PCOS and Fertility

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PCOS and Fertility

PCOS and Fertility

What is PCOS?

In PCOS the ovaries are bigger and have many tiny cysts that contain immature eggs. It affects between 5-10% of women.

Hormone imbalance

PCOS causes a woman’s body to produce higher-than-normal levels of androgens. These are hormones that are usually thought of as male hormones, because men have much higher levels of androgens than women. In women, androgens are usually converted into the hormone oestrogen.

Ovulation Problems

High levels of androgens interfere with the development of your eggs and with ovulation. If a healthy egg isn’t released, it can’t be fertilized bysperm.

PCOS can cause you to miss your menstrual period or have irregular periods.

Other risk factors

Women with PCOS present an increased risk of:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes type 2
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Impaired glucose tolerance
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Eating disorders

PCOS and Fertility

  • Clomiphene is an anti-estrogen drug that you take at the beginning of your cycle to induce ovulation.
  • If clomiphene doesn’t help with ovulation, you may be prescribed metformin.
  • If clomiphene and metformin don’t work, your doctor may prescribe a medication containing a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and a luteinizing hormone (LH).
  • One other drug that helps with ovulation is letrozole. It’s sometimes used when other medications aren’t effective.

Lifestyle Changes

For some women, gaining a lot of weight can affect their hormones. In turn, losing weight  if you’re overweight  may help get your hormones back to normal levels. Losing 10% of your body weight may help your menstrual cycle become more predictable. This should help you get pregnant.

Losing weight may be challenging but a balanced diet as recommended in the most recent guidance and support from a coach for accountability and motivation can make a big difference.

Book an appointment with our nurse consultant to discuss PCOS, lifestyle and fertility and create your health improvement plan that is based in the most recent guidelines.

You can get more information at PCOS UK.

Andreia Trigo RN BSc MSc

Fertility Nurse Specialist | NLP Coach of 2017 | TEDx Speaker

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