Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) affects the hormonal pathways that produce eggs and prepare the uterus for pregnancy, meaning that it can be a challenge for women with PCOS to become pregnant.
A large part of the challenge is down to irregular periods or anovulation. Women with PCOS may not ovulate, may have irregular periods (so it can be hard to work out when ovulation occurs), or the uterus lining may not be prepared for pregnancy when an egg is released and fertilised.
Just one of these effects can have a devastating impact on pregnancy chances, but many women with PCOS suffer more than one of these fertility complications.
Non-Medical Treatments to Help Fertility
Obesity is an issue for over a third of women with PCOS; a high waist-to-hip ratio is linked with high insulin levels and disruption to fertility, so losing weight and maintaining a healthy diet is incredibly important to improving fertility levels.
As with any health condition, a varied, balanced diet and good exercise regimen can improve overall wellbeing and have a positive effect on fertility. However, many women require further treatment to become pregnant wen suffering from the condition.
Fertility Treatments for PCOS
Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options with excellent success rates.
Metformin and Clomiphene Citrate are often prescribed as the first treatment. Metformin reduces the amount of insulin the body produces to interrupt the cycles that produce ovarian cysts and too much testosterone, while Clomiphene Citrate helps follicles to complete their maturation – this is often prescribed after Metformin or in conjunction with it.
If more comprehensive treatment is required, IVF is an excellent option. Similar medicines may be prescribed but at higher levels to ensure that a number of follicles mature so that multiple embryos can be created and cultured before reinsertion.