PCOS and pregnancy are the most discussed topics, especially for women who are trying to get pregnant. While PCOS can cause complications in conception, pregnancy, and childbirth, it is now possible to treat the symptoms and help women conceive.
Dr. Michael Cho takes a personalized approach to care and offers many advanced solutions for the treatment of infertility in women with PCOS.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a type of hormonal imbalance that usually occurs when your ovaries produce excess hormones, especially androgens. If you have PCOS your ovaries may fail to produce a healthy egg or do not release any egg at all. PCOS may impair your ovulation leading to the development of small ovarian cysts (fluid-filled sacs).
It is one of the most common causes of infertility, and can also increase your risk of other health conditions.
Clinical features of PCOS
The most common signs and symptoms of PCOS include:
- Missed or delayed menstruation cycle
- Heavy bleeding during periods
- Excess facial hair, and other areas such as arms, chest, and abdomen (hirsutism)
- Presence of acne on your face, chest, and back
- Excess weight gain (obesity)
- Darkening of the skin
- Presence of large cystic (fluid-filled sacs) follicles in the ovaries
- Skin tags found in armpits or necks
- Female-patterned baldness
Diagnostic criteria PCOS
Your doctor can diagnose PCOS by:
- Evaluating your symptoms and medical history
- Reviewing your biological family history
- Assessing your vitals like BP and weight
- Performing a physical examination, looking for specific features like facial hair, hair loss, or acne
- Conducting a pelvic exam to rule out other causes of abnormal bleeding
- Ordering blood tests to check your hormone levels and glucose levels
- Performing a pelvic ultrasound to check your ovaries and uterine lining
Your doctor will design a tailored treatment approach depending on the severity of your symptoms and if you wish to become pregnant.
- Healthy diet and exercise for weight loss
- Relaxation techniques to reduce stress
- Drugs help to induce ovulation when taken orally or through injections
- Surgical procedures to remove the tissue in your ovaries that produces excess androgen hormones
In vitro fertilization
- IVF is an effective option when medications do not help.
- Your doctor fertilizes your egg with your partner’s sperm in a lab, before transferring it to your uterus.
PCOS is relatively a common medical condition affecting many women. Fortunately, this is treatable and can help women lead a normal life, where they are able to conceive and deliver safely while managing the symptoms of PCOS.