One of the most common conditions experienced by a woman of reproductive age is PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). In fact, millions of women suffer from this disorder; and while it may cause chances of conception to become much more difficult, PCOS can still be treated so that pregnancy is possible. With proper care and attention from a medical professional such as a urogynecologist, women with PCOS should be able to look forward to conceiving and delivering a healthy baby, though they will need to be much more closely monitored throughout their pregnancy, as PCOS pregnancy comes with at a much greater risk of miscarriage.
Defining the Issue
To be able to recognize and treat the condition, it’s important to understand what PCOS is. It is a medical condition that interferes with the normal processes of ovulation, due to an abnormally high production of androgen. These levels of androgen stop egg follicles from breaking open to release their eggs and causes irregular or absent periods. The egg follicles remain in the ovaries to become cysts, which cause conception to be extremely difficult.
The Body of Proof
In addition to irregular or absent periods and possible signs of infertility, PCOS also often causes the development of acne, excessive amounts of body hair, thinning hair on the head, hyperpigmentation, weight gain, pelvic pain, anxiety, depression, and sleep apnea. Women at greatest risk for PCOS often come from a family with a history of it, have high levels of insulin in their bodies, or are overweight.
Treatment is usually determined on a case by case basis; and while there is no actual cure, management is possible with lifestyle changes such as increased activity, healthier eating, and weight loss to regulate hormone and insulin levels, both of which play a significant role in the development of PCOS.
Women with PCOS who wish to get pregnant may be able to increase their chances of conception with the use of medications including hormone therapies or insulin regulation drugs, a laparoscopic surgery procedure called ovarian drilling, or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The Risk Factor
Women pregnant with PCOS may consider using diet plans, which incorporate healthier foods, to regulate their insulin levels and reduce their risk of miscarriage or other complications.
In addition to high instances of miscarriage, pregnancy risks include:
- Gestational diabetes
- Heart disease
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- Prenatal depression
- Preterm birth
- C-Section deliveries
- Endometrial cancer
Don’t let your dreams of a having a healthy family slip away! Call the team at Coyle Institute for your consultation today!