Polycystic Ovary Syndrome,commonly known as PCOS, is the most common ovulatory disorder. It is quite common in women with fertility problems. It affects as many as 10% of all women in their prime childbearing years. Before discussing PCOS treatments, let’s understand what PCOS is & it’s related infertility symptoms in a bit more detail.
What is PCOS?
PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition that affects women’s hormone levels. Women who have PCOS produce a higher (more than usual) number of male hormones. This hormonal imbalance can cause women to miss menstrual periods and makes it very difficult for them to get pregnant. PCOS may also cause hair growth on the face and body, and in some extreme cases, baldness.
PCOS directly disrupts the maturation and ovulation of eggs, among other effects on the body. According to RESOLVE, the National Fertility Association, women with PCOS have three main symptoms. These are irregular periods, excess androgens (the root cause of excess hair growth and acne), and ovaries with multiple small follicles, which is seen through an ultrasound. Women with PCOS have trouble getting pregnant because their ovaries don’t grow and ovulate a mature egg every month. PCOS is also associated with high miscarriage rates and serious medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
Many women have PCOS, but they don’t know it yet. As per a study, up to 70 percent of women with PCOS are yet to be diagnosed.
Causes of PCOS are not clear. Many women who suffer from PCOS are overweight or obese, but it’s also possible they may be thin as well. In any case, obesity worsens the infertility symptoms of PCOS. Insulin insensitivity, which is associated with an excess of male hormones, is also a cause of PCOS. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is also thought to have a genetic basis and possibly may run in families. If your mother or sister is suffering from PCOS there’s a greater chance for you to have it as well.
What tests are used to diagnose PCOS?
There are a variety of reasons a woman may have difficulty becoming pregnant. In order to properly diagnose, one should consult a doctor. Knowing what to expect during your appointment can make it less stressful. The list below are some things to expect:
- If other people in your family facing similar symptoms.
- Questions about your health and menstrual cycle.
- A physical examination that will include measuring your body mass index (BMI) and waist size.
- Examination of different parts of your reproductive system.