Wednesday August 15, 2018

Researchers have found a way to preserve fertility in female cancer survivors

Study shows that about 43-62 percent had unmet information needs about fertility and two-thirds of women were worried about their capability to give birth.

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A recent study has shown that many young female cancer survivors are not fully aware of information about how they are at high risk of early menopause and how to preserve their fertility after completing treatment.

About 43-62 percent women had unmet information needs and two-thirds of them were worried about their capability to give birth to a child in future. Researchers have stated that females thinking to have children are not yet ready to start a family and may have to undergo fertility preservation with egg or embryo freezing after treatment. Due to cancer, they are also at high risk of early menopause.

“Failure to provide information and address concerns with respect to fertility-related decisions may have lasting consequences for young women who hope to achieve important life goals such as having children,” said lead author Catherine Benedict from Northwell Health, New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer.

The paper published by Benedict in journal cancer also stated “For women are at risk of early menopause, delaying fertility-related decisions may cause them to miss their narrowed window of opportunity to preserve their fertility, if desired.”

The team wanted to understand about how young female cancer survivors view the decision of undergoing fertility preservation after treatment and to learn about their informational needs.

Woman with her new born. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Woman with her newborn. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Members of team examined around 346 participants whose age was about 30 years and they also researched on a subgroup of 179 women about women with certain fertility status who had not undergone the fertility preservation before.

The results showed that greater reproductive concerns and unmet information made it more difficult to think about the fertility preservation.

The findings in the study also established the need for creating support centres to help young female cancer survivors make decisions about fertility preservation and family-building as part of survivorship care.

This study also helped in understanding the importance and need of women making fertility decisions before treatment.

-by Bhaskar Raghavendran

Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication from Amity school of communication, Noida. Contact the author at Twitter: bhaskar_ragha

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Epidurals Can be Cut Into Half, with the Help of a New Labour Pain Relieving Drug

It did not cause any negative effects for the mother or baby.

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Labour pain relieving drug may cut need for epidural: Lancet
Labour pain relieving drug may cut need for epidural: Lancet. Flickr

Prescribing women a new drug called remifentanil to help manage their labour pain may halve the need for an epidural than the traditional pethidine, claims a study.

The study, published in the Lancet, suggested that using remifentanil instead of pethidine could reduce the need for epidurals, instrumental deliveries and consequent morbidity for large numbers of women worldwide.

Epidurals — injections of pain relief drugs around the spinal cord — provide effective pain relief but increase the risk of needing instrumental delivery (forceps or vacuum) during birth.

It can also increase the risk of trauma and long-lasting problems for the mother, such as incontinence and sexual dysfunction.

“Our findings challenge the routine use of pethidine for pain relief during labour,” said lead author Matthew Wilson, from Britain’s University of Sheffield.

"Remifentanil reduced the need for an epidural by half and there were no lasting problems for the mothers and babies
“Remifentanil reduced the need for an epidural by half and there were no lasting problems for the mothers and babies. Pixabay

“Remifentanil reduced the need for an epidural by half and there were no lasting problems for the mothers and babies in our trial, although the effect of remifentanil on maternal oxygen levels needs to be clarified in further studies,” he added.

Remifentanil is rarely offered routinely in labour and its use restricted to women who cannot receive an epidural for medical reasons (such as blood clotting disorders).

Conversely, pethidine has been in widespread use since the 1950s, even after long been known not helpful to all women.

The study included 400 women aged over 16 years old who were giving birth after 37 weeks.

Only half as many women in the remifentanil group went on to have an epidural (19 per cent) than in the pethidine group (41 per cent).

Remifentanil instead of pethidine could reduce the need for epidurals. Flickr
Remifentanil instead of pethidine could reduce the need for epidurals. Flickr

These women rated their pain as less severe and also had less likely to need forceps and vacuum during labour than women given pethidine (15 per cent vs 26 per cent).

Also Read: Obesity During Pregnancy May up Kid’s Risk of Epilepsy

However, remifentanil was associated with twice as many mothers having low oxygen levels than pethidine (14 per cent vs 5 per cent)

But, despite this increase it did not cause any negative effects for the mother or baby, but more research in larger groups will be needed to confirm this, the researchers said.(IANS)