The Basics of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Posted on: Oct 12 2013
Causes and Treatment of PCOS
PCOS affects an estimated 5 million women in the United States alone and is one of the main causes for female infertility, as well as sub-fertility.
If you have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive and were diagnosed with PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, you may appreciate some information about what causes this condition and what you might expect as far as treatment.
PCOS has a wide range of possible symptoms. Your symptoms might not be identical to someone else who suffers from it. A diagnosis of PCOS is not a guarantee that you will not be able to conceive and have babies.
So, what causes PCOS?
Causes of PCOS
There is no known cause for PCOS.
Some experts believe that it may be genetic, because a woman with PCOS is more likely to have a mother or sister with it. The basic, underlying problem with women who suffer from PCOS is that of a hormonal imbalance.
If you have PCOS, your ovaries are manufacturing more of the male androgen hormones than normal. Although androgens are male hormones, female bodies also produce them. The trouble starts if your body produces too many of these hormones in that it causes problems not only with the development of eggs, but also the release of eggs during your ovulation cycle.
Some researches think that insulin might be at least a contributing factor of PCOS, since a lot of women with PCOS have an excess of insulin, which seems to boost the production of androgen.
Treatment of PCOS
PCOS can be managed with appropriate treatment.
The treatment you receive for PCOS will be based on the symptoms you are having and whether or not you want to get pregnant.
There are a variety of possible treatments. Here are some that might be used:
- Modifying your lifestyle—If you are overweight or obese, losing weight and eating a sensible, healthy diet without too many processed foods and sugars can help control the symptoms of PCOS.
- Birth control pills—These may help regulate your menstrual cycles and control male androgen production.
- Diabetes medicines—Glucophage is a medication frequently used in the treatment of Type II diabetes and has also been found to help many cases of PCOS.
- Fertility medicines—Lack of ovulation is a primary reason for infertility in many women with PCOS. Fertility drugs that help increase ovulation may be used to help a woman get pregnant. Medication management is the most common treatment for PCOS which may include FSH, Clomiphene, etc.
- Surgery—A surgical process called “ovarian drilling” might be used to boost the chance of ovulation so that a woman with PCOS is able to conceive. This is not used much anymore.
A diagnosis of PCOS doesn’t mean that you will not be able to get pregnant, but be sure to see a fertility specialist who is an expert in treating it, to make sure you have the best possible odds of conceiving and having a baby.
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