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How Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Affects Fertility in Women-What You Can Do About It

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition that affects one out of every ten women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS have hormonal imbalances and metabolic issues, which can have an impact on their general health and appearance. Infertility can also be caused by PCOS, which is a common and curable condition.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common health condition caused by a hormonal imbalance. The ovaries are affected as a result of the hormonal imbalance. The ovaries are responsible for producing the egg that is discharged each month as part of a normal menstrual cycle. With PCOS, the egg may not mature properly or may not be released during ovulation at all.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most prevalent causes of infertility in women. It’s a hormonal issue that wreaks havoc on the reproductive system. If you have PCOS, your ovaries are bigger than average. These larger ovaries may contain a large number of small cysts containing immature eggs.

The Causes of PCOS:

Experts are unsure what causes PCOS, although hereditary factors may be involved. If a woman’s mother or sibling has the condition, she is more likely to get it than others.

Excess insulin in the body, in addition to a hereditary link, increases a woman’s chance of having PCOS. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that the body utilizes to convert sugar in meals into energy.

Insulin resistance is common in PCOS women. Insulin resistance refers to the body’s inability to properly decrease blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels can rise to dangerously high levels, requiring even more insulin secretion.

Excess insulin also raises testosterone production, which contributes to some PCOS symptoms. Women generate testosterone as well, but in fewer quantities.

Symptoms of PCOS:

Symptoms might appear at any age or stage of a person’s reproductive life. These symptoms can change from time to time as well.

Some of the most common PCOS symptoms are as follows:
  • Irregular Periods: PCOS causes irregular periods (or none at all), excessive hair growth, acne, obesity, and trouble conceiving. You might have very heavy but infrequent periods, as well as discomfort, bloating, and tenderness. PCOS causes some women to cease having menstrual periods.
  • Hair Growth & Loss: As a result of the hormonal imbalance, more male hormones are secreted. It can result in hair growth in undesirable areas, as well as thinning and hair loss. Excessive hair on the face, chin, or other areas of the body where males normally have hair. This abnormal hair growth is known as “hirsutism.” Hirsutism affects up to 70% of PCOS-affected women. Imbalances in hormone production have an impact on ovulation, which might occur infrequently or not at all. A slight rise in testosterone levels may also occur, resulting in darker and thicker hair growth as well as acne.
  • Weight Gain: Hormonal imbalances also create issues with sugar metabolism, which lead to weight gain and an increased risk of gestational diabetes if you become pregnant. You may gain weight quickly or find it difficult to reduce weight. If you are concerned that you are overweight for your height, determine your body mass index (BMI).
  • Acne: Acne on the face, chest and upper back is a common symptom. Skin discolouration, notably in neck creases, in the crotch, and beneath the breasts.
  • Difficulty in Getting Pregnant: Due to a lack of ovulation, PCOS makes it more difficult to conceive. Some women ovulate on a regular basis, while others never ovulate at all. If you’re not sure, simple ovulation testing with a single blood test in the second part of your cycle is an excellent place to start. If your periods are irregular or non-existent, you are most likely not ovulating and hence have little chance of conceiving without medical intervention. This treatment is fairly straightforward with basic medicines, so get medical attention as soon as possible.

How Does PCOS Affect Fertility?

Women with PCOS, on average, take longer to conceive than other women. This might be due to irregular menstruation, which indicates they do not ovulate every month. Additionally, being overweight lowers fertility and might make it more difficult for women with PCOS to conceive. The good news is that women with PCOS can have as many children as other women throughout their lives.

In most cases, difficulties in ovulation are the root cause of infertility in women with PCOS. Ovulation may well not happen resulting in an increase in testosterone production or just because follicles on the ovaries do not develop.

Even if ovulation occurs, a hormonal imbalance may prevent the uterine lining from fully growing to allow for implantation of the mature egg.

Fertility treatments for women with PCOS

Because there is presently no cure for PCOS, treatment and care must be personalized to the patient’s specific needs. Depending on the major difficulty you are facing, you have a variety of alternatives.

  • Because of the higher levels of testosterone, weight reduction might be more difficult, but it has a very positive impact on balancing hormones and restoring regular periods in obese women. As a result, exercise and a change in nutrition may have a substantial influence.
  • Insulin sensitizers, such as Metformin, help decrease the effects of insulin resistance while also assisting with weight reduction.
  • Clomiphene and other ovulation induction medications can stimulate the ovaries.
  • If medication does not work, IVF may be an alternative. IVF treatment may be required in extreme cases, although it is not typically essential.
  • Adopting a healthy lifestyle might increase your chances of having a pregnancy and having a healthy kid. This involves maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, reducing alcohol use, eating nutritious food, getting plenty of regular exercise, and getting adequate sleep.
PCOS does not restrict you from becoming pregnant. PCOS is one of the most prevalent yet curable reasons for female infertility. The hormonal imbalance that occurs in women with PCOS prevents the ovaries from producing and releasing eggs (ovulation). You cannot become pregnant if you do not ovulate.

Your doctor can advise you on methods to help you ovulate and increase your chances of getting pregnant. Get in touch with Dr. Banker today if you have been diagnosed with PCOS and want to get it under control. He can also advise on all your other options if you are having difficulty conceiving.
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