Can PCOS cause infertility?
Can PCOS cause infertility?
The menstrual cycle has gone for a toss in many young women of late. An unhealthy lifestyle like lack of exercise, less sleep or abnormal sleep pattern, dietary habits like junk and highly processed foods could be some of the reasons for the erratic menstrual cycle. Many suffer from irregular periods, hormonal imbalance with or without obesity and this leads to a vicious cycle. If you have any of these problems, it could probably be due to PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). PCOS has become a common health issue these days and it can cause infertility in women. Don’t panic. It can be managed through lifestyle modifications, medications, and advanced fertility treatments.
What is PCOS?
When you have irregular cycles with hormonal imbalance and your ovaries start producing high levels of certain hormones and when numerous fluid-filled sacs start appearing in the ovaries, you are said to have PCOS.
- Irregular periods with heavy or scanty flow
- Unwanted hair growth
- Cysts in ovaries
Diagnosis of PCOS:
Being diagnosed with PCOS can be devastating if you are on the road to parenthood. But there are several ways that can reduce the symptoms of PCOS and enable you to embrace motherhood.
The doctor will visually examine the vagina and cervix for any abnormalities or evidence of infection and do a bimanual examination to feel for the size of the uterus and look for any adnexal abnormalities.
Transvaginal Ultrasound is performed to check the presence of any cysts in the ovaries and also to check the position and size of the uterus and thickness of endometrial lining along with looking for the presence of other abnormalities like endometriosis, fibroids, etc.
Blood tests are done to know the level of hormones like FSH, LH, AMH, Testosterone, etc. In addition to this, tests for checking insulin resistance, cholesterol, thyroid, and prolactin levels are also done.
Treatment of PCOS:
Being obese is one of the major issues related to PCOS. Having a balanced diet, avoiding junk foods, and following a regular exercise regimen can help in losing weight and improving PCOS symptoms. A 5-10% reduction in weight can help in regulating periods, improve fertility and also decrease the risk of Diabetes and other heart diseases.
ii. Medical Treatment:
Ovulation induction medications and advanced fertility treatments like IUI and IVF can help PCOS women overcome infertility and have children.
Complications associated with PCOS:
Women with PCOS may develop Diabetes during their pregnancy. The blood sugar levels have to be monitored regularly and if left untreated, this can result in a larger-than-normal baby, early birth, and a higher risk of cesarean section.
PCOS can increase the chance of miscarriage. Though the proper reason for miscarriage is not known, it could be due to hormonal imbalance or obesity.
Pre-eclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure and this can affect the nourishment of the foetus and also lead to low birth weight of the newborn.
Women who have PCOS need to take the right steps in terms of diet, medication and make lifestyle changes as well to achieve pregnancy. Not all PCOS women need to go for IVF or advanced treatment. All women need to have a proper understanding of their menstrual cycle before taking up the parenthood journey.