PCOS is a common condition affecting about 15% of reproductive age women. It is a condition in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause your menstrual periods to become irregular, making it difficult to become pregnant.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
PCOS can be diagnosed by your medical provider if you have 2 of the following 3 symptoms present:
1) Increased bodily hair growth
2) Increased blood testosterone levels
3) Absent or infrequent periods, and/or the appearance of polycystic appearing ovaries on ultrasound.
There are several oral medications that can be given to promote ovulation in women with PCOS. Most experts agree that an excess amount of bodily insulin can deter ovulation; as such, diabetic drugs such as Metformin or Rosiglitazone are commonly used to help increase the probability of ovulation in insulin resistant PCOS patients.
Another class of medications, ovulatory induction agents such as Clomid and Letrozole, can be used to help PCOS patients.
Can Clomid and Metformin treat PCOS?
Most studies that have evaluated the combined use of an insulin drug such as Metformin with an ovulatory agent like Clomid have repeatedly shown a higher pregnancy rate than when individual drugs are used alone.
How long are the treatments for PCOS?
The majority of people who get pregnant using Clomid do so within the first 3 cycles, with no further benefit noted after 6 failed cycles.
What if Clomid doesn't help me treat PCOS?
If a pregnancy isn’t attained with Clomid, then injectable medications with human Menopausal Gonadotropins (hMG) or Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) should be given.
Can you have multiple births with PCOS?
However, risks of multiple gestations and ovarian hyperstimulation (OHSS) should be considered since multiple eggs can be created following a treatment plan. To help avoid these complications, patients require proper ultrasonographic monitoring from their medical provider.
Do I need Artificial Insemination IUI to get pregnant if I have PCOS?
Intrauterine Inseminations (IUI) should be considered to be performed in conjunction with the oral and/or injectable medications listed above to help increase pregnancy rates.
Can IVF help me get pregnant if I have PCOS?
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) provides the highest pregnancy rates out of all available procedures. PCOS patients, however, have slightly decreased pregnancy rates because their egg quality tends to be poorer and they encounter higher rates of OHSS.
Does being overweight contribute to PCOS?
Women with PCOS have a higher risk than normal to develop diabetes, heart disease, and uterine cancer. Furthermore, overweight PCOS women who get pregnant run the risk of developing gestational diabetes, fetal demise, and many other pregnancy related complications. It is therefore recommended that all overweight women with PCOS undergo weight loss prior to planning their pregnancy.
PCOS be associated with a variety of health problems including diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension.
This information has been vetted by Dr. Rudy Quintero, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. a Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist, and a Fertility Doctor in Los Angeles, to read more about him please visit www.CareFertility.net