Possible side effects of treatments

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by Apple Apple 1 year, 2 months ago.

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  • #181
    Clea
    Clea
    Participant

    As far as I know, the treatment of the Empty Follicle Syndrome is mostly a hormonal treatment. And hormones (either natural or synthetic) influence on the work of the whole organism. So I think that a hormonal treatment is a very serious and even risky deal. So there probably must be some side effects. Understand me right, I am not trying to say that it is better not to treat the Empty Follicle Syndrome at all. Of course, we should use every single chance we have to cure. I am just trying to figure out what the side effects of the hormonal treatment are and what is possible to be done to prevent and to avoid them. What a patient should do for the treatment to be completely safe?

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Clea Clea.
    #203
    Sandra
    Sandra
    Participant

    The side effects you might get depend on the type of hormone therapy you are having. Here are some general side effects.
    Tiredness. You may feel more tired when you are taking hormone therapy. For information about coping with fatigue visit the cancer fatigue section. Digestive system problems. Hormonal therapies can cause a few problems with your digestive system. You may feel sick. This is usually mild and settles down after a few days or weeks. Your doctor or nurse can prescribe anti sickness tablets, which should help.
    You might have constipation or diarrhoea. This is usually mild and is easily controlled with diet or drugs. But as with any diarrhoea, if it is severe or lasts for more than 2 or 3 days, you need to tell your doctor or nurse.

    #204
    Mi6
    Mi6
    Participant

    You may lose your appetite a little. Or you may have an increased appetite, which can lead to weight gain.
    If you haven’t already been through your menopause, it may start when you begin hormone therapy. This could be either temporary or permanent. If you are taking a luteinising hormone blocker, your periods will stop. If you are taking tamoxifen and are still having periods, they may stop or become lighter. You might also get other menopausal symptoms, even if you’ve already had your menopause. For example, you may have vaginal dryness, hot flushes, sweating and a lower sex drive.
    Do tell your doctor or nurse if you are having any problems coping with the sweating. There is treatment available that may help.

    #205
    Kim
    Kim
    Participant

    Some hormone therapies can cause hair thinning. This is not usually enough for other people to notice. There can be some muscle and bone changes.
    You may develop pains in your joints. This often settles down after a few weeks. You can take a mild painkiller to help control aches and pains.
    Some hormone therapies such as aromatase inhibitors can cause thinning of your bones. Tamoxifen can cause bone thinning in premenopausal women. In postmenopausal women, tamoxifen doesn’t cause bone thinning and it can help to maintain the strength of your bones.

    #206
    Mi6
    Mi6
    Participant

    Weight bearing exercise can help to build up the bones and protect them. This means any exercise where you are carrying your own weight, such as walking, running, cycling or exercise in the gym. Swimming is not weight bearing exercise. So although it is good for you in other ways, it won’t help with bone thinning. Check with your doctor before starting any new type of exercise, especially if you have not exercised for a while.
    Bone thinning can lead to osteoporosis and bone fractures if it continues for a few years. So your doctor may treat you with a drug to strengthen your bones.
    You may put on weight. You should be able to control this with diet and exercise. But it is often a struggle to keep weight down when you are having hormone treatment. You can ask to see a dietician for advice about managing your weight.

    #207
    Kim
    Kim
    Participant

    Some people have headaches with some hormone therapy drugs. Let your doctor or nurse know if you have this. Taking mild painkillers such as paracetamol can help.
    Some women feel that their memory gets worse when they have been having hormone treatment for a while. Your memory may not improve while you are taking the hormone treatment. But there are ways to make life easier, such as making lists so you don’t forget things. It is natural to feel cheated and upset if you have this particular side effect. Talk to your doctor or specialist nurse if you feel this is having a significant effect on your life.

    #208
    Sandra
    Sandra
    Participant

    You can have mood swings and depression. Hormone therapy can affect your mood. Some women say they have mood swings and even depression while having treatment such as Zoladex (goserelin). Talking with someone close to you may help. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your feelings with people you know, seeing a counsellor may help. We have information about counselling on this website.
    Tamoxifen may increase the risk of a blood clot forming in the veins of the lower legs. This is called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). You can read about the risk of blood clots and how to treat them or again you can consult with a doctor.

    #209
    Kim
    Kim
    Participant

    The latest analysis from Women’s Health Concern regarding the risk of heart disease and stroke for women taking HRT states that:
    the risk of stroke is increased in women who smoke and are overweight
    women starting HRT and aged below 60 are not at an increased risk of stroke
    HRT is not recommended for women with a history of stroke or deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
    Speak to your GP if you are taking HRT and are worried about the risk of stroke or heart disease.
    Of course, it doesn’t mean you will have something like this. there are a lot of cases when treatment goes well and brings positive results.

    #210
    Clea
    Clea
    Participant

    Thank you, girls, for answering me. As I understood, the side effects are not so dangerous as I thought. The only thing which scared me a bit is problems with bones and muscles (I cannot call myself a physically strong person, so I am a little bit afraid of that my body will turn weaker), but as Mi6 said (thank you so much, Mi6), this problem can be solved by exercises. By the way, what kinds of physical activity except those you mentioned are preferable and what are better to refuse? I cannot say that I have been a biog fan of physical activity except an indoor track (by the way, is it good for me?), so I don’t understand how to choose among the plenty of exercises those which I need

    #211
    Clea
    Clea
    Participant

    You have also told me here about such possible complications of hormonal therapy as digestive disorders and weight gaining. And you’ve said that it may be necessary to keep diet. And what diet is necessary to keep in my case? Is there some special diet for people who are taking the hormonal therapy to minimize the risk of complications? Are there some vitamins or micro elements or any other things we usually receive from food which will be especially necessary for my organism during such a difficult period and which food products contain such elements and definitely should be present in my everyday nutrition? Or everything is much easier and all I need is to eat healthy food?

    #212
    Clea
    Clea
    Participant

    Sandra, you have also said (thank you for warning) that during the treatment I can suffer from the mood swings and depression. But the point is that even without any treatment and outside influence on me I am already rather emotionally unstable person (my family often jokes that depression is my middle-name)))))). So if a hormonal therapy can possibly make everything even worse, I need to know how to minimize the harmful influence of emotional instability on me. I want to ask those of you who already dealt with hormonal treatment and with depression and mood swings as complications of it, how did you cope with it? What did you do to control your emotions?

    #245
    Alice
    Alice
    Participant

    The Empty Follicle Syndrome (EFS) is a frustrating condition in which no oocytes (eggs) are retrieved at IVF, even though ultrasound and estradiol measurements showed the presence of many potential follicles.The mechanism responsible for EFS remains obscure. Many hypotheses have been put forward, but none truly explain this syndrome. The most likely cause of EFS is ovarian ageing, as many patients who suffer from EFS are also poor responders.If an EFS cycle does occur during your treatment, please make sure you discuss it thoroughly with your gynaecologist and the clinic counsellor.EFS is an infrequent event and has been estimated to occur in between 2 – 7% of IVF cycles. However, the overall risk of recurrence in later IVF cycles is 20% and the risk of recurrence is higher as the age of the patient increases, with a risk of recurrence of <10% in patients <35 years, 24% for those between 35 and 39 years, and 57% for those over 40 years of age.

    #289
    Kate
    Kate
    Participant

    I had two EPU’s where I ended up with no follies – one showed two on the scan (we still went for it) and one showed five. I was devastated – to go through all of that and wake up to “sorry, we didn’t get anything”.And as far as poor response, I was on 600 (whatever it is) of Gonal F – a couple of times we had to cancel the cycle due to no response.But I think once I actually made it to EPU where we got two eggs, only one fertilised, but it ended with a BFN. I am now doing donor cycles.
    I am very protective now of my time, and find myself becoming more and more selfish with what I do, and who I spend time with. In a way, I don’t feel strong about ‘facing’ the outside world as much as I used to, and as much as I will again when this private journey is over. That is not to say I am a hermit, just more selective.

    #314
    Milka
    Milka
    Participant

    Feelings of abdominal heaviness come from temporarily enlarged ovaries. “Ovaries are normally the size of a walnut. But after FSH, they could be the size of plum or even the size of a grapefruit,” explains Dr. Frederick Licciardi, reproductive endocrinologist and founding partner of the New York University Program for In Vitro Fertilization, Reproductive Surgery and Infertility. Dr. Williams advises patients to change positions to take pressure off the ligament attached to the abnormally heavy ovary and try Tylenol for mild discomfort. But he cautions women to contact a doctor if they have nausea, vomiting, or pain that doesn’t subside with positional changes. These symptoms could indicate a twist in the ligament (ovarian torsion), a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Ovarian torsion is rare, though, so most women will find relief with a little rest, an understanding partner, and elastic pants!

    #343
    Molly
    Molly
    Participant

    Various strategies suggested to prevent the occurrence of EFS in a subsequent ART cycle are: Changing the batch of hCG. Using R-hCG to trigger an endogenous LH surge. R-hCG with its high purity (≥99%) and consistency between batches, may be a better choice than urinary hCG, which contains miscellaneous urinary proteins and the biological activity of which may be affected by missing peptide bonds and alterations of the glycosylation profile. shifting from an agonist to antagonist protocol. Use of recombinant LH as trigger. Using GnRHa as trigger in an antagonist cycle. Prolonging the interval between ovulation trigger and OPU. Droesch et al. reported that retrieval of oocytes at 35–36 h is superior to retrieving at <24 h.

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