Women's Hodgkin's Treatment, Infertility, and Birth Control

A study in the October 20th issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology looked at female long-term survivors of successfully treated Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) to see if they were at risk for late complications. Among these, infertility is of major importance.

And the results: Most women who are treated for advanced-stage HL experience amenorrhea (permanent loss of their period) after therapy. Amenorrhea is significantly more frequent in women with advanced-stage HL receiving eight cycles of dose-escalated BEACOPP than in women treated with ABVD and in women older than 30 years at first treatment. Furthermore, the data shows a statistical association between the use of oral contraceptives and return of menstrual cycle (read: women who took the pill had a higher chance of being fertile after treatment vs. women who didn't). Study leaders plan to follow up on this finding.

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