Laser therapy boosts fertility in PCOS patients

A new gynaecological procedure may improve hormonal profile and restore fertility in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), who are resistant to treatment with clomiphene citrate.

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By  Joanne Bladd Published  September 27, 2006

A new gynaecological procedure may improve hormonal profile and restore fertility in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), who are resistant to treatment with clomiphene citrate. According to clinicians in China, writing in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, about 20% of women treated for PCOS do not respond to clomiphene treatment. In recent years, laparoscopic ovarian diathermy has been used to treat these women. Now, say Dr W. J. Zhu and his research team, a new treatment they have developed called transvaginal, ultrasound-guided, ovarian, interstitial laser treatment, addresses many of the disadvantages associated with the laparoscopic approach. 22 women were included in their pilot study and 19 women responded to the treatment. The team performed the procedure on the third day of progesterone-induced menstruation. The laser was used to ablate stromal tissue at three to five points in each overy, with the laser at least 10mm from the surface of the ovary. During the procedure, which lasted approximately 38 minutes, there was minimal damage to the surface of the ovary and no significant operative complications were reported. Six months later, serum luteinizing hormone levels had significantly fallen from preoperative levels among the 19 responding women. Similar findings were reported for serum testosterone levels and ratio of the mean luteinizing hormone level to follicle stimulating hormone level. The responding women produced fewer subcapsular follicles than before treatment and had a spontaneous ovulation rate of 86%. The pregnancy rate by six months was 36% (eight women out of 22). The team write that interstitial laser treatment required shorter hospital stays, no need for anaesthesia and lower costs. The procedure, they believe, will provide a longer-lasting effect with less danger of adhesion formation.

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