With a range of symptoms that often fall under the radar of a proper diagnosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition many women are unaware they have until they struggle to conceive and/or carry a healthy pregnancy to term. Women who have PCOS have a higher risk of needing a C section. They are also at a higher risk for conditions such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
To have PCOS means that your body is producing a higher level of male hormones called androgens. Normally, androgens are turned into estrogen in a female body, but in cases of PCOS, the increased levels of androgens can interrupt ovulation.
What are PCOS symptoms?
Symptoms of PCOS can include irregular menstruation, pelvic pain both during and outside of menstruation, acne, dark patches of skin on the body, fatigue, weight gain, insomnia, headaches, mood swings, thinning hair, unwanted hair growth (face/body) and infertility.
When should I talk to a doctor?
Regardless of whether they are trying to conceive, women with PCOS symptoms should contact their gynecologist to discuss their experience. PCOS symptoms are not part of normal menstruation. They are unpleasant and can negatively impact women’s quality of life. Your gynecologist can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan to decrease symptoms/improve ovulation to alleviate painful/unpredictable periods.
If you are trying to conceive, you will also need a proper diagnosis and treatment plan, as they will be factors in your family planning goals.
Can I get pregnant if I have PCOS?
PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility, but treatment options are available to help both conception and the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy. Fertility medications are a common recommendation for those trying to conceive, as they help women ovulate. Once you are pregnant, your obstetrician can provide the appropriate care that is needed.
When first consulting with a fertility specialist, the most important step is a proper diagnosis. If you believe you have PCOS or are struggling to conceive but are unsure why, please contact Fertility Solutions. Our experienced physicians have worked with patients who have PCOS, as well as conditions such as endometriosis, irregular periods and more.