PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and it occurs in between 5 and 10% of women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS tend to have unbalanced hormones throughout their menstrual cycle, and tend to produce more male sex hormones than normal. This can cause irregular menstrual cycles and a lack of ovulation during the cycle. Women who have PCOS may experience weight gain and acne as well as male pattern baldness and body hair. It is a difficult and challenging condition for a woman to deal with. But for many women who are struggling with infertility, the biggest challenge is the fear that they will not be able to conceive.
Hormone therapy may be an option for some women who are dealing with PCOS-related infertility, and there may be some natural herbal supplements that may help alleviate some of the symptoms. There are many other options, including some more invasive treatments like in-vitro fertilization.
So, if you have been diagnosed with PCOS, who is the best doctor for you?
OB/GYNs may be knowledgeable about PCOS and reproductive options, especially if you have been trying to conceive for a year or more. OB/GYNs will likely have the most up-to-date information about new hormone therapies and options to help a woman with PCOS conceive.
The downside to having an OB/GYN for a regular PCOS doctor is that specialists may take longer to book an appointment with, and may not be as available for follow-ups.
A general practitioner may be an option for a woman with PCOS as well. GPs are usually easier to book an appointment with, and may be more convenient if you are wanting to see a doctor often.
When a woman is looking to find a doctor to help with her PCOS, the best approach to take is to go in with an open mind and ask a lot of questions. If she is fairly knowledgeable about her body and her PCOS, she will be able to tell whether or not her prospective doctor has read up on PCOS, and would be a good doctor for her.
And ultimately, the best doctor is one who listens to her patient’s questions and takes the time to understand her patient’s perspective. A woman needs a good relationship with her doctor, especially when she is dealing with a challenging chronic condition like PCOS. Studies demonstrate overall better health outcomes, a longer life, and less chronic disease when a person has a good and open relationship with their doctor. There is an added advantage of a woman having a GP as a primary doctor for PCOS treatment. Once the fertility treatments are successful and she has a baby, the doctor already has a great relationship with the mom, so the baby will benefit from having a great support network.
There are several viable treatments for a woman dealing with PCOS, and she may have to try a few before finding one that works, so the best thing is to find a doctor who supports the woman’s journey to health and fertility.