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Saving Sperm before Treatment??
Oct 24, 2001

My husband was diagnosed a year ago with HEPC and he is 37 years old. We have one child who is 2 and we were thinking of having another one soon. We were waiting for Pegasys to come out, but our Dr. suggested with the scarring that he has, we should start PEG-INTRON. At first she did not make it so life threatening now she is stating this is the type of scarring that could spread to cirrhosis. My questions to you are:

#1 - Is PEGASYS going to be available any time soon?

#2 - Should we save some of his sperm now so when he is finished treatment we have safe sperm and I can be artificially inseminated?

#3 - They say if you stay off treatment you can try to get pregnant, are they sure all of the medicine is out of your system and will you still be able to produce sperm?

We are very scared about starting this treatment.

Please answer this soon....

Best Regards..

Response from Dr. Rodriguez-Torres

I will try to asuwer all your questions: 1)Please see other asuwer about this.Yes,I know ,thousands are waiting for the drug to be out.The estimate is aproval in first trimester 2002, and in the pharmacies in early summer.The issue here, is if you will agressive progression in these months,as to prevent waiting.The experience show that the liver will not change much in 1 year,except in cases with coinfection with the HIV or the HBV.Also,the best chance for sustained response is the first therapy that the patient receives. 2)It depends what you decide.Why not have the baby now?The problem with his sperm will be the teratoxicity caused by the Ribavirin,it will remain in the body for 6 months afterdrug is stopped.After that, it will be safe to use his sperm.You need to consider that the treatment may last more than 1 year;18months.tThis will mean waiting a longer period,if you want to use the sperm after.You may even change your mind about another child!!! 3)IT will be safe after 6 months, Yes,you sound very scared,and you do not need to be.Maybe you are trying to solve all the issues at the same time.IT is also very difficult to plan for so long ahead. Fortunately, I have had a large experience with Pegasys and RBV ,and the majority of patients do very well.Our drop out rate is very low,because we give support for the side effects,that are many but rarely severe,and patients can complete the therapy.Your doctor can do the same.Peg-Intron is reported to have more side effects.You need to discuss and clarify the urgency ,and decide .I would have liked to have more information as the genotype and the viral load to be able to comment .



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