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Out With the Ovaries? Not So Fast

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Many women undergoing chemotherapy have their ovaries removed and frozen to be able to have children later on, says New Scientist's Catherine de Lange. But new research from Copenhagen University Hospital researcher Elisabeth Larsen and her colleagues suggests that women may be able to skip this procedure and still have children. The team, which presented its research at the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting in Sweden last week, measured fertility levels in 53 women 10 years after they'd undergone chemotherapy or radiotherapy and found that although they had fewer eggs than women who had never undergone treatment for cancer, the difference wasn't big enough to harm fertility, de Lange says. In a different study, Kristen Tryde Schmidt, also at Copenhagen, found that 35 out of 56 women successfully gave birth after having one ovary removed and frozen prior to cancer treatment, and that 91 percent of them conceived naturally, de Lange adds.

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