10 Most Frequently Asked Questions About PCOS
- Posted on: Aug 3 2013
PCOS affects many women worldwide, and is one of the leading causes of infertility.
If you have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive and a doctor has said you have PCOS, you probably have a lot of questions about this condition and how it will affect you.
Here are ten of the most frequently asked questions about PCOS.
Q. What does PCOS mean?
A. PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
Q. What causes PCOS?
A. Presently, the exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Some experts lean toward the theory that it might be a genetic, inherited condition since women who have it are more likely to have a sister or mother who also has it. Most feel that women with PCOS have a defect in insulin or insulin secretion that leads to the disease, that is why women with PCOS are more likely to get diabetes.
Q. Who can get PCOS?
A. PCOS normally affects women once they start having menstrual cycles or hit the age of puberty (typically around age 11).
Q. Can PCOS affect your chances of getting pregnant?
A. It might. Because it is a hormonal imbalance, it can hamper normal ovulation and cause female infertility as well as sub-fertility.
Q. Is there a cure for PCOS?
A. No, there isn’t. It can be managed with the appropriate treatment at a fertility clinic in Denver depending on symptoms, but not cured. Weight loss may help improve the symptoms in a lot of women with PCOS.
Q. How is PCOS diagnosed?
A. There is no one definitive test that can diagnose PCOS. The diagnosis of PCOS is a clinical diagnosis, meaning the diagnosis is made by your medical history and not any specific blood test. Three criteria determine if you have PCOS. Irregular menstrual cycles since puberty (when not on hormones), signs of androgen excess (excessive hair growth, acne or an elevated blood testosterone level) and PCOS appearing ovaries by ultrasound. To have the diagnosis of PCOS you on need to meet 2 of the 3 above mentioned criteria. The Colorado fertility clinic doctor will generally use a variety of tests and check things such as your weight, hair growth, menstrual history, screening test for diabetes, endometrial lining and more to treat your PCOS.
Q. If you have PCOS what medical problems are you at risk for?
A. The long term health risks for patients with PCOS include:
- Impaired glucose tolerance
- Endometrial cancer
- Hypercholesterolemia with low HDL
- Gestational diabetes
- Sleep apnea
Women with PCOS should see their doctor yearly to screen for these risks.
Q. If a woman is overweight, will losing that excess weight help her to become pregnant?
A. It may, but there is no guarantee that it will. It is possible that weight loss could help in reducing insulin resistance, which could result in ovulation or improved ovulation. This would help in conception. Losing 10% of your body weight could be enough to improve symptoms.
Q. Can IVF or ISCI help a woman with PCOS get pregnant?
A. Yes. These fertility treatments have helped many women with PCOS get pregnant and have babies. But not all women with PCOS will need IVF. Most women with PCOS will conceive with fertility pills that cost around $30 without the need of expensive IVF treatments.
Q. Is it true that pregnancy cures PCOS?
A. Unfortunately, no. However, it is quite common for a woman with PCOS to have a cessation of symptoms while she is pregnant, and many women have improvement and more normal menstrual cycles after having been pregnant.
PCOS can cause problems if you are trying to conceive, but with the right treatment from a fertility specialist with experience and expert knowledge of the condition, you have a good chance of getting pregnant.
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