Infertility has many possible causes, and most patients are unaware that any of these problems exist until they are already well into the process of trying to conceive. While there is a wide range of conditions that can make conception difficult, one common cause of infertility in women is PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome. For many of our Lubbock patients, PCOS and infertility is a source of stress and frustration. While there is nothing that can be done to prevent or treat PCOS, there are fertility treatments, including IVF, a multi-step assisted reproductive process that can help women become pregnant despite PCOS. Dr. Janelle Dorsett, at The Centre for Reproductive Medicine, has helped numerous women control PCOS in order to achieve their dream of parenthood.
Causes and Symptoms of PCOS
PCOS is a condition that is not yet completely understood. While an exact cause of PCOS is not known, it is widely believed to be a genetic condition that is passed down along family lines. Essentially, polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal condition that results in females producing an excess amount of androgens. The high level of androgens is likely to result in a number of side effects, which may include the following:
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Lack of ovulation
- Heavy hair growth on the body
- Oily skin
- Formation of ovarian cysts
While a blood test can determine if a patient suffers from PCOS, it is often a combination of the above symptoms (especially if infertility is a problem) that leads to the diagnosis of PCOS.
It is important for patients to understand that there is no known cure for PCOS. When we talk about treating PCOS, we are really referring to providing patients with some type of control over the condition. For women who are not looking to become pregnant, this condition may be controlled by the use of birth control pills to regulate ovulation. In many cases, women with PCOS experience insulin resistance, in which case the use of a medication that improves insulin sensitivity may also be helpful.
Fertility Treatment for PCOS
When a patient with PCOS is attempting to conceive, she will require a different method of treatment. Insulin sensitivity medication remains an option, but the primary goal of treatment will be regulating ovulation. In some cases, fertility medication alone may be enough to stimulate the ovaries and encourage ovulation. However, for patients who are still facing difficulties, IVF is an option. IVF treatment not only aids in ovarian stimulation, but also aids in the collection of mature eggs, the fertilization of these eggs, and, ultimately, the implantation of successfully fertilized eggs into the uterus. This multiple step process has been highly successful in helping patients conceive when faced with PCOS or other infertility problems.
Schedule an Appointment
If you suffer from PCOS and are dealing with infertility, schedule an appointment with Dr. Janelle Dorsett at The Centre for Reproductive Medicine at your earliest convenience to learn about your fertility treatment options. We look forward to meeting you and helping you on your journey.