PCOS awareness – It’s not the end of your dream to become a parent
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can be a difficult diagnosis because it involves many symptoms, including infertility. Fortunately, lifestyle changes and medical interventions by our Texas Fertility Center team can help. We’re raising PCOS awareness and letting women know about treatments that can help.
Symptoms of PCOS
PCOS is a metabolic disorder. It affects as many as 5-10% of women of reproductive age. Because PCOS involves a combination of different problems, our physicians evaluate several factors when diagnosing this disorder. These factors include anovulation (a failure to ovulate), higher-than-normal male hormone levels (increased testosterone) and the presence of multiple small, fluid-filled cysts within the ovaries.
Irregular periods are the most common symptoms of PCOS. PCOS can affect hormone levels, but we can measure them with blood tests. The presence of multiple small cysts in a woman’s ovaries give them a polycystic appearance and can be discovered with a transvaginal ultrasound.
Problems associated with PCOS include:
- Hirsutism (excessive facial hair growth)
- Increased risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Heightened risk of uterine cancer
- Increased risk of obesity
- Heightened risk of heart disease
The first line of defense in combating PCOS is maintaining a healthy weight. Many women with this disorder are overweight. A woman who loses 5% of her body weight can experience improvement in her symptoms.
PCOS awareness and fertility treatment options
For women with PCOS who are seeking to become pregnant, Texas Fertility Center offers many options for treatment. We first encourage obese patients to lose weight through lifestyle adjustments. Health professionals recommend that PCOS patients eat a healthy diet that is low in carbohydrates. Women should also increase their physical activity.
Even when a patient has achieved a healthy weight, she may still need help with ovulation. Metformin with fertility treatments to help the body use insulin more efficiently. In some cases, it can improve the chance of natural or assisted ovulation. Metformin is only for patients with glucose intolerance. Oral medications and injectable gonadotropins can help induce ovulation and improve the chance of pregnancy. In vitro fertilization is also an option for a woman with PCOS.
If you believe that you may have PCOS, contact the team at Texas Fertility Center to learn more about your treatment options. We’re happy to contribute to PCOS awareness.