One of the most common reasons a woman has trouble getting pregnant is a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
It’s a hormone problem that interferes with the reproductive system.
When you have PCOS, your ovaries are larger than normal. These bigger ovaries can have many tiny cysts that contain immature eggs.
Treating Infertility When You Have PCOS!
- Hormone Differences: PCOS causes a woman’s body to produce higher-than-normal levels of androgens. These are male hormones in women, androgens are usually converted into the hormone estrogen.
- Ovulation Problem: High levels of androgens interfere with the development of your eggs and the regular release of your eggs. If a healthy egg isn’t released, it can’t be fertilized by sperm, meaning you can’t get pregnant. PCOS can cause you to miss your menstrual period or have irregular periods. This can be one of the first signs that you may have a problem such as PCOS.
- Regulating Your Period: Fortunately, there are some treatments that can help women with PCOS have healthy pregnancies. Your doctor may prescribe birth control pills or other safe medications that contain man-made versions of the hormones estrogen and progestin.
- Medications to get Pregnant: If you have PCOS and you want to get pregnant, you should work with a doctor who is a specialist in reproductive medicine. This type of doctor is also known as a fertility specialist.
- Lifestyle Changes:For some women, gaining a lot of weight can affect their hormones. In turn, losing weight, if you’re obese or overweight, may help get your hormones back to normal levels. Losing 10% of
your body weight may help your menstrual cycle become more predictable.
A reproductive endocrinologist will prescribe a combination of medications and fertility treatment to achieve pregnancy.
Medications to Induce Ovulation:
Fertility Treatment Options:
- Letrozole or similar oral medication
- Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) or similar injectable medication.
- Timed Intercourse (TIC): Involves monitoring via ultrasound and blood work to determine when ovulation will occur. The doctor will then instruct you to have intercourse during the optimal time for conception.
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): The sperm is inserted directly into your uterus through a catheter during ovulation.
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): This cycle begins by where they will develop into embryos. An embryo will then be transferred into your uterus. stimulating your ovaries with medications. The eggs are then retrieved and fertilized in a lab.
Although PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility, many women with PCOS have successful pregnancies. They may just need some extra help from a fertility specialist. If you have PCOS and are thinking about having a child, meet with your reproductive endocrinologist to plan the best path to parenthood for you and your family.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.