Ovarian Suppresion with GnRHa (Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Analogue) injections may protect ovaries during chemotherapy by temporarily shutting them down. In some women whose cancers are hormonally sensitive, GnRHa is used as part of their cancer treatment
With ovaries that are “turned off”, the body mimics menopause with side effects such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, lowered libido, mood swings or vaginal discharge. These symptoms are temporary, as GnRHa does not cause permanent menopause. Administered monthly, GnRHa may continue for as long as chemotherapy and other treatments threaten a woman’s fertility.
The universal success rates of GnRHa treatments are unknown since there are no randomized trials that demonstrate its effectiveness. However, your fertility center may have ample cases that prove otherwise. GnRHa does not protect a woman’s ovaries when the most aggressive chemotherapy is administered.
GnRHa is sometimes the best or only option for women who find the cost of embryo or egg freezing prohibitive. If yourGnRHa injections are administered by your oncologist’s office, insurance may cover their cost, which run up to $1,000/month.