If you have PCOS, you aren’t alone
About 7 million women in the United States have polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. However, less than half know that they have the syndrome. Because September is PCOS Awareness Month, our Nashville fertility specialists would like to share some facts about this common, but sometimes misunderstood, cause of infertility.
PCOS is a metabolic disorder that involves a number of symptoms
Irregular periods or lack of ovulation are the most common symptoms of PCOS. However, our Nashville fertility specialists will only diagnose a woman with PCOS if she meets two of the three diagnostic criteria, including failure to ovulate, high levels of male hormones and the presence of ovarian cysts.
Women who have PCOS tend to experience a variety of troubling problems, including acne, facial hair, weight gain, high blood sugar, elevated cholesterol and infertility. The disorder also is associated with a number of health risks:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Uterine cancer
The best way to prevent many of these health problems is to maintain a healthy weight. If a woman is overweight, losing just 5% of her body weight can reduce health risks and improve the symptoms of PCOS, including infertility.
Fertility treatments are available for PCOS
Although PCOS can cause fertility issues, our Nashville fertility specialists have treatments that can help women become mothers. The first treatment recommendation is weight loss for overweight or obese women. Exercising and eating a diet that is low in carbohydrates seem to help women with PCOS lose weight.
If a woman is still having trouble conceiving after losing weight, she may need to take medications to help her ovulate. Metformin can help women who have a glucose intolerance use insulin more efficiently, and it may improve ovulation. Fertility medications including clomiphene citrate or letrozole can induce ovulation and may help a woman conceive. In some cases, women may need to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) in conjunction with fertility medications.
If you would like to learn more about treatments for PCOS at Nashville Fertility Center, please contact us today. You don’t have to suffer.Tweet