The Researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine have found that the breast cancer drug Letrozole can help in improving the chances of conceiving in those women who are suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
According to the scientists, letrozole was found effective in women with PCOS as compared to standard treatment for infertility in these women.
Letrozole is approved for treating breast cancer in old women. The drug helps in decreasing the levels of estrogen produced in the body.
PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal imbalance in women of reproductive age which triggers infertility.
Some of the common symptoms include irregular periods, excess facial or body hair and polycystic ovaries. Those suffering from this health condition have high levels of hormone androgen and therefore face troubles while conceiving.
Currently, the doctors prescribe Clomiphine citrate to restore fertility in women with PCOS. Clomiphine is a drug that stimulates ovulation. But it has its drawbacks.
“It’s (Clomiphine citrate) only 22 percent successful with up to six cycles of treatment in producing a successful birth, it has a high multiple-pregnancy rate in comparison to unassisted conception, and it has side effects including hot flashes and mood changes.” said lead researcher Richard Legro, professor of obstetrics and gynecology.
For the study, the researchers included 750 infertile women with PCOS and the two drugs were compared on them. All the participants were aged between 18-40 years and wanted to conceive.
According to the researchers, the rate of live birth was higher in women who were given letrozole than in women on clomiphene (27.5 percent versus 19.1 percent). Ovulation rates were also higher in women on letrozole.
The findings of study are published in the journal New England Journal of Medicine.