Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder with an unknown cause. Typically diagnosed in reproductive-aged women from 12 to 45, PCOS has a range of symptoms that can negatively impact a woman’s quality of life until a proper diagnosis is made and recommended treatment put into place. Because these symptoms are so wide-ranging, women can go for years without a diagnosis. In fact, many women are unaware that they have PCOS until they try to conceive.
Common PCOS symptoms include:
• Pelvic pain, both during and outside of menstruation
• Unwanted hair, called hirsutism, on the face, arms, chest, back, feet and abdomen
• Thinning hair on the head
• Weight gain and difficulty managing weight
• Mood swings
PCOS and infertility
Did you know that PCOS is one of the leading causes of female infertility? Women with PCOS experience a high rate of infertility, miscarriage and other fertility-related concerns during pregnancy. Women with PCOS are at higher risk for preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, premature birth and the need for a cesarean section (C-section). It may not affect a women’s ability to conceive as much as it can negatively impact an otherwise healthy pregnancy. Women who have been diagnosed with PCOS are advised to speak with their provider prior to trying to conceive in order to determine if treatment or lifestyle changes are necessary.
How to manage PCOS
You can try to manage PCOS on your own. There are things you can do to manage PCOS symptoms, such as dietary and lifestyle changes, to help manage your weight.
You can also enlist the help of a professional. Your provider may prescribe a birth control pill in order to regulate your menstrual cycle and help relieve symptoms. However, you will not be able to conceive while on birth control, so fertility medications may be needed in order to assist with ovulation.
Facing PCOS may seem overwhelming, but the benefit of receiving a proper diagnosis is that your provider can offer a treatment plan that works with your lifestyle. Fertility Solutions’ experts work extensively with PCOS patients, and we encourage anyone with the condition who wishes to build their family to contact us today.