure why, though she said there are trials of it but at an early stage). But obviously in other areas, they are using it in this way so its good that you've asked your BC nurses whether it would be an option. Keep pressing for it if they draw a blank.

My cancer was ER+ (18mm, grade 2, 3/13 lymph nodes positive) but they were still happy for me to get fertility treatment to try to harvest embryos. It did delay the start of my chemo by about a month but i wasn't too worried about this and my onc was more than happy for us to wait til the fertility stuff was done.

Dealing with fertility issues at the same time as dealing with an out-of-the-blue cancer diagnosis wasn't easy and the daily injections of buserilin and gonal-f was a fairly unpleasant process (the hormones made me very very moody!), but I'm glad we did it.

Do you think they would let you try IVF again? There are diff drugs you can use, which may or may not help avoid the hyperstimulation you got last time? I was in every couple of days for scans to check the levels they were giving me were high enough to get a result but not so high that it would cause a problem thus further delaying the chemo. I was pretty uncomfortable for about a week afterwards and felt like I was 6 months pregnant with my swollen belly, but it calmed down in the end.

There is also the chance that chemo won't make you infertile so i guess we all have to hold on to that hope. So far, i've still been having periods during FEC. Dunno if that is a good or bad thing.

I'm not sure if any of that is any help, but you're not alone out there. If you have any questions feel free to PM me or continue on this thread.

Good luck with your treatment

Al x

Re: ZOLADEX - PRESERVING FERTILITY?

Hi EK,

Sorry to hear about your dx 😞

i was 36 when diagnosed last year, i have two boys then aged 2 and 4, but was trying gor a third baby when diagnosed. I posted a fertility thread at the time and there is some helpful info. I was offered the chance to have an ivf cycle to try and preserve embryos befoe chemo started but, in the end, i decided i needed to not delay chemo or flood my body with hormones as my main duty was to be here for my boys. If i didnt have children already i would have done the ivf definitely.

I was told my periods were likely to come back, but they havent yet, 8 months after chemo ended. I'm not sure how having polycystic ovaries would affect that. However, you should have been offered sn opportunity to discuss it with a fertility expert. Look at the young womens leaflet on here, it explains standards of care for younger bc patients, with a good section on fertility.

Zolodex is an injection used to stop your periods if they come back after chemo, rather than having your ovaries out, but theres apparently some evidence that it can also put your ovaries into hibernation during chemo to protect them.

I'll bump up my fertility thread. All the best

vickie
x

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Re: ZOLADEX - PRESERVING FERTILITY?

Ps. I've asked one of the BCN's about it and she's going to speak with the Oncologist, I'm well aware that their primary focus is on treating the cancer and NOT on other medical issues. They did ask about free egg retrievel but due to my age this wasn't possible and also, I've had Clomid to stimulate egg release on 2 occasions and had ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome as a result. I'd been told to lose weight, I was trying this when I got the DX.

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ZOLADEX - PRESERVING FERTILITY?

Hi All

Bit of background, me and my OH have been trying to conceive for 5 years, I only got pregnant once and miscarried at 8 weeks, this was in Jan 2010.
We were in fertility treatment, I have polycystic ovaries which has been an issue. We got to the IVF stage when I got the BC diagnosis.

I've not been offered Zoladex by my Oncologist and only come across this today - does anyone know what this drug is actually about and why they wouldn't have offered it? I'm having 1st FEC on 19th.
They KNOW that we're desperate to have a baby, just concerned I've been told it's highly unlikely with 6 FECS and then Rads and Tamoxifen that we'll be able to have children.

Any advice anyone can tell me would be great.

Thanks xx


34 Years Old
No Kids - was undergoing Fertility Treatment which has had to stop.

45mm Tumour - Grade 3
Er + PR Postitive (Er 4 - PG 3)
Primary Cancer
No Metatases

WLE and SLNB - fortunately both clear
Seromas under both after surgery, delayed healing.
Start EC and Taxotere on 19th April 11