Many people do not realize that the breast cancer drug letrozole, or Femara, is frequently given to women who are experiencing infertility due to a condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome. The women with polycystic ovarian syndrome were more likely to have successful pregnancies when they took letrozole than when they took clomiphene for infertility.

When the cause of the infertility was unclear, the letrozole did not have the same positive effects according to a study cited in the New England Journal of Medicine last month.

What is polycystic ovarian syndrome?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a hormone imbalance. The women who have this imbalance often have cysts in or on their ovaries, but since there are many other causes of ovarian cysts the true defining characteristics of polycystic ovarian syndrome are the cysts, in conjunction with other symptoms of the disease.

Some of the main symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome are irregular, or non-existent periods. Polycystic ovarian syndrome causes and increased production of the male hormones, androgens, and a lack of the proper female hormones that create ovulation, and trigger the monthly menses cycle.

Another symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome is obesity, acne, excessive hair growth, and the tag along symptoms of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart diseases.

Fewer than ten percent of women suffer from this condition, but the good news is that the symptoms of the condition can be addressed, and managed. The infertility caused by the condition can even be addressed through medications and through in-vitro fertilization procedures.

Treatments used for Infertility with an Unspecified Cause

The majority of women under the age of thirty five that have unexplained infertility are provided with medications that contain hormones designed to stimulate their ovaries in an attempt to cause them to ovulate.

The hormone medications do not work as well with women who are over the age of thirty five. The older the woman is the more likely the hormone therapy will not be successful. For women over thirty five, and for women that the hormone therapy does not work for in-vitro fertilization is the treatment option most frequently chosen.

What this means

This information concerning the breast cancer drug and fertility should help fertility doctors to treat their patients. Each fertility doctor wants their patients to conceive, and carry a baby to term as quickly as possible. With the information on the breast cancer drug and the types of infertility that it is most promising with doctors can stop wasting the time of women that the drug is not going to benefit.

Doctors who deal with infertile couples know that each time the couple does not conceive the couples experience heartbreaking disappointment and this disappointment can lead to depression, and even troubles in the relationship. This new information could help prevent a doctor from attempting a treatment that could lead to disappointment for the couple involved.

Non-specific infertility can be the most devastating emotionally because the individuals simply do not know a reason why they cannot conceive.