September is PCOS Awareness Month.
Victoria Beckham and Jools Oliver have openly discussed their experiences with PCOS.
But what exactly is it and how does it affect fertility?
Dr. Bart Kuczera from Beacon CARE Fertility answers the most common questions about PCOS.
- What Is PCOS?
PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome ) is a condition that disrupts the ovulation and menstruation process. The leading symptom is infrequent menstruation and in some cases, the woman does not ovulate at all.
- What Causes PCOS?
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, it is thought to be linked to irregular hormone levels in the body, especially luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone, insulin and AMH, to name a few. The role of genetics is open to further discussion and studies.
- How Does PCOS Affect Fertility?
The condition prevents the development of the ovarian follicle and inhibits ovulation.
Polycystic ovaries contain an excess number of follicles compared to non-polycystic ovaries. Each of the follicles contributes to the severity of the condition by producing hormones.
- How Common Is PCOS?
PCOS affects up to 10% of women of childbearing age. It is one of the most common causes of infertility and the most manageable.
- How is PCOS Diagnosed?
A set of blood tests, an ovarian ultrasound and a review of your symptoms are typically taken into account when diagnosing PCOS.
- How Is PCOS Managed?
There is currently no known cure for PCOS, but the condition can be managed based on the need and circumstances (i.e. for fertility reasons or general health reasons).
A change of diet, body weight regulation and lifestyle adjustments may be recommended by your doctor to manage PCOS. Medication to restore ovulation may also be prescribed.
- Can I Get Pregnant With PCOS?
Yes, you can. Early diagnosis and proper management of the condition can help for both fertility and general health.
A spontaneous pregnancy is also possible but unpredictable.
For example, I had a consultation with a patient seeking treatment for PCOS as she hadn’t had a period in over a year. During our investigations we discovered that she was actually 6 weeks pregnant.
Our Fertility Consultants and medical team at Beacon CARE Fertility have helped scores of women manage their PCOS and optimise their chance of pregnancy.
Click HERE if you would like to book an appointment or request more information.