Polycystic ovary syndrome | Office on Women's Health
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health and appearance. PCOS is also a common and treatable cause of infertility.
What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), also known as polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a common health problem caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. The hormonal imbalance creates problems in the ovaries. The ovaries make the egg that is released each month as part of a healthy menstrual cycle. With PCOS, the egg may not develop as it should or it may not be released during ovulation as it should be.
PCOS can cause missed or irregular menstrual periods. Irregular periods can lead to:
Infertility (inability to get pregnant). In fact, PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility in women.
Development of cysts (small fluid-filled sacs) in the ovaries
Who gets PCOS?
Between 5% and 10% of women between 15 and 44, or during the years you can have children, have PCOS.1 Most women find out they have PCOS in their 20s and 30s, when they have problems getting pregnant and see their doctor. But PCOS can happen at any age after puberty.2
Women of all races and ethnicities are at risk of PCOS. Your risk of PCOS may be higher if you have obesity or if you have a mother, sister, or aunt with PCOS.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
Some of the symptoms of PCOS include:
Irregular menstrual cycle. Women with PCOS may miss periods or have fewer periods (fewer than eight in a year). Or, their periods may come every 21 days or more often. Some women with PCOS stop having menstrual periods.
Too much hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair. This is called "hirsutism." Hirsutism affects up to 70% of women with PCOS.3
Acne on the face, chest, and upper back
Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp; male-pattern baldness
Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
Darkening of skin, particularly along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath breasts
Skin tags, which are small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
What causes PCOS?
The exact cause of PCOS is not known. Most experts think that several factors, including genetics, play a role:
High levels of androgens. Androgens are sometimes called "male hormones," although all women make small amounts of androgens. Androgens control the development of male traits, such as male-pattern baldness. Women with PCOS have more androgens than normal. Higher than normal androgen levels in women can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) during each menstrual cycle, and can cause extra hair growth and acne, two signs of PCOS.
High levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls how the food you eat is changed into energy. Insulin resistance is when the body's cells do not respond normally to insulin. As a result, your insulin blood levels become higher than normal. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance, especially those who have overweight or obesity, have unhealthy eating habits, do not get enough physical activity, and have a family history of diabetes (usually type 2 diabetes). Over time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Can I still get pregnant if I have PCOS?
Yes. Having PCOS does not mean you can't get pregnant. PCOS is one of the most common, but treatable, causes of infertility in women. In women with PCOS, the hormonal imbalance interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation). If you don't ovulate, you can't get pregnant.
Your doctor can talk with you about ways to help you ovulate and to raise your chance of getting pregnant. You can also use our Ovulation Calculator to see which days in your menstrual cycle you are most likely to be fertile.
Is PCOS linked to other health problems?
Yes, studies have found links between PCOS and other health problems, including:
Diabetes. More than half of women with PCOS will have diabetes or prediabetes (glucose intolerance) before the age of 40.4 Learn more about diabetes on our Diabetes page.
High blood pressure. Women with PCOS are at greater risk of having high blood pressure compared with women of the same age without PCOS. High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Learn more about heart disease and stroke.
Unhealthy cholesterol. Women with PCOS often have higher levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. High cholesterol raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Sleep apnea. This is when momentary and repeated stops in breathing interrupt sleep. Many women with PCOS have overweight or obesity, which can cause sleep apnea. Sleep apnea raises your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety are common among women with PCOS.
Endometrial cancer. Problems with ovulation, obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes (all common in women with PCOS) increase the risk of developing cancer of the endometrium (lining of the uterus or womb).
Researchers do not know if PCOS causes some of these problems, if these problems cause PCOS, or if there are other conditions that cause PCOS and other health problems.
Will my PCOS symptoms go away at menopause?
Yes and no. PCOS affects many systems in the body. Many women with PCOS find that their menstrual cycles become more regular as they get closer to menopause. However, their PCOS hormonal imbalance does not change with age, so they may continue to have symptoms of PCOS.
Also, the risks of PCOS-related health problems, such as diabetes, stroke, and heart attack, increase with age. These risks may be higher in women with PCOS than those without.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
There is no single test to diagnose PCOS. To help diagnose PCOS and rule out other causes of your symptoms, your doctor may talk to you about your medical history and do a physical exam and different tests:
Physical exam. Your doctor will measure your blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and waist size. They will also look at your skin for extra hair on your face, chest or back, acne, or skin discoloration. Your doctor may look for any hair loss or signs of other health conditions (such as an enlarged thyroid gland).
Pelvic exam. Your doctor may do a pelvic exam for signs of extra male hormones (for example, an enlarged clitoris) and check to see if your ovaries are enlarged or swollen.
Pelvic ultrasound (sonogram). This test uses sound waves to examine your ovaries for cysts and check the endometrium (lining of the uterus or womb).
Blood tests. Blood tests check your androgen hormone levels, sometimes called "male hormones." Your doctor will also check for other hormones related to other common health problems that can be mistaken for PCOS, such as thyroid disease. Your doctor may also test your cholesterol levels and test you for diabetes.
Once other conditions are ruled out, you may be diagnosed with PCOS if you have at least two of the following symptoms:5
Irregular periods, including periods that come too often, not often enough, or not at all
Signs that you have high levels of androgens:
Extra hair growth on your face, chin, and body (hirsutism)
Thinning of scalp hair
Higher than normal blood levels of androgens
Multiple cysts on one or both ovaries
How is PCOS treated?
There is no cure for PCOS, but you can manage the symptoms of PCOS. You and your doctor will work on a treatment plan based on your symptoms, your plans for having children, and your risk of long-term health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Many women will need a combination of treatments, including:
Steps you can take at home to help relieve your symptoms
What steps can I take at home to improve my PCOS symptoms?
You can take steps at home to help your PCOS symptoms, including:
Losing weight. Healthy eating habits and regular physical activity can help relieve PCOS-related symptoms. Losing weight may help to lower your blood glucose levels, improve the way your body uses insulin, and help your hormones reach normal levels. Even a 10% loss in body weight (for example, a 150-pound woman losing 15 pounds) can help make your menstrual cycle more regular and improve your chances of getting pregnant.3 Learn more about healthy weight.
Removing hair. You can try facial hair removal creams, laser hair removal, or electrolysis to remove excess hair. You can find hair removal creams and products at drugstores. Procedures like laser hair removal or electrolysis must be done by a doctor and may not be covered by health insurance.
Slowing hair growth. A prescription skin treatment (eflornithine HCl cream) can help slow down the growth rate of new hair in unwanted places.
What types of medicines treat PCOS?
The types of medicines that treat PCOS and its symptoms include:
Hormonal birth control, including the pill, patch, shot, vaginal ring, and hormone intrauterine device (IUD). For women who don't want to get pregnant, hormonal birth control can:
Make your menstrual cycle more regular
Lower your risk of endometrial cancer
Help improve acne and reduce extra hair on the face and body (Ask your doctor about birth control with both estrogen and progesterone.)
Anti-androgen medicines. These medicines block the effect of androgens and can help reduce scalp hair loss, facial and body hair growth, and acne. They are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat PCOS symptoms. These medicines can also cause problems during pregnancy.
Metformin. Metformin is often used to treat type 2 diabetes and may help some women with PCOS symptoms. It is not approved by the FDA to treat PCOS symptoms. Metformin improves insulin's ability to lower your blood sugar and can lower both insulin and androgen levels. After a few months of use, metformin may help restart ovulation, but it usually has little effect on acne and extra hair on the face or body. Recent research shows that metformin may have other positive effects, including lowering body mass and improving cholesterol levels.
What are my treatment options for PCOS if I want to get pregnant?
You have several options to help your chances of getting pregnant if you have PCOS:
Losing weight. If you have overweight or obesity, losing weight through healthy eating and regular physical activity can help make your menstrual cycle more regular and improve your fertility. Find a personalized healthy eating plan using the MyPlate Plan tool.
Medicine. After ruling out other causes of infertility in you and your partner, your doctor might prescribe medicine to help you ovulate, such as clomiphene (Clomid).
In vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF may be an option if medicine does not work. In IVF, your egg is fertilized with your partner's sperm in a laboratory and then placed in your uterus to implant and develop. Compared to medicine alone, IVF has higher pregnancy rates and better control over your risk of having twins and triplets (by allowing your doctor to transfer a single fertilized egg into your uterus).
Surgery. Surgery is also an option, usually only if the other options do not work. The outer shell (called the cortex) of ovaries is thickened in women with PCOS and thought to play a role in preventing spontaneous ovulation. Ovarian drilling is a surgery in which the doctor makes a few holes in the surface of your ovary using lasers or a fine needle heated with electricity. Surgery usually restores ovulation, but only for 6 to 8 months.
Read more about treating infertility in PCOS.
How does PCOS affect pregnancy?
PCOS can cause problems during pregnancy for you and for your baby. Women with PCOS have higher rates of:6
Cesarean section (C-section)
Your baby also has a higher risk of being heavy (macrosomia) and of spending more time in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
How can I prevent problems from PCOS during pregnancy?
You can lower your risk of problems during pregnancy by:
Reaching a healthy weight before you get pregnant. Use this interactive tool to see your healthy weight before pregnancy and what to gain during pregnancy.
Reaching healthy blood sugar levels before you get pregnant. You can do this through a combination of healthy eating habits, regular physical activity, weight loss, and medicines such as metformin.
Taking folic acid. Talk to your doctor about how much folic acid you need.
What is the latest research on PCOS?
Researchers continue to search for new ways to treat PCOS. Some current studies focus on:
Genetics and PCOS
Environmental exposure and PCOS risk
Ethnic and racial differences in PCOS symptoms
Medicines and supplements to restart ovulation
Obesity and its link to PCOS
Health risks for children of women with PCOS
To learn more about current PCOS treatment studies, visit ClinicalTrials.gov.
Did we answer your question about PCOS?
For more information on PCOS, call the OWH Helpline at 1-800-994-9662 or contact the following organizations:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), NIH, HHS Phone Number: 1-800-370-2943
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Phone Number: 904-353-7878
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Phone Number: 1-800-673-8444
American Society for Reproductive Medicine Phone Number: 205-978-5000
InterNational Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc. Phone Number: 703-379-9178
PCOS Foundation Phone Number: 713-487-7267
PCOS Awareness Association
Trivax, B., & Azziz, R. (2007). Diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, 50(1), 168–177.
Bremer, A. A. (2010). Polycystic ovary syndrome in the pediatric population. Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, 8(5), 375–394.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2015). Polycystic ovary syndrome.
Lorenz, L. B., & Wild, R. A. (2007). Polycystic ovarian syndrome: an evidence-based approach to evaluation and management of diabetes and cardiovascular risks for today's clinician. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology,50, 226–243.
Goodman, N. F., Cobin, R. H., Futterweit, W., Glueck, J. S., Legro, R. S., & Carmina, E. (2015). American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American College of Endocrinology, and Androgen Excess and PCOS Society disease state clinical review: guide to the best practices in the evaluation and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome - part 1. Endocrine Practice, 11, 1291–300.
Boomsma, C. M., Fauser, B. C., & Macklon, N.S. (2008). Pregnancy complications in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Seminars in Reproductive Medicine, 26, 72–84.
The Office on Women's Health is grateful for the medical review by:
Violanda Grigorescu, M.D., M.S.P.H., Chief, Partnerships and Evaluation Branch, Division of Health Informatics and Surveillance, Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Torie Comeaux Plowden, M.D., M.P.H., Fellow, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Lubna Pal, M.B.B.S., M.R.C.O.G., M.S., F.A.C.O.G., Associate Professor, Director of the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Program, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine
All material contained on these pages are free of copyright restrictions and maybe copied, reproduced, or duplicated without permission of the Office on Women’s Health in the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Citation of the source is appreciated.
Page last updated: February 22, 2021
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and pregnancy – symptoms and treatments
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and pregnancy – symptoms and treatments | Pregnancy Birth and Baby beginning of content
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a common condition.
People with PCOS can have:
higher than normal levels of androgens (male-type hormones)
problems with ovulation (the release of eggs from the ovaries)
multiple cysts on the ovaries
This can affect your menstrual cycle, fertility and appearance.
If you have PCOS you may struggle to become pregnant and may be at higher risk of developing some pregnancy complications.
Illustration showing a normal ovary and a polycystic ovary.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
There are many signs and symptoms that are associated with PCOS. These can include:
irregular menstrual periods
cysts on the ovaries
excessive face and body hair
thinning or balding head hair
insulin resistance (where your cells don't respond to insulin and your blood sugar levels rise)
Some of these symptoms (such as acne, excess face and body hair, and scalp hair loss) are due to increased levels of the hormones called androgens. These hormones are found in all females, but those with PCOS have slightly higher amounts.
CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — If you are feeling unwell and not sure what to do next, check your symptoms using the healthdirect Symptom Checker tool.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
It often takes a while to get a PCOS diagnosis. This is because the condition can mimic other problems. Sometimes, people only find out that they have PCOS when they have tests to find out why they are having trouble getting pregnant.
If you think you might have PCOS, see your doctor. Early diagnosis means that your symptoms can be treated early.
At your appointment, your doctor will:
ask about your symptoms
ask for your medical history
Your doctor may also recommend blood tests and an ultrasound scan to look for any cysts in the ovaries.
In general, to be diagnosed with PCOS, you need to have 2 out of 3 of the following;
irregular periods, or no periods
symptoms due to increased levels of androgen hormones, or a blood test showing you have increased levels of androgen hormones
an ultrasound scan showing multiple cysts on your ovary or ovaries
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Will PCOS affect my fertility?
If you have PCOS, you might struggle to get pregnant.
Fortunately, with lifestyle changes or infertility treatment, most people with PCOS can become pregnant. Talk to your doctor or fertility specialist for individual advice for your situation.
Can PCOS increase my risk of complications during pregnancy?
Having PCOS can increase your risk of some complications during pregnancy, such as:
high blood pressure
If you have PCOS, you are also at increased risk of having a baby larger than expected for their gestational age. This comes with a higher risk of needing a caesarean delivery.
Babies born to people with PCOS have a higher chance of being admitted to a newborn intensive care unit.
Pregnant women with PCOS may have a higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. However, more research is needed in this area.
If you have PCOS and are pregnant, it is important you talk with your doctor. The risk of these complications can be reduced by monitoring your PCOS symptoms and taking extra care during your pregnancy.
What steps can I take to look after my health?
You can make lifestyle changes to manage your PCOS and look after your health. These include:
maintaining a healthy weight
getting enough sleep
These lifestyle changes can reduce the symptoms of PCOS and improve your chance of falling pregnant.
If you are overweight, a 5% to 10% loss in weight can increase your fertility.
Speak to your doctor for guidance on how to make effective lifestyle changes.
How is PCOS treated?
Treatment for PCOS depends on each person. Speak to your doctor about the best treatment for you.
If you are trying to fall pregnant, your PCOS treatment will focus on:
restoring regular ovulation
improving your general health and wellbeing
If you have made lifestyle changes and are still struggling to fall pregnant, your doctor may order fertility tests. They may also prescribe fertility medicines to help you ovulate. In some cases, they may recommend surgery.
Another possibility is in vitro fertilisation (IVF), which offers the best chance of conception. However, this can be expensive and is usually only considered when all other options have been unsuccessful.
If you are not trying to fall pregnant, your PCOS treatment will focus on:
reducing your symptoms
reducing your risk of long-term health issues, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes
Speak to your doctor. They can help you manage your PCOS symptoms by providing:
weight loss management strategies
treatment for sleeping problems
medicines, including hormonal contraception (birth control) to manage irregular menstruation
Dealing with infertility and PCOS symptoms can be difficult. You may experience feelings of depression and anxiety. Your doctor can refer you to a counsellor or psychologist for your mental health.
Resources and support
Visit the Jean Hailes website for more information on PCOS and its complications.
Hormones Australia also supplies information on PCOS, including questions to ask your doctor.
Speak to a maternal child health nurse
Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.
Australian Family Physician (Polycystic ovary system), Jean Hailes (PCOS), Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (Polycystic ovary system - clinical guidelines), The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (Long-term consequences of PCOS - statement)
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Last reviewed: July 2022
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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) | Your Fertility
PCOS can be associated with a range of symptoms including irregular periods and difficulties getting pregnant
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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal condition affecting women in their reproductive years
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What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal condition affecting women in their reproductive years.
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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) | Dietitians Australia
PCOS is a common hormonal condition of the ovaries that can cause problems such as an irregular menstrual cycle, weight gain, impaired fertility and poor mental health. Diet and lifestyle changes are the first steps to manage PCOS, and an Accredited Practising Dietitian specialising in PCOS is the most qualified professional to help.
Read more on Dietitians Australia website
Fertility explained | VARTA
Fertility is the ability to conceive a child. Most of us take our fertility for granted but the process of reproduction is complex, so some people may experience difficulties when trying for a baby. There are a range of factors that can affect fertility. Taking care of your preconception health by modifying your lifestyle can improve your chance of a pregnancy and the health of your future child. Medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis can reduce fertility, however it may just take longer to get pregnant. In some cases, medical procedures can be used to preserve fertility. Fertility preservation (freezing of gametes for later use) is used by people who are not ready to have a baby during their most fertile years or for those facing medical treatment that might impair their fertility. Understanding reproduction It is useful to understand how eggs and sperm are normally formed, and how conception occurs to understand the causes of infertility and how they are targeted in fertility treatment. The hormones which control the production of sperm and eggs are called gonadotrophins. There are two types of gonadotrophins: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH). In men, they stimulate the testicles to produce sperm and testosterone. In women, they act on the ovaries where the eggs develop. The female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, are produced by the ovaries when eggs mature and are released (ovulation). For women, the production of sex hormones and the release of an egg is known as the menstrual cycle. It is counted from the first day of the period until the day before the start of the next period. In an average cycle of 28 days, ovulation happens on day 14. However, cycle length varies between women, and it is important to note that ovulation occurs earlier in women with shorter cycles and later in women with longer cycles. Sperm are produced at the rate of about 300 million per day. They take some 80 days to mature. Each sperm has a head, which contains the genetic material, and a tail, which propels it up through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes where the egg is fertilised. Conception occurs when an egg and a sperm come together. At ovulation, an egg is released from the ovary into the fallopian tube. If sperm is present at that time, the egg can be fertilised. The fertilised egg then starts to divide and becomes an embryo. After ovulation, the ovary produces progesterone which prepares the lining of the uterus - the endometrium - for the growing embryo. A few days after implantation, the embryo starts to produce human chorionic gonadotrophins (HCG) - the hormone that gives a positive pregnancy test reading. If an embryo does not form or attach to the endometrium (implantation), the level of progesterone drops and the next period starts.
Read more on Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority website
Good fertility health
Your age and your health can affect your chances of falling pregnant. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle may help you improve your fertility.
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Polycystic ovarian syndrome and breastfeeding | Australian Breastfeeding Association
What is polycystic ovarian syndrome?Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a complex hormonal condition that affects 5% to 10% of women of reproductive age. Features of PCOS can include fertility problems, acne, obesity, excess body hair growth and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.1PCOS and milk supply
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How to get pregnant with polycystic ovaries?
Polycystic disease is a common hormonal disease that affects the functioning of a woman's ovaries. The dangers of PCOS include irregular menstrual periods, excessive hair growth, acne, weight gain, and other problems. Left untreated, PCOS can even lead to infertility. In this article, we will tell you more about causes of polycystic , polycystic ovaries and pregnancy , and also give an answer to the question: “ Is it possible to give birth with polycystic ovaries? ".
What is polycystic ovary syndrome?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have menstrual irregularities and elevated levels of male hormones (androgens). Numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) may form in the ovaries, and an egg may not be released regularly. This condition should not be confused with multifollicular ovaries, because with multifollicular ovaries, ovulation and a normal menstrual cycle can persist, unlike polycystic disease.
50-75% of cases of endocrine infertility. 20-22% of marital infertility. It is detected in 5-16% of women of reproductive age. These are the figures for the diagnosis of "Polycystic Ovary".
Symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome is accompanied by characteristic symptoms, upon noticing which it is necessary to seek advice from an endocrinologist or gynecologist. For some women, symptoms begin around the time of their first menstrual period. Others discover symptoms of PCOS only after they have gained a lot of weight or have problems getting pregnant. In some cases, PCOS may be asymptomatic.
The most common symptoms of PCOS:
Irregular periods. Lack of ovulation prevents the lining of the uterus from falling off every month. Some women with PCOS have fewer than eight periods a year, or none at all.
Severe bleeding. The lining of the uterus builds up over a longer period of time, so menstruation may be heavier than usual.
Hair growth . More than 70 percent of women with this condition grow hair on their face and body, including on their back, abdomen, and chest. Excess hair growth is called hirsutism.
Acne . Male hormones can make the skin more oily than normal and cause breakouts on areas such as the face, chest, and upper back.
Weight gain. Up to 80 percent of women with PCOS are overweight or obese.
Male pattern baldness. The hair on the scalp becomes thinner and may fall out.
Darkening of the skin. Dark patches of skin may develop in body folds, such as the neck, groin area, and under the breasts.
Headaches. Hormonal changes may cause headaches in some women.
Infrequent, irregular periods, long or no periods are the most common symptom of PCOS. For example, with PCOS, you may have fewer than nine periods a year, more than 35 days between periods, and abnormally heavy periods.
Hyperandrogenism is a disease characterized by high levels of androgens. It is more common in women than in men. Symptoms of hyperandrogenism may include acne, seborrhea (inflammation of the skin), hair loss on the scalp, increased body or facial hair, and infrequent or absent periods.
Hyperandrogenism is a defining feature of women and young girls with PCOS. Polycystic disease causes a malfunction of the ovaries or adrenal glands, which leads to the production of excess androgens (male sex hormones).
Anovulation occurs when an egg is not released from the ovary during the menstrual cycle. The egg is essential for pregnancy. Since several hormones are involved in ovulation, there are many causes of anovulation, one of which is PCOS. Chronic anovulation is a common cause of infertility.
There is no test to definitively diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The doctor will likely begin by discussing your medical history, including menstrual periods and weight changes. A physical exam will include checking for signs of excessive hair growth, acne, and weight gain.
Your doctor may recommend:
Gynecological examination. A physician visually and manually examines the reproductive organs for growths or other abnormalities.
Blood tests. A blood test is given to determine the level of hormones. This will help rule out possible causes of menstrual irregularities or excess androgens that mimic PCOS. An additional blood test may also be needed to measure insulin resistance as well as fasting cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Ultrasound examination (ultrasound). The doctor will check the appearance of the ovaries and the thickness of the lining of the uterus. A rod-shaped device (sensor) (transvaginal ultrasound) is inserted into the vagina, which emits sound waves and converts them into images on a computer screen.
Is it possible to get pregnant with PCOS
How to get pregnant with PCOS? Getting pregnant with PCOS can be difficult, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. While PCOS can affect your hormones and therefore your fertility, there are medical treatments and lifestyle changes you can make to improve your chances of pregnancy.
Is it possible to get pregnant with polycystic ovaries? To get pregnant, you must ovulate, which PCOS most often prevents. Women who do not ovulate regularly with PCOS do not release enough eggs for fertilization. Pregnancy with PCOS is further complicated by the fact that PCOS causes a hormonal imbalance that changes the quality of cervical fluid, making it difficult for sperm to survive.
It is impossible to say categorically that PCOS is infertility, but PCOS is one of the main causes of infertility in women.
Is it possible to get pregnant with PCOS? And although there are no exact statistics on the chances of pregnancy, 70 to 80 percent of women with PCOS have fertility problems. PCOS disrupts the normal menstrual cycle and makes it difficult to conceive.
Is it possible to get pregnant with PCOS? Polycystic ovary syndrome is not a sentence and it is possible to get pregnant, albeit problematic. However, if PCOS is left untreated, the chances of getting pregnant decrease with age.
It is possible to get pregnant with polycystic disease, but most often pregnancy with polycystic disease is difficult. This condition can increase the risk of pregnancy complications. Women with PCOS are twice as likely to have a preterm birth than women without. They are also at greater risk of miscarriage, high blood pressure, and gestational diabetes. However, by managing the symptoms, many women with PCOS can become pregnant and have a healthy baby.
How to get pregnant with PCOS? Women with PCOS can become pregnant using fertility treatments that improve ovulation. Losing weight and lowering your blood sugar can increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy.
Pregnancy planning for PCOS
How to get pregnant with PCOS? While your chances of getting pregnant with PCOS may be lower, there are a few things you can do to increase those chances.
Call your doctor. How to get pregnant with polycystic ovaries? Normalization of hormones and menstruation is the first step. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help your body deal with insulin better and regulate your menstrual cycle.
Maintain a healthy weight. Is it possible to get pregnant with PCOS? Weight loss can lower insulin levels, androgen levels, and restore ovulation. Ask your doctor about a weight management program and meet with a nutritionist regularly for help with your weight loss goals.
Eat right. Polycystic Ovarian Diet includes sugary foods, simple carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. Add to your menu: fresh and cooked fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as brown rice, oats and barley, beans and lentils, chicken, fish.
Be active. Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels. How to get pregnant with insulin resistance? If you have PCOS, increasing daily activity such as walking, exercising, walking can help treat or even prevent insulin resistance, control your weight, and avoid developing diabetes.
Lead a healthy lifestyle. Follow a healthy lifestyle with PCOS, give up bad habits, unhealthy diet, lack of sports and irregular sleep.
Treatment for PCOS
Treatment for PCOS focuses on your individual problems such as infertility, acne or obesity. Also, the direction of PCOS treatment largely depends on whether a woman is planning a pregnancy or not. Specific treatment may include lifestyle changes or medications.
How to treat PCOS?
Your doctor may recommend weight loss through a low-calorie diet combined with moderate exercise. Even small weight loss - like losing 5 percent of your body weight - can improve your condition. Can you get pregnant with PCOS? Losing weight can also increase the effectiveness of medications your doctor recommends to treat PCOS and help with infertility.
Treatment with drugs for polycystic ovaries
To regulate the menstrual cycle, the doctor may recommend:
Combination birth control pills. Estrogen and progestin tablets reduce androgen production and regulate estrogen. Hormone regulation can reduce the risk of endometrial cancer and correct abnormal bleeding, excess hair growth, and acne. Instead of pills, you can use a skin patch or vaginal ring containing a combination of estrogen and progestin.
Progestin therapy. Daily progestin may: restore normal hormonal balance, regulate ovulation, stop excessive hair growth, protect against endometrial cancer, and help get pregnant with sleep deprivation.
How to induce ovulation in PCOS? To help induce ovulation in PCOS, your doctor may recommend:
Clomiphene is a fertility medication that can help women with PCOS get pregnant.
Metformin is a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. It also treats PCOS by increasing insulin levels.
How to get pregnant with PCOS? Surgery may be an option to improve fertility if other treatments don't work. Ovarian drilling is a procedure in which tiny holes are made in the ovary using a laser or a thin, heated needle to restore normal ovulation and the possibility of pregnancy with PCOS.
Important! To determine the right treatment and choose the right drug, you need to consult a doctor!
Help Doc.ua: you can make an appointment with a gynecologist-endocrinologist on the website.
can I get pregnant? — Bel.ru
October 17, 2019, 10:27
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a disease, unfortunately, quite common in women of reproductive age.
This is an endocrine disorder, which is characterized by significant menstrual irregularities and, as a result, infertility. Therefore, one of the main questions that concern women with PCOS is whether they can get pregnant and what needs to be done for this. We answer it in this article together with the experts of the Fomin Clinic in Belgorod.
Infertility, which is often paired with PCOS, is called anovulatory. What does it mean: the egg matures during the cycle, but ovulation does not occur, that is, the follicle does not break and the mature egg does not go into the ovary. The good news is that it is treatable, and in a large number of cases, if the treatment is successful, pregnancy occurs naturally. True, before starting treatment, it will be necessary to exclude other possible causes of infertility: uterine, tubal, male factors and others - this is a task for a reproductive specialist and an andrologist-urologist.
Treatment of infertility in PCOS should begin with quality lifestyle changes and treatment of obesity, if present. The very same treatment consists in the so-called induction of ovulation, that is, in drug stimulation so that ovulation does occur.
In the context of PCOS, one speaks of first and second line treatment for anovulatory infertility. The first is the induction of ovulation with the help of a special drug. This treatment lasts long enough, but not longer than six cycles. Taking this drug, you do not need to be afraid of strong side effects: the likelihood of developing hyperstimulation syndrome is extremely small, and multiple pregnancy as a result of such treatment can occur no more than in 10% of cases.
The second line of therapy is required when the use of the first drug was ineffective or there were no necessary conditions for its use at all. In this second line, treatment is carried out by medication - ovulation is also stimulated, but already with gonadotropins. If this does not lead to the onset of ovulation, and also if anovulation is not the only cause of infertility (for example, you also have endometriosis or obstruction of the fallopian tubes), there is a need for surgical intervention - and the doctor performs laparoscopy.
Important! Laparoscopy is not indicated to treat other associated symptoms of PCOS, this operation is indicated only for the treatment of problems associated with infertility. In half of the cases after laparoscopy, repeated induction of ovulation is required.
If both lines of treatment have not worked or have worked, but you still have additional indications for this procedure, your doctor will recommend that you enter the IVF program so that you are more likely to achieve the desired pregnancy and give birth. However, the diagnosis of PCOS imposes its own limitations on the preparation for this procedure: due to the fact that PCOS increases the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation (specifically in ART programs, not in treatment!), Doctors recommend transferring no more than one embryo or segmenting the treatment cycle. Cycle segmentation means that the resulting embryos will be frozen and transferred to you not in a stimulated cycle, but in the next or after some time, when the risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome becomes lower.
To sum it up, yes, pregnancy with PCOS is possible, but not without some effort on your part. It will be necessary not only to treat the infertility caused by PCOS, but also to change the lifestyle towards a healthier one.