pcos infertility
Metabolic Health

PCOS and Your Fertility: And What You Can Do About It

Polycystic ovary syndrome, often known as PCOS is a common health condition that causes hormonal imbalances and metabolism issues. In this scenario, the ovaries don’t regularly release an egg at the end of the menstrual cycle which can lead to difficulty in getting one pregnant. PCOS infertility has become quite common over the years, but it is not that women cannot get pregnant at all. As per research, even if 5-13% are affected by this issue at their reproductive age, it is curable with the help of pcos fertility treatment. Here are details about how pcos causes infertility and what you should do about this health condition. 

How PCOS impacts fertility

PCOS can affect a person’s fertility in various ways. Issues in ovulation are usually the main cause of pcos and infertility. Pcos and ovulation are two sides of the same coin as even if ovulation occurs, if there is an imbalance in hormones, it may prevent the uterus lining from developing properly for implantation to occur. Thus, hormonal imbalance can lead to pcos infertility due to reasons like:

  • Increased or high levels of androgens hormones: In this condition, there are irregular menstrual periods, thus monthly ovulation is not occurring properly due to elevated male hormones. 
  • The formation of small fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries: The formation of small cysts in the ovaries can lead to an imbalance in female sex hormones, creating difficulty in conceiving with pcos
  • Thickening of the outer covering of the ovaries: Pcos causes infertility as these abnormal hormones can thicken the outer shell of the ovaries, blocking ovulation to occur normally. 
  • High levels of insulin in the blood: High blood sugar level affects the egg quality and can delay the maturation of eggs causing pcos and infertility

Fertility treatments for women with PCOS

There is no special cure for pcos and infertility, but there are different pcos fertility treatments that currently involve ovulation issues and metabolic problems like insulin resistance, etc. Firstly, the doctors recommend some basic health measures like maintaining the ideal weight that can help regulate the menstrual cycle and keep blood sugar levels under control. A balanced diet and regular exercise are also suggested. In other cases, there are medications recommended to rectify different issues and fulfill goals. 

Clomiphene citrate (Clomid):

Clomiphene citrate is an ovulatory stimulant that works by blocking the estrogen feedback to the brain organ. It is a very effective oral medication helping in pcos and ovulation. This is given once a day for 5 days from the start of the menstrual cycle. While the lowest dose is given initially, as per requirement the doctor increases the dosage. 

Letrozole

For people experiencing pcos infertility, letrozole is an aromatase inhibitor that persuades ovulation in people who experience irregular or no periods. It blocks estrogen production, helping the increase of follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH). This helps treat pcos and ovulation, and assists in conceiving with pcos

Metformin

While this is not the first line of treatment for pcos infertility, Metformin is used to treat type 2 diabetes to boost the body’s ability to use insulin, therefore producing a positive effect on fat tissue. Thus, it promotes regular periods and ovulation making it an effective pcos fertility treatment especially for women having raised BMI. 

Gonadotropins

For treating pcos and fertility, Gonadotropins are a standard drug given to induce ovulation for women who are experiencing pcos causing infertility. These are injectable hormones to induce ovulation by stimulating the ovaries to produce and ripen the eggs. Thus, this treatment may require frequent doctor’s visits to keep a check on how the body is responding. 

Surgery

If nothing of the above works, laparoscopic surgery or ovarian drilling (LOD) may be an option. Since pcos thickens the outer shell of the ovaries and blocks ovulation, this process involves several tiny incisions to view the internal organs. Since a few holes are made on the surface of the ovary, it is an ultimate pcos fertility treatment for many women by restoring ovulation for at least 6-8 months. If this doesn’t work, IVF is the option where the egg is retrieved and fertilised outside the body and then transferred into the uterus. 

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Alternative remedies

Diet and exercise

While a healthy diet is important to maintain overall health, low-calorie diet, and regular exercise significantly improve the insulin level and fertility in people with pcos infertility

If BMI is high, losing weight with exercise or with dietitian recommendations can be helpful. 

Acupuncture

As per research, acupuncture is yet another effective treatment as it regulates the hormones and blood flow in women with pcos and infertility. It helps in other ways like:

  • Helps manage hyperglycemia
  • Reduces the cortisol level
  • Helps reduce weight loss
  • Reduces ovarian cysts and volume

Essential oils

Essential oil, mainly plant extracts, produces a certain fragrance and helps in improvising the way you would feel. Many people find inhaling the essential oil relaxing and how it makes them feel good. Others use essential oils to ease symptoms of various other health conditions. As per research, spearmint inhibits testosterone and helps restore follicular development in ovaries. Thus, aromatherapy when used currently helps in pcos and fertility boosting. 

Herbs and supplements

The use of organic elements like herbs and supplements may also benefit in pcos causing infertility like omega-3 fish oil supplements, inositol, etc. However, one should consult their doctor before taking any supplements to keep a check if they lack any nutrients or supplements. 

Bottomline

Therefore, with the above information and facts, PCOS is a health condition that cannot be cured or healed, however, one can deal or manage with it easily. It can be done by making small changes in the lifestyle and diet that can help create bigger changes in one’s body. Consequently, following the above remedies and tips, it will allow you to control PCOS in a better way and avoid complications. 

FAQ

How can I manage my fertility with PCOS?

Pcos and fertility can be managed by adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes keeping the weight in range, cutting down on alcohol and smoking, having a balanced diet, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. Also, one should take the help of a doctor and medications if the issue of lack of ovulation persists. 

How can I get pregnant with PCOS and infertility?

With pcos causing infertility, conceiving with pcos might take time and would need medical help. The first line of medical treatment is ovulation induction where a course of tablets or injections is given to stimulate the ovaries to release the egg regularly that can be fertilized. This is either done during intercourse or through IUI (intrauterine insemination). If this also doesn’t work, IVF may be needed. 

How can I increase my fertility naturally with PCOS?

A balanced and healthy diet and regular exercise are two main keys to increasing fertility naturally with pcos. Cutting on smoking and alcohol and enough sleep is also important to boost fertility naturally with pcos. 

What is the fastest way to get pregnant with PCOS?

Quickly conceiving with pcos, one of the first steps is to reverse any high insulin range. An anti-inflammatory diet, de-stressing yourself, tracking your menstrual cycle, and keeping a check on ovulation regularly are other things one should do to conceive faster with pcos. If nothing works, it’s time to take medical help. 

How can I increase my egg quality with PCOS?

You can increase your egg quality with pcos by eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and proteins like nuts, seeds, lentils, and beans. An increase in blood flow also improves egg quality, and one can obtain it by doing regular exercise or acupuncture. Reducing stress is yet another way.

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