PCOS and Infertility: Know The Facts

sad woman looking at pregnancy test

PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is a common cause of infertility. In some women the condition makes it nearly impossible to conceive children, while other women are able to get pregnant but may take much longer than what would be considered normal. The reason that it’s so difficult to have children with PCOS is that the condition directly contributes to anovulatory cycles. In other words, a monthly cycle where ovulation does not occur, and an egg is not released.

Around 10% of women who are of reproductive age have PCOS. Symptoms of this syndrome can include irregular cycles or a lack of periods, excess body and facial hair with an onset in the teens or 20s and gradual worsening over time, and infertility. A blood test will also generally show higher levels of testosterone, which is a male hormone.

The good news is that fertility treatments can make it much easier for someone with PCOS to conceive. Determining which of the treatments will be the best one for the individual woman is often the most difficult part of the process. Each woman is different, and some treatments may provide more help and support for a woman’s fertility than others. A time of trial and error is possible, until the right treatment is found.

Metformin, Clomid, and Femara are some of the medications used to treat PCOS. There are also injectable Gonadotropins, and of course, IVF. Doctors can diagnose PCOS through an ultrasound, where they look for antral follicles, which are small, cystic structures on the ovaries. If there is an overabundance of these follicles, PCOS is likely the reason for a woman’s infertility.

By working with her doctor, a woman who has PCOS can feel confident that she will have good chances to become pregnant and have children of her own. While it may be more difficult and time-consuming for women with this condition, there are plenty of treatments that can help them become mothers.

If you have any questions about in vitro fertilization or any of the fertility treatments we offer,  please contact us today. We are happy to guide you on the path to parenthood!

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