PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is a hormonal disease that occurs during the reproductive age of women. A large number of harmless follicles are there in PCOS that are up to 8 mm in size. In PCOS, women produce more than the normal amount of male hormones called androgens. This problem causes them to skip menstrual periods in women and makes it harder for them to get pregnant. It affects women between the age of 15 to 44 years. It also stops your periods and causes acne. Many women have PCOS but are not aware of it. This has been shown in a study also that 70% of women with PCOS have not been diagnosed.
So, let us focus on the symptoms of polycystic ovaries in detail.
The most common sign of polycystic ovaries is the infrequent, irregular, or prolonged menstrual cycle. For example, you will be having periods for less than 9 months in a year, face more than 35 days between periods, and heavy periods.
Excess levels of male hormones at last result in some physical signs such as excess facial and body hair, severe acne, and male-pattern baldness. This can also lead to some long-term health issues such as diabetes and heart attack.
You will see that your ovaries have got enlarged and contain follicles that surround the eggs. And this will result in your ovaries not functioning regularly.
Weight gain and headaches
Women also face the problem of heavy-weight gain and up to 80% of women have faced this problem of being overweight or having obesity. It can also cause severe headaches in some women because of hormonal changes.
Darkening of the skin
PCOS also makes some dark patches on the skin near the neck, in the groin, and under the breasts.
There are some cases when you will have PCOS and will not have any symptoms. A lot of women do not even realize that they are having a problem unless they face a problem getting pregnant or are gaining weight without any reason. However, this is also possible that you have very mild PCOS where the symptoms are not enough for you to notice anything. So, if you want to know the treatment for this problem, let us look at the same.
Your healthcare provider will determine your treatment based on some symptoms, medical history, and other health conditions. Its treatment also depends on the pregnancy whether you want to get pregnant or not. However, the treatment includes some medications, lifestyle changes, or both.
How to get pregnant with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)
PCOS refers to the condition of the presence of multiple follicles (in the form of cysts) in the ovaries. These follicles contain immature eggs within them but they are not developed properly. This condition causes the restriction the ovulation, hence no mature egg is produced by the ovary resulting in the infertile condition of the woman. However, PCOS doesn’t make a woman completely infertile. A woman can undergo minor or major treatments in order to get rid of PCOS.
As we all know, a successful pregnancy begins with ovulation. So, the very first way is to get drugs to induce ovulation. Your healthcare provider will help you with some medicines to induce ovulation with PCOS. Another way to treat PCOS is to get surgery as it will remove the tissues in the ovaries that are producing the androgen hormones. This surgery is known as ovarian drilling. However, surgeons rarely perform this procedure because many new better medications are available now. Another way to deal with PCOS is to get an In Vitro fertilization (IVF). Under this, a woman’s egg is fertilized with her partner’s sperm and then it is transferred back to the uterus of the woman. This treatment is done for women with PCOS when the medication treatment does not help with ovulation.
Involvement of PCOS in infertility
PCOS causes an imbalance in the feminine hormone which can lead to an increment in the level of androgen, thickening of the outer coating of ovaries, enhanced blood insulin level, and formation of fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries. Such conditions can disturb the menstrual cycle hence affecting ovulation and making a woman infertile.
PCOS Treatments when you plan to become pregnant
Fortunately, medical science has evolved so many ways to improve the fertility of a woman even after having PCOS.
There are several potential options which can help in getting pregnant with PCOS. The doctor advises the woman to change her lifestyle in order to maintain her body weight. Excessive body weight can interrupt the proper functioning of the hormones. Obesity increases the level of hormones more than the required amount. Lesser body weight helps to conceive and even assures a healthy pregnancy. Lifestyle change also includes no smoking and drinking, practising yoga and exercise as well as meditation to reduce stress.
Sometimes, the Ovulation induction theory is also advised by the physician. It involves the administration of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone), these hormones are responsible for the release of eggs from the ovary. In some cases, doctors also advise taking medication.
In some critical cases of PCOS surgical procedure is also performed. To promote ovulation from the ovaries some surface tissues are surgically removed.
How does In Vitro fertilization (IVF) help in pregnancy with PCOS?
If sometimes lifestyle changes, medications and surgeries won’t work, then Ivf is a better choice. As we know PCOS only restricts the ovulation of the woman but it does not have any impact on the pregnancy and development of the fetus. IVF treatment is a boon for females dealing with PCOS. in this process, you will get fertility injections which stimulate the ovaries for the production of multiple eggs. After it, Eggs are extracted from the ovaries and fertilized in vitro. Later the fertilized embryo is implanted in the uterus. Generally, Women with PCOS have shown no difficulties in carrying out a pregnancy.
PCOS Treatments when you do not plan to become pregnant.
Hormonal birth control
You can take some birth control pills, patches, shots, a vaginal ring, and an intrauterine device (IUD). It helps to improve acne, control hair growth, and regulate your menstrual cycle.
Many medicines are available that help treats diabetes and work by helping your body process insulin. People with PCOS see improvement in their menstrual cycle once their insulin is controlled.
Medications are performed to block the effect of androgens that help to control acne or hair growth caused by PCOS.
You can control your insulin levels by losing weight and eating a healthy diet.
PCOS is a very common cause of fertility that can be linked to many other diseases also. If you are having any of the symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider. You can manage your symptoms easily by following the correct guidelines. If you have any queries related to Polycystic Ovaries, you can contact our doctor Beena Muktesh, Clinical Director at Silver Leaf Fertility Centre, Cloudnine Fertility Gurgaon. M.B.B.S, M.S. (Obst & Gynae), Infertility & I.V.F. (U.K), Diploma in Endoscopy (Germany)