Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common ovulatory or endocrine disorder affecting female fertility. It is a common health problem that affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS have hormonal imbalances and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health and appearance. PCOS is a common cause of infertility. However, it is treatable.
How PCOS impacts Infertility?
PCOS is a hormonal condition where women do not ovulate regularly or release an egg each month and consequently have irregular or less frequent menstrual periods. Irregular periods can lead to infertility and the development of cysts in ovaries.
Women with this condition have bigger ovaries with multiple cysts containing immature eggs. These small cysts are not capable of growing to a size that would cause ovulation to happen. As a result, hormonal imbalances are caused.
In PCOS, the body produces higher than normal levels of androgens as well as insulin. High levels of androgens interfere with the development and regular release of eggs each month. If healthy eggs are not released, it affects fertility.
Who gets PCOS?
It is estimated that polycystic ovarian syndrome affects women of all races and ethnicities. The risk of getting PCOS may be higher if you have a family history of obesity. For most women, signs and symptoms of PCOS show up in their 20s and 30s, when they get menstrual irregularities or problems getting pregnant and see their doctor. However, PCOS can happen at any age after puberty.
Symptoms of PCOS
- Irregular menstrual periods called oligomenorrhea
- Onset of excessive growth of facial and body hair (hirsutism)
- Thinning hair on the scalp
- Severe acne
- Increased skin tags
- Darkening of skin ( acanthosis nigricans) on the neck, groin or underneath the breasts
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Difficulty becoming pregnant
What are the treatment options for PCOS if I want to get pregnant?
- Losing weight
- There are medicines like Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) for PCOS.
- IVF – In Vitro Fertilization
- Surgery ( LOD), a type of surgery called laparoscopic ovarian drilling
Can I still get pregnant if I have PCOS?
Yes, it`s possible in cases of PCOS patients who have a regular ovulatory menstrual cycle. However, those with irregular menstrual cycles can get pregnant with fertility treatment.
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