Researchers have found that women receiving fertility-sparing surgery for the treatment of borderline ovarian tumours are able to have children.
According to the study published in the journal ‘Fertility & Sterility, natural fertility was preserved in most of them and only a small proportion required assisted reproductive treatment such as in vitro fertilisation.
“The ability to become pregnant seems to be preserved with fertility-sparing surgery, a knowledge that is absolutely critical for the advice and treatment given to young women with ovarian borderline tumours,” said study author Gry Johansen from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.
Earlier, studies of fertility-sparing surgery (FSS) for borderline ovarian tumours (BOT) have primarily focused on the oncological therapeutic outcome, and knowledge about pregnancy and childbirth after FSS has been scant.
In this study, researchers at the Karolinska Institutet have also examined the effects of FSS on fertility in women of a fertile age treated for early-stage BOT.
The study is based on data from Sweden’s healthcare registers. The selection included all women between the age of 18 and 40 who received FSS for early-stage BOT between 2008 and 2015, according to the Swedish Quality Registry for Gynaecologic Cancer (SQRGC).
The control group were peers with similar tumours treated with radical surgery. Of the 213 women who underwent FSS between 2008 and 2015 in Sweden, 23 percent had given birth to 62 babies after treatment. A minority – 20 women or 9 percent of the cohort – had undergone IVF.
The women who had given birth after FSS were followed for 76 months, while the women who had not given birth were followed for 58 months.The survival rate for the entire cohort of 277 women was an excellent 99 percent, and there was no difference between those who had received FSS and those who had undergone radical surgical cancer treatment.
“In the choice of treatment for borderline ovarian tumours, safety and the effectiveness for future childbearing must be taken into account,” the study authors wrote.