PCOS and Infertility

Infertility has increased its occurrence over the past years and as a number of reasons are being pointed out, biological make up of both man and woman have proven to play vital roles in the ability to conceive. Infertility is defined as the inability to biologically conceive after six months to a year of unprotected intercourse and/or the inability to carry a full-term pregnancy.

Most of the infertility cases reported have been caused by the condition known as PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS, also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome, is a condition caused by hormonal imbalance. Approximately 15% of women in reproductive ages of 15 to 44 is said to be affected by this condition.

The condition which involves the presence of multiple cysts in the ovary directly causes abnormal menstrual cycles, thus affecting the ovulation process. Women with PCOS do not produce enough estrogen and progesterone hormones necessary for ovulation, the follicles containing the egg do not mature and eventually become cysts.

To be diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a woman may have two or three of the following manifestations as defined by the 2003 ESHRE/ASRM consensus conference: Presence of male hormones, abnormal menstrual cycles (irregular menstruations accompanied with pelvic cramps), and ovarian ultrasound revealing cyst formations in the outer and inner ovary.

Women with PCOS produce high insulin and as such, excessive insulin production leads to type II diabetes and increased production of male hormones such as androgen. Insulin resistance for women with PCOS also increases the chances of miscarriage.

Other symptoms of PCOS are being overweight, increasing hair growth in back, chest and face, acne, thinning hair and pelvic pain during and before menstruation.

As women with weight problems are pre-disposed to develop PCOS, weight reduction is the primary suggested treatment. Weight reduction can be very helpful in restoring the normal process of spontaneous ovulation. A reported 5% of the current weight of a woman is what is only needed to be shed in order to directly increase the number of ovulation cycles.

Treatment for ovulation and menstruation problems may be an enduring and long process, but the options are substantial. From fertility drugs to therapy and surgery, PCOS may be reversed and conception is possible.

Your fertility specialist will inform you about the condition and the necessary fertility drugs that you would initially need to take. These medications are aimed to regularize the ovulation and menstruation process and reduce the number of cysts present in the ovary.

To cite, some of the prescriptions and practices to stimulate ovulation, your physician may most likely prescribe CLOMID. Clomid or Clomifine Cetrite, prescribed to be taken a few days early into the cycle. This is to stimulate ovulation and is designed to directly aid in conception. As a number of side effects have been noted with the use of CLOMID, a professional is required to regulate the intake of this drug. It is usually prescribed to a limit of three to six ovulation cycles.

Injectables are also prescribed to promote ovulation. These injectable hormones stimulate the production of eggs and are often combined with IUIs or Intrauterine Insemination for successful conception. As with CLOMID, this process must also be regulated by professional medical practitioners and fertility specialists.

Another option for women with PCOS is the IVF or the invitro fertilization.  PCOS and infertility go hand in hand, and treating one will most likely treat the other. But as PCOS is only one of the many factors affecting infertility, it is advised that one should proceed with a series of fertility tests to determine the actual cause of infertility.

If you have exhibited a handful of the symptoms enumerated above and may suspect that you have PCOS, getting yourself tested for the condition is the most logical thing to do.

Speak with your OB-gyne and request for a fertility work-up in order to understand infertility and learn about the many possibilities to cure the condition.

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