A doctor speaks with a woman sitting on a hospital bed

Fertility & PCOS: What You Need to Know

Polycystic ovary syndrome, otherwise known as PCOS, is a hormonal imbalance that affects 1 out of every 10 women, according to the Office on Women’s Health. Learn about the causes, symptoms, and common treatments for this condition.

What Is PCOS?  

Polycystic ovary syndrome occurs when a woman has elevated levels of androgens, a group of hormones responsible for several functions in the male body. This imbalance of hormones can cause women to have irregular menstrual cycles. They might skip a period every now and then, the cycle between their periods might last 21 days or fewer, or they might skip periods for an extended amount of time. Women with PCOS might also have excess body and facial hair, skin tags, weight gain, acne, pelvic pain, ovarian cysts, and thinning hair.

However, one of the most frustrating side effects of PCOS is infertility. The irregular menstrual cycle many women with PCOS experience is due to androgens interfering with the ovaries’ ability to grow and release eggs. When your ovaries don’t release an egg, you can’t become pregnant. In addition, an irregular menstrual cycle can be almost impossible to track, leaving you in the dark as to when you’re actually ovulating.

How Can I Lessen the Symptoms?

1. Maintain a healthy weight. Increased resistance to insulin can cause your androgen levels to rise, and losing weight lowers your insulin resistance, which leads to a more normal balance of hormones. Lower levels of androgens in your system can lessen the impact of PCOS symptoms.

2. Find a treatment plan. Your doctor can prescribe you a topical cream that can slow the growth of hair in unwanted places.

3. Use NaProTECHNOLOGY. This technology empowers women to learn about the underlying causes of their infertility, which can lead to more effective treatment.

If you think you might have PCOS or another gynecological condition, schedule an appointment with a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group OB/GYN. If you have struggled with infertility and are trying to get pregnant, visit Caritas Women’s Care to learn about NaProTECHNOLOGY and how you might benefit from it.
 

Sources:
OWH | Polycystic ovary syndrome
Medline Plus | Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
NIH | Polycystic ovary syndrome
Healthline | Can My Diet Relieve Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?
Very Well Health | What Women Should Know About Their Ovaries
Very Well Health | How Weight Loss Can Improve PCOS