Getting Started

PCOS / PCOD and Infertility

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a set of symptoms due to elevated androgens (male hormones in females).

To be diagnosed with PCOS by the Rotterdam criteria, a woman must have two of the following three manifestations: irregular or absent ovulation, elevated levels of androgenic hormones, and/or enlarged ovaries containing at least 12 follicles each.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF PCOS

Include irregular or no menstrual periods, heavy periods,excess body and facial hair, acne, pelvic pain,difficulty getting pregnant, and patches of thick, darker, velvety skin.

Having PCOS does not mean you can't get pregnant. PCOS is one of the most common, but treatable, causes of infertility in women. In women with PCOS, the hormonal imbalance interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation). If you don't ovulate, you can't get pregnant.

CAUSES

PCOS is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.Risk factors include obesity, a lack of physical exercise, and a family history of someone with the condition

DIAGNOSIS

Ultrasound reveals enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges giving string of pearls like appearance. Diagnosis is based on two of the following three findings: no ovulation, high androgen levels, and ovarian cysts Blood levels of DHEAS, Testosterone, LH, Fasting Insulin to be done.

TREATMENT

Having PCOS does not mean you can't get pregnant. PCOS is one of the most common, but treatable, cause of infertility in women. In women with PCOS, the hormonal imbalance interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation). If you don't ovulate, you can't get pregnant.

Treatment may involve lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise. Birth control pills may help with improving the regularity of periods, excess hair growth, and acne. Metformin and anti-androgens may also help.

There are a number of effective fertility treatments available, from Clomid to gonadotropins to IVF. While some women with PCOS will need IVF, the great majority will get pregnant using lower-tech fertility treatments.