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Fertility After Hypophysectomy / Hypopituitarism

Question:  My pituitary gland was removed, so now I replace a lot of hormones.  I didn’t have a period for awhile, but once I changed my doses of estrogen and progesterone, now I have one like clockwork every month.  I’m still in my 30s.  Is it possible for me to become pregnant?

Answer:  The pituitary hormones FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) direct the ovaries to grow eggs each cycle and promote production of estrogen and progesterone. They are most likely deficient in this patient, as she is taking estrogen and progesterone.  These hormones can be given as injections as a substitution therapy to induce egg growth and hormone production.  This is generally done by gynecologists who specialize in reproductive endocrinology and infertility and perform in vitro fertilization.   Because there are some risks, these artificial cycles should be followed closely under the care of such a specialist.

By Dr. Lynnette Nieman, NIH, Bethesda, MD (Summer 2018)

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