What is PCOS ?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. It is characterized by the presence of multiple small cysts on the ovaries, as well as an imbalance of reproductive hormones, including high levels of androgens (male hormones) and irregular ovulation.
PCOS and PCOD are they different ?
PCOS and PCOD (polycystic ovary disease) are often used interchangeably, but PCOS is considered to be a more severe form of PCOD.
What are the causes of PCOS ?
The exact cause of PCOS is not fully understood, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Some of the factors that may contribute to the development of PCOS include:
Insulin resistance, which leads to high levels of insulin in the body
Hormonal imbalances, including high levels of androgens
What are the consequences of having PCOS ?
Consequences of having PCOS can include:
Irregular periods and difficulty ovulating
Hirsutism (excessive hair growth on the face, chest, and back)
Type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure
Does PCOS cause infertility ?
PCOS can cause infertility due to the irregular ovulation and hormonal imbalances that are associated with the condition.
What are the tests to be done for a woman suffering from PCOS ?
Tests for PCOS include:
Physical examination: A pelvic exam may reveal enlarged ovaries with multiple small cysts.
Blood tests: to check for high levels of androgens, luteinizing hormone (LH), and insulin
Ultrasound: an ultrasound may reveal multiple small cysts on the ovaries.
What are the treatment options for PCOS ?
Treatment options for PCOS include:
Medications: such as birth control pills, which can regulate menstrual cycles and reduce androgen levels, and metformin, which can help improve insulin sensitivity.
Lifestyle changes: such as losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly can help manage the symptoms of PCOS.
Surgery: Ovarian drilling is a surgical procedure that can help stimulate ovulation in women with PCOS who have not responded to other treatments.
Assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) for those who have infertility related to PCOS.
It is important to work with a healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses the specific symptoms and complications of PCOS.
IVF for PCOS
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a treatment option for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who are experiencing infertility. PCOS can cause infertility due to irregular ovulation and hormonal imbalances. IVF is a form of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that involves fertilizing an egg outside of the body and then implanting the fertilized egg into the uterus.
During an IVF cycle for PCOS, a woman will typically take medication to stimulate ovulation and produce multiple eggs. The eggs are then harvested and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory dish. The resulting embryos are then transferred to the woman's uterus.
IVF may be more successful for women with PCOS than other forms of infertility treatment because it bypasses the ovulation problems caused by PCOS. However, it is important to note that the success rate of IVF depends on many factors, including the woman's age, the cause of her infertility, and the quality of the eggs and embryos.
There are also some specific protocols that are used for IVF in PCOS such as:
Long protocol: This protocol involves suppressing the menstrual cycle for several weeks before starting the IVF cycle. This allows the ovaries to rest and can lead to a better response to the medications used to stimulate ovulation.
Short protocol: This protocol involves starting the IVF cycle while the woman is still menstruating. This can be less time-consuming and less expensive than the long protocol, but it may not be as effective for women with PCOS.
It is important to work with a fertility specialist to determine the best protocol and treatment plan for you, based on your specific situation and goals.