How Does PCOS Affect Fertility?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal imbalance in women, leads to a variety of symptoms, including weight gain, adult acne, facial hair, and yes, sometimes infertility. But if you’re having trouble getting pregnant and are told you have PCOS, be thankful. It’s one of the most common and easily treatable causes of infertility. 

Dr. Andrew Loucopoulos here in the Upper East Side of Manhattan can help you understand your PCOS and offer you effective treatments to help regulate your menstrual cycle and hormones so you can conceive if and when you desire. 

We think you’ll find our practice is a unique place — different from cold, impersonal hospital settings. Dr. Loucopoulos, well-known for his expertise in fertility and reproductive health, is even better known for his patient-centered care and personalized approach to women’s health. 

That’s why, when it comes to your PCOS, you can trust him to accurately, respectfully, and compassionately guide you through your treatment options. Here’s what you need to know about PCOS and your fertility. 

PCOS affects your hormones

If you have PCOS, your body is producing more male hormones, called androgens, than it should. These are the hormones that help give men their characteristic traits, such as the development of their sex organs and their facial hair. Under normal conditions, your body would convert androgens into estrogen (a female hormone). When it doesn’t, you may notice more facial hair than you’d like.

Imbalanced hormones affect your ability to ovulate

High levels of androgens also interfere with your body’s normal menstrual cycle and make it difficult or impossible to ovulate. Ovulation, when an egg develops and releases, is one of the keys to becoming pregnant. With PCOS, you have several little cysts, or pockets, in your ovaries that trap an immature egg. If that egg never develops and releases, then it can’t become fertilized by sperm and you can’t get pregnant. 

PCOS is treatable

If you’re not trying to get pregnant, birth control pills (whether estrogen-only or a combination of estrogen and progesterone) can help regulate your hormones, and therefore, your period.

Of course, if you’re trying to get pregnant, birth control pills are not going to help. In this case, Dr. Loucopoulos may suggest medication to help you ovulate. There are several that may be able to help at different points during your cycle, and he can prescribe the right ones depending on your unique condition. 

The connection between weight, PCOS, and fertility

Believe it or not, the onset of PCOS may be caused by excess weight. That’s because weight gain impacts your hormone levels. So if you’re overweight or obese, losing a few pounds may be all it takes to change the tide and eliminate your infertility problems. 

Even if you lose only 10% of your body weight, you can significantly increase your chances of getting pregnant, because your hormones will return to normal levels and your periods will become more regular and predictable. 

Advanced treatments for PCOS

When medicine and weight loss don’t work, Dr. Loucopoulos may decide to take your treatment to the next level with more advanced approaches: 

From simple, conservative approaches to more involved treatments, your PCOS is likely a solvable problem and should not prevent you from becoming pregnant if that is your goal. It may take a few extra steps, but under Dr. Loucopoulos’ expert care, your chances are excellent.

PCOS pregnancies

Once you become pregnant, your PCOS may require that you take a few extra precautions during your term as well. Your PCOS pregnancy puts you at risk for: 

Dr. Loucopoulos will carefully monitor you to make sure your pregnancy with PCOS goes as smoothly as possible.

If you think you may have PCOS or know you do and are hoping to become pregnant, don’t worry about infertility. Call us today to schedule a consultation or book one online with Dr. Loucopoulos to put your mind at ease and to get started on the path toward parenthood. 

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