PCOS and Infertility – A Major Cause of Infertility is PCOS
PCOS and infertility are closely related. One of the main reasons for female infertility is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). High levels of male hormones or androgens are believed to be produced in some women as their bodies respond to excessive insulin production. PCOC in women means those women are insulin resistant. Insulin resistance leads to diabetes.
Several follicles develop within the ovaries during a women’s normal menstrual cycle. There is an egg in each follicle. Only one follicle will remain as the menstrual cycle continues. This follicle will produce the egg during ovulation. LH levels will spike after the egg has ripened, resulting in the egg bursting from the follicle and thus causing ovulation. In women with PCOS these follicles do not ripen to become eggs. This is because these women with PCOS do not normally produce sufficient female hormones required for ovulation.
Since some of the follicles may develop into cysts, a “string of pearls” may appear in an ultrasound on the ovaries in women with PCOS. This “string of pearls” is formed from the undeveloped follicles. There will usually be a number of small cysts covering the outside of the ovaries. The lining of the uterus is made to thicken because progesterone is not produced. Progesterone is not produced because ovulation does not occur.
PCOs and Infertility – the Effect of Age
PCOS can become worse as a woman ages. The absence or an irregular period may be symptomatic of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Another symptom might be with the some women who may ovulate irregularly as well as not at all. PCOS is present in Five to ten percent of women of childbearing age. However, most women do not even know that they have it. What`s more, diagnosis has been made in less the twenty-five percent of women with PCOS. Some women are fortunate enough to fall pregnant during an erratic ovulation cycle.
Other PCOS symptoms include thinning hair, increased hair growth on back, chest or face, acne, pelvic pain also obesity, high insulin levels or type two diabetes. Each woman with PCOS will have different symptoms. An erratic period may be the only symptom in some women.
PCOs and Infertility – the Lack of Ovulation
Obviously a woman’s ability to conceive is affected by PCOS because of a lack of ovulation. But, the problem can be corrected by taking several steps. Losing weight can be an excellent first step for some women in treating their PCOS. Hormone imbalances can sometimes be improved by weight loss. The body’s ability to absorb insulin can also be improved using a drug called Metformin. it affects insulin levels and because it does not actually lower blood sugar directly it is considered safe to use on women who do not have diabetes.
PCOS is also often treated using Clomid or other fertility drugs. Estrogen receptors in the brain are blocked by Clomid. The brain thinks there are low estrogen levels due to these blocked receptors. The body receives a signal to ovulate by having a production of LH and FSH. Production of LH and FSH will have been triggered by having low estrogen levels. Clomid is frequently successful at bringing about ovulation, nevertheless, pregnancy will only occur in thirty to forty percent of the women who do ovulate from Clomid.
PCOs and Infertility – Some Additional Options
Additional options are in vitro maturation (IVM) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) for women with PCOS. Immature eggs are harvested early in a woman’s cycle with the in vitro maturation procedure. The harvested eggs can be used for fertilization once they are matured in a laboratory. The eggs are harvested after they are already mature during the in vitro fertilization procedure. From there, The eggs are then implanted in the woman’s uterus after being fertilized. During IVF treatments the eggs are assisted in their development by including medications that help. The IVM procedure is especially helpful for women who do not react to drug therapy.
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