Blood Journal
Leading the way in experimental and clinical research in hematology

Protection of ovarian function by oral contraceptives in women receiving chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease

  1. RM Chapman and
  2. SB Sutcliffe


It has been reported by us and by others that after chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease the ovary contains fewer than 5 primordial and primary follicles per 5 x 5 mm biopsy section. In young women this is associated with premature menopause. We report here that before treatment the tissue contains 18--55 such follicles per biopsy section. When women took combination oral contraceptives throughout the course of MVPP therapy, the posttreatment ovarian biopsy tissue had more than 20 follicles per histologic section. Normal menses were established in the five women who discontinued oral contraceptives at the end of MVPP therapy, and one of them is now pregnant.