Can infertility from PCOS be treated?

Can infertility from PCOS be treated?

Infertility due to PCOS is one of the most discussed topics in recent days. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder in reproductive -age in women. In women with PCOS, the ovaries are enlarged and filled with harmless fluids in the sacs, these sacs are meant to be filled with eggs. The risk of PCOS is higher in women with obesity and can also be genetic. The most common symptoms of PCOS are irregular menstrual cycle, weight gain, hirsutism, hair loss, skin tags, acne, hyperpigmentation etc. The symptoms may not be the same for all the women with PCOS. But irregular periods are the most observed symptoms , some women miss periods for a few months to years and some women get periods once every 3 weeks. It is also possible that some women do not exhibit any noticeable symptoms, hence it goes undiagnosed and affects pregnancy. 

PCOS affects 1 in 10 women and is a treatable cause of infertility. The hormone Androgen which is also known as male hormone plays an important role in PCOS. Higher Androgen levels prevent releasing of eggs (ovulation) during the menstrual cycle. The normal level of Androgen in females is 6 to 86 nanograms per deciliter, anything above this range causes PCOS, and other symptoms like acne, body hair. Insulin resistance is also one of the causes of PCOS, which means the body isn’t responding ideally to the insulin. Women with unhealthy food habits, overweight, obesity, family history of diabetes, not getting enough exercise might end up with insulin resistance. Since insulin is the hormone that controls how the food is converted to energy, it is very important to keep the insulin levels in check. 

PCOS doesn’t mean infertility. Yes, women with PCOS can conceive with a few tweaks to their lifestyle and healthy food habits. Though PCOS cannot be fully cured, it is manageable with medication, food habits and exercises. Monitoring the hormonal levels, maintaining Ovulation calendar, losing weight, and maintaining a healthy diet may increase the chances of conceiving. As the technology is becoming better, ask your doctor to recommend medication that controls hormonal levels. Many doctors usually prescribe birth control pills for PCOS, but you won’t be able to get pregnant when you are taking those pills. Clomiphene is an anti estrogen drug prescribed at the initial stage. Later the medication is changed based on the severity of the symptoms. Metformin is prescribed for diabetes if Clomiphene isn’t effective for ovulation. Follicle- stimulating Hormone shot or luteinizing Hormone shot is also prescribed. If the medication isn’t working there are assisted reproductive technologies like IVF that help with fertility. 

It is important to keep your stress levels as minimal as possible, it is understandable that it’s hard to keep the stress levels low when one is dealing with infertility. Stress increases cortisol levels, which triggers the increase in insulin levels. Some women opt for ovarian drilling surgeries to boost fertility, when other procedures and medication aren't working. The ovarian drilling process is basically a medical procedure to reduce the amount of testosterone produced by the ovaries by breaking through the outer surface. Once the testosterone levels are under control, ovaries release eggs every month. 

Once you get pregnant, it is important to manage the other symptoms like weight gain, diabetes, blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, etc to protect the baby. Women with PCOS might have higher chances of miscarriage at the early stages of pregnancy, proper diet plan and guidelines of doctors makes it better. There aren’t any consistent studies that say that a baby might have health complications if the mother has PCOS. A few changes in lifestyle, food habits and medication can help boost the fertility in women with fertility. 

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