All About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Hormones play an essential role in the reproductive health of all women. There must be the correct balance for healthy ovaries, eggs, menstruation, and pregnancy. Conversely, a hormonal imbalance can cause certain disorders like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). An overproduction of androgens by the ovaries, like testosterone, can lead to PCOS. As a result, many disturbing symptoms affect the reproductive system, including infertility. In cases where conservative treatment fail, intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be a viable solution.
Signs and symptoms of PCOS
PCOS is the most common endocrine condition women of reproductive age face today. Some women are unaware of the condition but still experience many PCOS symptoms. Women with PCOS often have missed periods, irregular bleeding, insulin resistance, and pelvic pain. There are also physical indicators like facial hair growth, acne, and obesity. However, one of the most significant indicators is the development of several small cysts on the ovaries. These symptoms lead to irregular ovulation and infertility. About 70% of women with PCOS struggle to get pregnant.
Can IUI help with pregnancy?
While pregnancy is a challenge, there are some options available. Doctors will consider intrauterine insemination (IUI). With IUI, the doctor uses a small device to insert a sperm sample into the woman’s cervix to help with pregnancy. PCOS, however, can restrict the release of an egg. To offset this issue, the doctor will prescribe hormone medication to produce and release eggs. Studies show that IUI can improve the chances of pregnancy with mixed results. There are other factors to consider like age and health.
Turning to IVF
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a much more effective method for pregnancy with PCOS. IVF is a multi-step process that involves creating an embryo in a fertility laboratory. Egg and sperm samples are combined and monitored over a few days to develop mature embryos. One or more embryos are then transferred to the uterus, with the rest frozen for future use. IVF with PCOS has a high success rate but requires close monitoring of hormone levels. Like IUI, IVF success is impacted by other factors, such as obesity and age.
Hope with PCOS
PCOS can limit ovulation, which decreases fertility. Thanks to techniques like IUI and IVF, women with PCOS have renewed hope. IVF has higher success rates than IUI, but both need added support with hormone medication. Combined with doctor-recommended lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, getting pregnant with PCOS is possible.