Can Poly Cystic Ovaries Cause Infertility in Women?

Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) is the leading cause of infertility and the most frequent endocrine problem in women of reproductive age that causes various hormone levels to become irregular. Oestrogen and progesterone are main female hormones and some amount of androgen which is a male hormone is also present in females.

Imbalance in these hormones leads to PCOD. It is not completely understood why or how the changes in the hormone levels occur. These changes lead to problems in the ovulation process of the ovaries resulting in the development of many immature eggs. Mature eggs are not formed. In normal ovulation, one or more eggs get matured and are released during one menstrual cycle. In PCOD, eggs are not released from the ovaries and they form many small cysts in the ovary. Women with this disorder often have a mother or sister who has symptoms similar to those of polycystic ovary syndrome. Therefore it is thought to have genetic etiology.

Symptoms

Symptoms tend to be mild at first. You may have only a few symptoms or a lot of them. The most common symptoms are:

  • Delayed cycles
  • Scanty menstrual bleeding or irregular spotting during the menstrual cycle
  • Acne
  • Excessive weight gain
  • Extra facial hair (Often women get thicker and darker facial hair)
  • Hair fall (scalp)
  • Difficulty in conceiving (Infertility)

Diagnosis

  • History of menstrual irregularities with weight gain or increased facial hair
  • Blood tests to see hormonal levels can reconfirm the diagnosis. Blood tests are also done for glucose metabolism as this found to be deranged in same cases of PCOD
  • An ultrasound of the ovaries leads to a clear diagnosis as we can see the typically multicystic or polycystic ovaries.

Treatment

  • Regular exercise and balanced diet. One should try to lose weight with exercise and diet management preferably under the guidance of a dietician.
  • Hormonal pills are usually needed which should only be taken under proper medical guidance.
  • A diabetes medicine called metformin may also be needed.
  • Fertility medicines will be needed if you are trying to get pregnant.
  • If above treatment does not correct the problem, then surgical treatment is needed through laparoscopic surgery
  • Well, we can say that it is treatable problem. You need to be aware of it so that treatment can be started sooner.
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