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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) & Infertility

Fertility Treatment Options for PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is very common, affecting about 5 to 10% of women of childbearing age. Unfortunately, more than half of these women remain undiagnosed. Ovulatory disorders such as PCOS are the number-one cause of infertility, ahead of endometriosis. Although PCOS often makes conception more difficult, primarily because of the unpredictability of ovulation and egg quality problems, the condition is treatable. Many women with PCOS go on to successfully conceive and give birth to healthy babies.

Why Is it Hard to Get Pregnant with PCOS?

PCOS affects a woman’s ability to get pregnant because she does not ovulate, or release an egg, every month. For many women, this also means irregular periods, making it difficult to track their ovulation. Other components may also impact a woman’s ability to conceive, such as increased levels of male hormones like testosterone that affect egg quality.

PCOS symptoms include:

  • Many small, fluid-filled ovarian cysts
  • Obesity (up to 80% of women with PCOS are obese)
  • Higher than normal levels of androgen (male hormones), like testosterone
  • Irregular periods
  • Heavy bleeding during periods
  • Excess hair growth
  • Insulin resistance, which may lead to Type 2 diabetes
  • Acne
  • Mood disorders
  • High cholesterol and/or triglycerides, which can later lead to heart disease

How Fertility Treatments Can Help Combat PCOS

For many women, lifestyle modifications can boost fertility, such as losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise. Overweight women with PCOS who lose just 10 to 15 pounds may be able to regulate their menstrual cycle, improve their insulin levels, and relieve any unpleasant symptoms associated with PCOS, like excessive hair growth and acne.

For women who show no improvement from lifestyle modifications, fertility treatments may be necessary. Women with PCOS may successfully undergo in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive. This fertility-boosting treatment involves daily fertility injections to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs, which are then harvested, fertilized “in vitro” and replaced in the woman’s uterus after 3 to 5 days of growth.

PCOS can often be treated with medications that regulate hormonal function, although if the cysts interfere with ovulation then IVF or surgery may be necessary. If you are a patient who suffers from PCOS, Dr. Denker will assess whether you are a surgical candidate or can be treated through other modalities.

If you have PCOS and are interested in starting a family, you may have concerns about how you will conceive. You should know many women can jumpstart ovulation successfully and eventually do get pregnant with appropriate treatment.

Are you interested in fertility treatments in Boca Raton? Contact Palm Beach Fertility Center today at (888) 819-5177 or book an appointment online.

Fertility Care as
Unique as Your DNA

Anyone trying to conceive without success knows that infertility can consume your life. Dr. Mark Denker, M.D., R.E., and the compassionate team at Palm Beach Fertility Center understand that nothing matters more to you than building a family. We devote ourselves to helping resolve infertility with individualized care that produces optimal results.

About Palm Beach Fertility