How PCOS Can Affect Fertility
Can Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Hurt My Fertility?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can hurt your fertility. Known as PCOS for short, this condition is considered to be one of the most common causes of female infertility. There is not a cure for PCOS; however, a woman with PCOS may be able to become pregnant with the right treatments.
While PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility, most women with PCOS will not experience any major problems with trying to conceive. However, for those that do, PCOS can be an extremely frustrating condition. PCOS can cause a variety of problems, from a delay in conception to higher miscarriage rates to complications with pregnancy. For some women, the first symptoms of PCOS are that they are having very few or even no periods. This typically is measured by having less than 9 periods in a twelve month timeframe. Some women with PCOS will have no period whatsoever. Some will have regular periods, but may not ovulate every month, or at all.
For a woman who is experiencing fertility problems because of PCOS, the best way to treat her PCOS is to treat the symptom of infertility. One of the most popular treatments of infertility due to PCOS is Clomid. Clomid is used to stimulate ovulation. Clomid will help around 4 out of 5 women ovulate, and can greatly increase a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. Clomid does carry an increased risk of having a multiple or twin pregnancy.
Sometimes, Clomid will not be able to help a woman with PCOS overcome her infertility. If Clomid does not successfully treat infertility, the next step is often to use hormones to try to stimulate the ovaries into producing eggs. Here again, this treatment, referred to as ovarian stimulation, carries the risk of multiple or twin pregnancy.
There is a surgical procedure that is similar to ovarian stimulation. Known as Ovarian drilling, this operation uses the making of several small holes in each ovary with a fine probe or laser. For some women, this can restore ovulation, or at least make their ovaries more likely to respond to Clomid.
A more radical procedure, IVF or in vitro fertilization, remains an option for a woman who has not responded to other treatments. The success rates of IVF can vary greatly depending on a variety of individual factors, including the length of infertility, weight, and age.
While PCOS can definitely hurt your infertility, the good news is that there are a variety of ways that this infertility may be able to be treated. If you have PCOS and are struggling with infertility, you should discuss your treatment options with your health care provider.