How PCOS affects your Fertility? - Dr Hrishikesh Pai

How PCOS affects your Fertility?

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Many young women in Mumbai suffer from PCOS. The condition occurs due to their lifestyle or genetics. They approach a fertility center in Mumbai seeking treatment to achieve their dream of becoming a mother.

Is PCOS affecting your dream of becoming a mother as well? If so, let us first explain what PCOS condition is and how you can attain pregnancy with it?

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine condition in reproductive-aged women. It affects about 5-10% of young women and causes difficulty in conceiving. 

With PCOS, you may experience irregular periods, abnormal hair growth, acne, and have ovaries with multiple small cysts. The real question in your mind may be why does it happen?

What Causes PCOS?

Why PCOS happens is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors.

A study shows that women with PCOS are resistant to insulin. Too much insulin in the blood causes their ovaries to release excess testosterone. This excess testosterone leads to irregular menstrual cycles and unwanted hair growth

In some women PCOS occurs due to imbalances in other hormones of the body.

Even though the cause of PCOS is not known, it does have some distinguishing symptoms.

What is PCOS Symptoms?

Excess release of androgens (male hormones) in PCOS leads to side effects. If you have PCOS, you may suffer from symptoms like weight gain, hair growth, and acne, along with irregular menstrual cycles. 

Now that you are clear about the causes and symptoms of PCOS let us discuss how PCOS affects your fertility? 

PCOS and Infertility

PCOS negatively affects your fertility. If you have PCOS, you do not ovulate. Also, you do not release an egg every month because of estrogen overproduction in your ovaries. Since ovulation does not occur regularly:

  • Periods become irregular
  • Increased levels of hormones, such as testosterone affecting egg quality
  • Insulin resistance occurs
  • Increases the risk of disorders such as gestational diabetes

If PCOS negatively impacts your fertility, does it mean that you cannot get pregnant?

Can you get pregnant with PCOS?

While it is not impossible if you have PCOS to get pregnant, you may require treatment from a fertility specialist.

PCOS and Fertility Treatment

There is no cure for PCOS, but you can manage it. 

For example, losing weight can reduce your symptoms and improve PCOS. Also, taking birth control and anti-androgen pills helps with PCOS symptoms as well.

If you are trying to conceive, the first step in PCOS treatment is a lifestyle change, including a healthy diet and exercise. The most successful diet in PCOS you can try is fewer carbohydrates and a reduced glycemic load. 

You can also go for moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes and three times a week. Try to make regular exercise your final goal.

If infrequent ovulation continues despite lifestyle changes, you may require fertility medicines. These medicines are selective estrogen receptor modulators.

If fertility medications do not assist in ovulation or pregnancy, you may need fertility injections to release an egg. Fertility injections have the same hormone that your brain releases as a signal to the ovary to produce eggs. 

Your fertility doctor will monitor you closely with transvaginal ultrasounds and blood tests. It will help your doctor keep a note of the estradiol level (a hormone produced in the ovary). The negative impact of fertility injections is that it causes an increased risk of multiple births.

If none of those mentioned above treatment work, you may need an in vitro fertilization (IVF) to achieve a healthy pregnancy

IVF Treatment for PCOS

For an IVF treatment, you will receive daily fertility injections to stimulate the ovaries to form multiple eggs. 

Your doctor will harvest your eggs through a minor procedure. After the harvesting, egg fertilization happens in a lab. Then, your IVF specialist will transfer the resulting embryo (fertilized egg) into your uterus. You can also opt to freeze your embryos (cryopreserved) for future use.

What if you want to learn whether you are likely to have PCOS because of your genetic factors? You can find it out and start your treatment as soon as possible.

How to Find Out if you are likely to have PCOS?

Your doctor can determine whether you are likely to have PCOS. They begin by asking about your medical history and perform a physical examination. 

Furthermore, they use blood tests to check your hormone levels in the blood. Also, they will recommend you get a scan to check the ovaries for cysts. 

 If you are suffering from PCOS, do not worry. PCOS is a manageable condition, and most woman does have a healthy pregnancy. 

Consult a fertility specialist in Mumbai. They can help you determine the best treatment for your condition.

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