PCOS And InfertilityDr Maheshwari
Being a mother is the best blessing that a woman can have. Each moment of motherhood is treasured and is the only phase of life to feel unconditional love. Every woman looks forward to this amazing transition in life but the path leading to the destination of “motherhood” is not always a piece of cake. It sometimes becomes a roller coaster ride. It comes with many challenges, difficulties, and struggles when a woman deals with infertility issues. Among the number of causes of infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome is one of the most common causes.
What exactly is PCOS and how does it impact fertility?
Ovaries are the female reproductive system organs that produce the ovum (egg). The ovaries are oval-shaped organs that are located in the lower abdomen. During ovulation, it releases the egg, and then the egg travels through the fallopian tubes. Fertilization occurs in the fallopian tubes if there are sperms available. The fertilized egg then slides down to the uterus and gets implanted in the uterus, where the pregnancy begins. Ovaries are usually smooth and firm. Since they are critical organs for women getting pregnant, any disorder or abnormality of these organs can cause infertility, making it difficult for a woman to conceive. As the name suggests, PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) is an abnormal condition directly related to the ovaries. It is a type of hormonal disorder that affects hormone levels and usually appears in women in their reproductive phase. The hormonal imbalance usually causes irregular menstrual cycles and makes it difficult to get pregnant.
The main features related to PCOS
• Irregular periods – Dysregulated ovulation.
• Excessive androgen levels- Domination of male hormones in the body characterized by an excessive body or facial hair.
• Polycystic ovaries –Enlarged ovaries with sacs filled with fluid (follicles). Polycystic ovaries consist of ovarian follicles that are tiny sacs that are underdeveloped. These sacs will not release the egg when one suffers from PCOS, hindering ovulation.
Symptoms of PCOS
While some of the symptoms associated with PCOs are listed above, there are other symptoms to watch.
• Difficulty in conceiving despite hard efforts
• Hirsutism – excessive hair growth on the chest, face, buttocks, or back
• Abnormal weight gain
• Loss of hair or thinning of hair from the head In addition to the above symptoms, women with PCOS are also at risk of developing serious health issues like high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes.
The exact cause for PCOS is unknown, but it is often thought to be due to high levels of androgen, which interfere with ovulation. It is also believed sometimes to be hereditary and runs in families. It has been identified that a correlation exists between PCOS and high insulin levels. Despite having PCOS, one need not feel like one is at the edge. Medical science has made a lot of advancements, and PCOS is also a situation that can be managed. Today, the available treatment has increased the success rates of conceiving and fulfilling the dream of parenthood.
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