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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

dates-1021055_640Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder of women in their reproductive years, affecting 5-10% of these patients. The classic symptoms are irregular periods, hair growth in a male body pattern and weight gain. However, 40% of women with PCOS are thin and 30% do not have excess hair.

PCOS is often part of a metabolic syndrome that involves risks for diabetes, elevated cholesterol and/or triglycerides, cardiovascular disease, as well as uterine pre-cancer and infertility.

PCOS Treatments

At Fertility CARE, the treatment of PCOS involves weight loss (if applicable), optimizing general health (including improvement in diabetes risk, blood pressure and evaluating for uterine pre-cancer risk) and ovulation induction.

Click the title of each treatment to discover more:

Laparoscopic ovarian drilling is a surgical treatment that can trigger ovulation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who have not responded to weight loss and fertility medication. Electrocautery or laser is used to destroy a portion of the ovaries. Laparoscopy is usually done with general anesthesia. A small incision is made in the abdomen at the navel. A needle is used to inflate the abdomen with a small amount of carbon dioxide gas so the laparoscope can be inserted without damage to the abdominal internal organs. The surgeon looks through the laparoscope at the internal organs. Surgical instruments may be inserted through the same incision or other small incisions in the pelvic area. Because the incisions are so small, laparoscopy is often called Band-Aid surgery.

Some of the risks of laparoscopy include:

  • Infection of the incision.
  • Bleeding from the incision.
  • Internal bleeding.
  • Accidental injury to internal organs or major blood vessels from the laparoscope or surgical instruments.
  • Pain after the procedure from the gas inflation of the abdomen.
  • Problems caused by anesthesia.
The most common fertility medications are classified as ovulation induction drugs. Ovulation induction medications are approved for patients with various ovulation disorders with the goal of producing a single mature egg during a treatment cycle.

In addition, these drugs may be used for what is known as “super” ovulation in patients with normal ovulation function. These medications stimulate the ovaries to produce more than the usual one follicle per month, thus increasing the number of eggs exposed to sperm and increasing the chance for pregnancy.

In general, the most common risks-often more associated with the gonadotropin class drugs-include the following:

  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
  • Multiple births
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Ovarian torsion
  • Ovarian cancer
Twelve percent of all infertility cases are a result of a woman being either over- or under-weight; the proportion is 6% from each. Weight is a critical factor in the hypothalamic pituitary axis and will influence the onset of puberty. The most common endocrinopathy from an elevated body mass index is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome resulting in chronic ovulatory dysfunction and an increased risk of the metabolic syndrome. An extremely low body mass index can also affect ovulation dysfunction and is often associated with the female athlete triad (amenorrhea, bone loss, and eating disorder). In men, obesity results in a hormonal disturbance that decreases testosterone and sperm counts.

Frequently Asked Questions

How common is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

Polycystic ovary syndrome affects 5 to 10% of women of childbearing age, and it is a leading cause of infertility. Characteristics of the syndrome have been found in 30% of women.

Are there other names for PCOS?

Other names for PCOS includes Stein-Leventhal syndrome (not currently in use), hyperandrogenic chronic anovulation and functional ovarian hyperandrogenism.

What causes PCOS?

The main cause of PCOS is still unknown. The possibility of a genetic link has been found in select studies. Just as one might have a genetic predisposition to diabetes, one might also have a disposition to PCOS.

Is there a cure for PCOS?

No, currently no cure exists for PCOS, but the condition is able to be managed, but. You can help reduce risks of future health problems by using treatment of symptoms.

What are some helpful PCOS resources? 

Check out these resources from EndocrineWeb.com for additional PCOS resources:

The IVF Center Difference at Fertility CARE

Dr. Trolice and the team supporting Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Dr. Trolice and the team supporting Breast Cancer Awareness month.

At Fertility CARE we recognize that the process of IVF can at times be complicated and stressful.

To address this issue, we have an IVF Nurse available 24 hours a day to answer questions, guide you through the process, and provide emotional support. We also offer the services of a Reproductive Health Psychologist to help couples determine their best coping strategies for successfully navigating the IVF process.

Success of the In Vitro Fertilization Program at Fertility CARE is due not only to our technological excellence but also because of our highly personalized approach to patient care.

Fertility CARE is committed to each couple’s success by providing individualized and supportive care along the way. We consider each couple part of our family as we attempt to help them create their own.

What our Patients are Saying

If you are looking for a fertility doctor who is gentle, knowledgeable and kind, you’ll find it in Dr. Trolice. My husband and I tried for many years to conceive on our own. Dr. Trolice gave us hope as he calmly went over all of our options. Every encounter with Dr. Trolice and his staff was kind and professional.

Thanks to Dr. Trolice and his team we now have two healthy boys.

Fertility CARE Patient

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