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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects a woman's hormonal levels and helps her conceive. PCOS symptoms include irregular ovulation or menstrual cycle, increase in androgen. A woman can get pregnant with PCOS by maintaining a healthy diet, medication, ovarian drilling and IVF procedure.
Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) have to deal with the problematic symptoms as well as focus on getting pregnant. PCOS is the most challenging syndrome for premenopausal women as it is one of the prime causes of infertility in the present times. Living with PCOS can become an ordeal especially when you are trying to get pregnant. Yet, correct medical guidance, complete knowledge, and a strong will are all that you need to turn the situation in your favour. (1)
Symptoms of PCOS
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome commonly known as PCOS is a syndrome in women which affects the hormonal levels. PCOS brings in a variety of symptoms that, if present, can tell you about its presence in your system. (2)
- Cysts in the ovary that interfere with the egg formation: Due to PCOS, cysts which can be described as small bags filled with fluids grow inside the ovaries. These small bags contain immature eggs which do not mature in time and hence the ovulation is irregular.
- Increase in the androgen (the male hormone): Due to the lack of ovulation, the secretion of the androgen hormone is higher than the secretion of estrogen and progesterone resulting in an uncommon condition of male hormones being more than the female hormones.
- Irregular ovulation and menstrual cycle: Ovulation is the only time women can conceive and thus, irregular ovulation directly affects conception.
Apart from these, there are other symptoms that you can observe like:
- PMS and pelvic pain
- Inability to get pregnant or recurrent miscarriage
- Acne and oily skin
- Balding or thinning hair
- Hirsutism (Facial hair and growth of hair on parts like neck, stomach, chest, back, hands and feet)
- Insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes
- Skin tags
- Increased blood pressure
- Obesity or weight gain
- High cholesterol
What makes PCOS worse is that it is observed to affect women between the age of 15 to 30 which is the child-bearing age. Hence women with PCOS conditions are prone to infertility and face some complications in either conceiving or during the pregnancy.
What Does PCOS Do?
PCOS makes it challenging to conceive due to the fact that it causes a major hormonal imbalance that leads to the disruption or total stopping up of ovulation thereby interfering with the entire process of the menstrual cycle. When there are no necessary hormones produced inside the body, the egg doesn’t mature completely and stay inside the follicles that are filled with fluid. These follicles never get ruptured in the absence of a mature egg and remain like cysts that produce greater amounts of male sex hormones called androgen. Androgen, in turn, stops ovulation. In the absence of a mature egg, there is no ovulation and subsequently, no progesterone hormone is produced hence leading to irregular menstrual cycle. (3)
Is It Possible to Conceive With PCOS?
Having said that, PCOS doesn’t mean that women cannot get pregnant. There are so many options for taking the right medications to consult an expert from the Fertility Centre in India to get pregnant and experience motherhood. Below are some of the ways to get pregnant and combating infertility:
1. Follow a healthy lifestyle:
Many of the health issues occur due to an unhealthy lifestyle. But what cannot be ignored is that as an unhealthy lifestyle can cause several issues, a healthy lifestyle can restore health too. This holds true for PCOS also. Adopting a healthy diet, living life in a cycle where you have a defined diet to get the necessary nutrients and exercise regularly helps a lot.
You can chalk out a diet plan from a dietician, nutritionist or consult a specialist. You can also get an exercise planned defined or practice regular Yoga and control the formation of the cysts in the ovaries. (4)
It has been observed that appropriate exercise and intake of nutrition have helped women cope with infertility and become pregnant.
There are several medical treatments that you can opt for depending on how PCOS has affected your reproductive system. (5)
Metformin treatment: To restore the ovulation cycle, doctors often prescribe a drug called metformin. This drug is usually used to treat diabetes to boost insulin secretion. Metformin is said to reduce weight, restore menstrual as well as ovulation cycle, improve the fertility of eggs and also said to reduce the risk of miscarriages.
Clomid treatment: This is the common drug prescribed by doctors to women suffering from PCOS. The drug is an anti-estrogen drug which is effective in reducing the secretion of male hormone and helps in balancing the hormonal levels. This drug is prescribed to trigger ovulation and thus making the women able to conceive.
Letrozole treatment: Also used in cancer treatment, the drug Letrozole is also observed to stimulate the ovulation in women.
Gonadotropins treatment: This is an injectable drug treatment. The drug consists of the hormones FSH, LH, or a combination of the two. This injectable treatment is often prescribed in a combination of oral treatment.
The above-described drugs are one of the most powerful drugs and pose some side effects too hence it is not advised at all to take them without a doctor’s prescription.
3. Ovarian drilling:
Many women undergo a small (minimally invasive) surgery in order to induce ovulation. This is a surgical laparoscopy procedure in which the ovaries are punctured with the help of a small needle, which carries electric current in it. It is noted that a small part of the ovary is destroyed during the procedure, however, it has been found helpful in lowering down the male hormone levels in the blood. It is greatly helpful in inducing ovulation too. Effect of this procedure is not long-lasting and can end up only a few months time. Moreover, the surgery is associated with the risk of developing scar tissues between ovary/ies and fallopian tubes and also among other surrounding organs that may prevent fertilization or cause additional issues in conceiving. (6)
4. IVF treatment:
Even after medications to rectify infertility due to PCOS if the women cannot conceive through a natural process, In-Vitro fertilization is a treatment in which women can get pregnant artificially. In IVF treatment, the eggs from the women are taken and combined with the sperms taken from her male counterpart, combined in a plate in the laboratory and after the embryo is formed, it is implanted in the uterus. Apart from the artificial process of conception, the whole pregnancy process is very normal. (7)
5. Borrowing eggs:
Many couples think that if a diet plan and medication and IVF treatments all fail, there is no hope that the couple will experience parenthood. Well, it is not true. If the women are unable to produce healthy eggs, she can borrow eggs, and then take the IVF process and get pregnant. (8)
If the woman has fertile eggs but cannot hold a pregnancy and has risks of miscarriage, she can opt for surrogacy treatment. This way the mother will still be the biological mother while the surrogate delivers the baby. (10) (9)
PCOS is not a newly found syndrome, but it is increasing in women due to the changing lifestyle and eating habits. There are ways to deal with PCOS and if done right, with the right consultation and guidance, women with PCOS too can experience a normal pregnancy.
SOURCES AND REFERENCES:
- ^ Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) | Mayo Clinic Mayoclinic.org, 08 August 2019
- ^ Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) | Medical News Today Medicalnewstoday.com, 08 August 2019
- ^ Polycystic ovary syndrome - Symptoms | NHS Nhs.uk, 08 August 2019
- ^ Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle | WebMD Webmd.com, 08 August 2019
- ^ Medication | Wikipedia En.wikipedia.org, 08 August 2019
- ^ Ovarian Drilling for Infertility | Reproductivefacts Reproductivefacts.org, 08 August 2019
- ^ In Vitro Fertilization | Mayo Clinic Mayoclinic.org, 08 August 2019
- ^ Best Egg Personal Loans Review 2019 Preventloanscams.org, 08 August 2019
- ^ Overview of the Surrogacy Process | Human Rights Campaign Hrc.org, 08 August 2019
- ^ Surrogacy | Wikipedia En.wikipedia.org, 08 August 2019
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