PCOD and How it affects your Fertility?

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Polycystic ovary disease (PCOD) is a common endocrine condition in reproductive-aged women. It affects around 5-10% of young women and leads to difficulty in conceiving.

If you suffer from this condition, you may experience irregular periods. You might also experience abnormal hair growth, acne and have ovaries with multiple small cysts.

What Causes PCOD?

The cause of PCOD is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. One study shows that women with PCOD are resistant to insulin. They cannot absorb it properly, and that excess insulin in the blood causes the ovaries to release too much testosterone (male hormone).

PCOD is also linked with imbalances in other hormones. It includes a luteinizing hormone (LH) and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).

What are PCOD Symptoms?

PCOD Symptoms

The excessive release of androgens (male hormones) in PCOD leads to side effects. You may have symptoms like weight gain, hair growth, and acne, along with irregular menstrual cycles. Your doctor will usually determine whether you are likely to have PCOD. They start by asking about your medical history and give you a physical examination.

Furthermore, they take blood tests to check your hormone levels in the blood. Also, they may ask you to get a scan to check the ovaries for cysts. There is no cure for PCOD, but you can manage it.

For example, losing weight can minimize your symptoms and improve PCOD. Also, taking birth control and anti-androgen medication pills helps with the PCOD symptoms as well.

PCOD and Infertility

PCOD negatively impacts your fertility. If you have PCOD, you do not ovulate. Furthermore, you do not release an egg every month because of estrogen overproduction by the ovaries. Since ovulation does not happen regularly:

  • Periods become irregular
  • Increased levels of hormones, such as testosterone affecting egg quality
  • Inhibit fertilisation 
  • Lead to insulin resistance
  • Increase the risk of disorders such as gestational diabetes

Can you get Pregnant with PCOD?

While it is not impossible if you have PCOD to get pregnant, you may require treatment from a fertility specialist.

PCOD and Fertility Treatment

If you are trying to conceive, the first step in PCOD treatment is a lifestyle change, including exercise and a healthy diet. The most successful diet in PCOD you can try is fewer carbohydrates and a reduced glycemic load.

You can also do moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes and three times per week. Try to make regular exercise your final goal.

If you continue to have infrequent ovulation despite lifestyle changes, you may need fertility medicines. These medicines are selective estrogen receptor modulators.

Suppose fertility medications do not help you in ovulation or pregnancy; you may need fertility injections to release an egg. Fertility injections contain the same hormone that your brain releases as a signal to the ovary to produce eggs.

When you are on fertility injections, you will produce two or more than two eggs instead of making one egg in a month.

Your fertility doctor will monitor you closely with transvaginal ultrasounds and blood tests. It will help your doctor keep track of the estradiol level (a hormone produced in the ovary). The downside of fertility injections is that it contributes to an increased risk of multiple births.

IVF Treatment for PCOD

If none of those mentioned above treatment help, you may require an in vitro fertilization (IVF) to achieve a healthy pregnancy. For an IVF treatment, you will receive daily fertility injections to stimulate the ovaries to form multiple eggs.

Your doctor will harvest your eggs in a minor procedure. After the harvesting, egg fertilization occurs in the lab. Then, your specialist will transfer the resulting embryo (fertilized egg) into your uterus. You can also decide to freeze your embryos (cryopreserved) for future use.

What are PCOD Health Risks?

As mentioned earlier, insulin resistance may occur if you have PCOD. A blood test can determine if you are insulin resistant. If the test shows insulin resistance exists, you will receive medications.

Hyperlipidemia, or elevated cholesterol or triglycerides, can also occur in PCOD women. You may require screening for this condition with a fasting blood test. Screening for hyperlipidemia is essential. You could be at risk of cardiovascular disease later on.

If you are suffering from PCOD, do not worry. PCOD is a manageable condition, and most women do have a healthy pregnancy. Consult our infertility clinic in Ahemdabad. Our doctors can help you determine the best treatment for your condition.

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