PCOS, which stands for polycystic ovary syndrome is a disorder associated with a number of hormonal imbalances. Generally, women with PCOS produce lesser amount of progesterone and more amount of estrogen making them vulnerable to complications during pregnancy.
Discussing the symptoms of PCOS, Dr Gautam Allahbadia , a Dubai-based IVF expert explains,
“In PCOS, menstrual periods are infrequent due to high male hormone levels. The ovaries in this condition do not release eggs each month and create a barrier in pregnancy. Although, PCOS is now believed to be a hereditary disease, but with the medical advancements, this disorder can be treated.”
In PCOS, women produce too much androgen triggering “masculine” symptoms such as increase in the growth of facial and body hair. Androgens also cause the skin to get oily and develop acne. Suffering from PCOS is closely related with obesity. It is observed that a majority of the women suffering from this syndrome tend to be overweight. These added complications can cause long-term health issues like diabetes and heart diseases. Dr Gautam Allahbadia suggests that proper diagnosis and treatment of PCOS with healthy lifestyle changes can improve a woman’s health.
Coming to the effects of PCOS on the reproductive health, several gynecologists have pointed out that it effects pregnancy adversely. Women who suffer from PCOS don’t ovulate or release eggs regularly due to irregular menstrual cycle. In this regard, with the advancements in IVF, it has become possible to overcome infertility caused due to PCOS. IVF has sharply improved the chances of getting pregnant and as a bonus, pregnancy acts as a temporary treatment for PCOS.
“Women who wish to conceive should start making lifestyle changes, which usually involve losing weight, increasing physical activity, eating healthy diet and improving insulin resistance. Maintaining your health means having a healthy relationship with yourself and your body,” says Dr Gautam Allahbadia.
When women choose IVF for conceiving, the initial steps involve taking fertility injections to stimulate the ovaries. This type of medication contains a hormone which triggers the ovaries to produce multiple follicles via a procedure called controlled ovarian stimulation. The egg retrieval process requires the removal of eggs from the female body. Later, the egg is fertilized with her partner’s sperm in a laboratory and returned to her uterus to develop into a baby.
Commenting on the role of IVF in pregnant women, Dr Gautam Allahbadia, explained, “There are different drugs which are used to create and maintain the pregnancy and yearn better results by forming a single healthy embryo which could be returned to the womb,” also mentioning that most women who suffer from PCOS have successful pregnancies.
In PCOS, the issue of cysts growing on the ovary does not prevent fertilization and pregnancy. It only prevents the release of the egg. Thus, the women who opt for IVF go on to have a healthy baby. According to Dr Gautam Allahbadia, “IVF is the most common treatment for women with PCOS who wish to have children. They have 70-80% per cent chance of becoming pregnant with segmented IVF.”
Therefore, women with PCOS who wish to start their families, should research and find out more about IVF, consult a fertility specialist and understand that PCOS or infertility are no longer the obstacles that once were, and even with a number of infertility problems, many couples and single mothers can go on to have a healthy child.

Author's Bio: 

A health consultant and a part time blogger interested in topics concerned with health, parenting and lifestyle.