How Does PCOS Affect Fertility in Women?
If you have been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), an important question is how does PCOS affect fertility? Roughly 5 million women of childbearing age in the United States have PCOS, making it one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders in women. It is also the most common cause of female infertility. However, pregnancy with PCOS is possible.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance characterized by high levels of androgens (male hormones that females also have) and problems in the ovaries. With PCOS, the ovary either does not develop eggs properly or does not release them during ovulation, leading to the development of cysts (small, fluid-filled sacs). The androgens also interfere with ovulation, causing irregular periods, thinning hair, acne, and excess hair growth on the face, chin, and body.
How does PCOS Affect Fertility?
PCOS affects fertility in two ways: firstly, it prevents or interferes with ovulation (the release of an egg for fertilization). Both ovarian cysts and hormonal imbalances can cause irregular ovulation. If you aren’t ovulating, you can’t get pregnant. Secondly, PCOS can affect the health and quality of the eggs produced. A healthy egg is necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
PCOS also increases your risk for certain pregnancy complications, such as:
- Gestational diabetes
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- Miscarriage or premature birth
How is PCOS Infertility Treated?
Treating PCOS requires a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. Reaching both a healthy weight and healthy blood sugar levels before pregnancy can greatly reduce the risk of complications. Studies have shown that reducing your body weight by just 5-10% can help regulate menstrual cycles and improve endocrine function. And since insulin resistance plays a role in PCOS, it is important to watch your sugar intake. Choose complex carbohydrates which raise your blood sugar levels more evenly and avoid sugary drinks and processed foods. Healthy eating habits combined with regular physical activity have been shown to improve PCOS symptoms.
At Anchor Wellness Center, our expert staff coaches you in healthy lifestyle and nutrition, customizing a plan that meets your specific needs. We also use natural medicine interventions to help restore balance to your hormonal levels, improve endocrine function, and bring you back to optimal health. We prescribe bioidentical hormones which are derived from natural sources and have the same chemical makeup as your body, making them easier for your body to absorb and reducing side effects.
Natural Fertility Treatment at Anchor Wellness Center
At Anchor Wellness Center, we investigate the root causes of fertility challenges by looking at all related body systems, including reproductive, thyroid, adrenal, digestive, immune and detoxification systems. If you have polycystic ovarian syndrome, you may also be suffering from a thyroid disorder. We evaluate and treat all of your body’s systems to improve your overall health and increase your fertility.
As a Board Certified physician, both in Family Medicine and with the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Malhotra will provide you functional lab testing, female hormone balancing, and comprehensive diet and lifestyle support to treat your PCOS. To learn more, call Anchor Wellness today at (832) 246-8437 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Minni Malhotra, MD, FAARM, ABAARM.