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Effects on fertility

It is very unusual for a woman with gestational trophoblastic disease to lose her fertility options, if she wishes to maintain them. It is important that you discuss any fertility concerns with your doctor.

In most cases, gestational trophoblastic disease can be treated without surgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy). If hysterectomy is required, the ovaries are usually retained.

If you still have your ovaries after a hysterectomy you will still be producing your own eggs, and there are some options available for fertility, although you will not be able to ‘carry’ a pregnancy yourself. You may consider embarking on a surrogacy arrangement using your own eggs.

If chemotherapy is required following a molar pregnancy, the usual choice of chemotherapy treatment is a very simple form that does not appear to have any effect on future fertility, though there is an increased risk of a subsequent pregnancy also being affected.

In some situations a more intensive type of chemotherapy may be required, but this rarely affects the function of the ovaries and their ability to produce eggs.

If you wish to consult a fertility expert, you should be referred to a respected unit for this advice. The Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee (RTAC), under the Fertility Society of Australia (FSA), administers a national Code of Practice and a system for the accreditation of assisted reproductive technology clinics. For a list of accredited clinics in Australia and New Zealand, see the website of the Fertility Society of Australia at www.fertilitysociety.com.au