Ovarian Cysts Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Pcos Fertility Treatments

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of infertility in women. Many of its symptoms aren’t recognized immediately for what they are. Doctors may try to treat individual symptoms without recognizing that PCOS is the root cause. Tracking possible symptoms of PCOS, as well as scheduling regular pelvic exams and blood tests, may help determine whether polycystic ovarian syndrome is present.

Treating individual symptoms may help treat PCOS infertility, especially by regulating insulin and hormone levels. Medical professionals may prescribe medications to treat symptoms. They may also recommend a new PCOS fertility diet and exercise plan to help sufferers fight weight gain and obesity.

PCOS Fertility Treatments

Fertility pills are often the first step in correcting a number of fertility problems, including PCOS infertility. Doctors commonly prescribe Clomiphene and gonadotropins in order to help women achieve fertility with PCOS.

Most PCOS fertility treatments in drug form work to promote ovulation by stimulating either the brain or the ovaries directly. The only negative factor associated with these PCOS infertility treatments is the increased risk of multiple births. Multiple births tend to cause high miscarriage rates in women, and female PCOS sufferers are already at high risk of miscarriage.

A doctor may prescribe other drugs, such as metformin, to treat PCOS infertility. Metformin increases insulin sensitivity, which can counteract the insulin resistance frequently associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Compared to other PCOS fertility treatments, metformin:

  • Helps regulate menstrual cycles
  • Promotes normal fertility
  • Reduces symptoms, such as unwanted hair growth.

Studies have shown that continuing to take metformin while undergoing PCOS fertility treatments also reduces the risk of miscarriage.

Surgical PCOS Fertility Treatments

“Ovarian drilling” is a surgical procedure in which the ovary is punctured several times by an electrosurgical needle or laser. This PCOS infertility treatment results in less ovarian tissue being removed overall.

Ovarian drilling reduces the polycystic ovary’s ability to produce male hormones while triggering ovulation. This procedure is an option if medicinal PCOS fertility treatments don’t work. After ovarian drilling, drugs promoting fertility with PCOS are often more effective. While effective for some women struggling with PCOS infertility, ovarian drilling is not a common solution.

Like any surgery, the ovarian drilling procedure does carry some risks. Women should understand the potential benefits and complications of ovarian drilling before agreeing to this method of improving fertility with PCOS.

In Vitro Fertility and PCOS Infertility

If all other polycystic ovarian syndrome fertility treatments fail, some women may consider in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination to improve their fertility with PCOS.

PCOS Fertility Diet

Some women have successful fertility with PCOS by following a “PCOS fertility diet.” As insulin resistance seems to be tied to PCOS infertility, a diet designed to control blood sugar levels may encourage fertility with PCOS.

While many PCOS fertility diet success stories are anecdotal, there’s certainly no harm in maintaining a healthy diet while treating PCOS infertility. Keep in mind that much of the online PCOS fertility diet information is contradictory and unsupported by research. Women interested in a PCOS fertility diet should consult with a dietitian or other health professional to create a realistic polycystic ovarian syndrome diet that fits their needs.

Resources

Baby Center Staff. (n.d.). Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Retrieved February 23, 2010, from the Baby Center Web site: http://www.babycenter.com/refcap/preconception/fertilityproblems/7432.html#3.

Georgia Reproductive Specialists Staff. (n.d.). Ovarian drilling. Retrieved February 23, 2010, from the Georgia Reproductive Specialists Web site: http://www.ivf.com/drilling.html.

Georgia Reproductive Specialists Staff. (n.d.). Treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome with insulin lowering medications. Retrieved February 23, 2010, from the Georgia Reproductive Specialists Web site: http://www.ivf.com/pcostreat.html.

Just Mommies Staff. (n.d.). PCOS and infertility. Retrieved February 23, 2010, from the Just Mommies Web site: http://www.justmommies.com/articles/pcos-and-infertility.shtml.

Sills, E. (n.d.). Polycystic ovary syndrome: From initial testing to emotional support. Retrieved February 23, 2010, from the Infertility Specialist Web site: http://www.infertilityspecialist.com/pcos-infertility_grs.html.