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Living with gestational trophoblastic disease

During and after treatment

It will take some time to recover from your treatment. You will find that there are physical and emotional changes, and it is important that you and the people around you (such as your partner, employer and family members) are prepared.

Side effects vary from person to person. Some women will not experience side effects; others may experience a few. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce or manage the discomfort that side effects cause, and most subside or go away in time.

When you talk to your treatment team about any side effects, be specific. You may find it helpful to keep a diary of any side effects you experience, and take it with you when you see your doctor. Tell your treatment team if you have any new or worsening symptoms.

The sections on this page provide information on side effects that are common to more than one type of treatment.

Contraception during treatment and follow-up

Following removal of a hydatidiform mole, your doctor will follow you closely with regular blood tests to make sure your level of hCG falls to normal levels. If the level of hCG increases or does not go down to normal, more tests will be done to see whether the tumour has spread.

When your hCG levels are high you will not get pregnant, but once they have fallen to a certain level it is very important to use contraception because a normal pregnancy also produces hCG. If you get pregnant, you and your doctor will not know if rising hCG levels are due to your pregnancy, or cells from the hydatidiform mole.

You should also use contraception if you are having chemotherapy (and you have not had a hysterectomy) to avoid getting pregnant during treatment, because the treatment can harm the unborn baby. Should you become pregnant, talk to your doctor urgently.