Infertility Due To Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Holistic Approach Can Give A Boost To Fertility Treatments – TheHealthSite

Written by Editorial Team |Published : April 13, 2023 12:57 PM IST
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age (17 36 years). It is not a disease but a syndrome where women have a hormonal imbalance and irregular menses. PCOS results in various health problems like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, uterine cancer, issues with the heart and blood vessels, and Infertility. It is crucial to note that PCOS is a misnomer, as there are no cysts but rather excessive ovarian follicles that cannot mature and fail to ovulate at the appropriate time, leading to irregular menses. Although menstrual irregularities in women can occur during the early years, they should regulate within a few years.
PCOS impedes fertility by preventing ovulation each month due to the overproduction of estrogen in the ovaries, resulting in irregular periods, compromised egg quality, insulin resistance, and higher chances of gestational diabetes. In addition, individuals with this health condition may experience symptoms such as weight gain, hair loss, and oily skin. Women with PCOS may also develop Acanthosis Nigricans, characterized by dark, velvety patches on body folds and creases. Notably, it can occur in women of any weight; even those who are thin may be diagnosed with ‘lean PCOS’ and require additional medical attention to address hormonal imbalances.
PCOS is not known to have an exact cause. However, many women with PCOS have insulin resistance, which means the body cannot use insulin effectively. Insulin accumulation may cause elevated levels of androgen in the body, a male hormone. Obesity can also increase insulin levels, which can make PCOS symptoms worse. Additionally, having PCOS in the family too increases the risk of developing it.

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An active lifestyle and healthy nutrition are imperative in managing PCOS, as this condition is linked to the rising prevalence of sedentary lifestyles and inadequate nutrition among young adults. Therefore, a recommended diet high in protein, low in fat and sugar, and regular exercise can help manage the condition effectively. Furthermore, even a slight reduction of 5% in body weight can restore menstrual cycles and initiate spontaneous ovulation, highlighting the significance of avoiding unhealthy food choices.
In women having irregular ovulation despite lifestyle changes, fertility medications may be necessary to stimulate the ovaries. When this happens, the patient can get fertility injections to help release eggs leading to a higher chance of conceiving despite PCOS.
Nonetheless, it is critical to treat long-term PCOS. A woman should have at least 6-7 menstrual cycles per year. The absence of periods can have adverse effects on the womb. Additionally, Endometrial Hyperplasia is yet another concern. Therefore, a typical and effective treatment for PCOS in women under 40 is in-vitro fertilization (IVF). It can increase the likelihood of getting pregnant by 70 percent.

A holistic approach is imperative when choosing an effective treatment option since PCOS is multifaceted. This multidisciplinary care approach not just treats subfertility or anovulation but also metabolic and psychological issues that often accompany these conditions. In addition, the holistic approach to care for the patients allows clinicians to be precise and not miss any opportunity to prevent, treat, and optimize health, thereby reducing future complications and increasing success rates in fertility treatment.
PCOS is one of the most common yet treatable causes of Female Infertility. If an individual experiences or suspects symptoms of PCOS or cannot conceive naturally after trying for more than a year, they should seek immediate medical attention as it is possible to treat ovarian conditions more successfully if detected early. Today, PCOS is no longer a concern because of advances in reproductive medicine. Women no longer need to suffer silently; it is easy to seek help now.
(This article is authored by Dr Erika Patel, ART Fertility Clinics, Chennai)
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