September is National Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Awareness Month. Fairfax Surrogacy wants to help the public become better informed about this condition that impacts almost 5 million women in the United States.
Problems with ovulation are a common cause of infertility, accounting for approximately 25 percent of all female infertility cases. Some ovulation disorders are that your ovaries aren’t producing the amount of estrogen needed to release eggs regularly. This is known as Premature Ovarian Failure (POF).
In other cases, ovulation is affected by a hormonal imbalance when either the pituitary gland or brain is not releasing the correct hormones, and a woman is producing higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones. This is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and leads to either irregular periods or no periods at all. This can make trying to conceive very difficult.
Symptoms of PCOS can begin anywhere from puberty to early adulthood. The most commonly reported symptoms are:
- Irregular or missed periods as a result of not ovulating.
- Cysts on their ovaries
- Weight gain
- Darkened patches of skin
- Low energy or fatigue
- Unwanted hair growth (also known as hirsutism)
- Thinning hair on the head
- Infertility (PCOS is a leading cause of female infertility)
- Mood changes, depression, and/or anxiety
- Pelvic pain
- Sleep issues
Since symptoms vary and can differ from woman to woman, it’s even possible to be misdiagnosed or untreated. In some cases, some women and girls may not even be aware they may have PCOS. This is why raising awareness is so vital. PCOS is a very common disease that affects many women of reproductive age. It is important for women to understand this disease as it may impact their fertility and have other lifelong effects.
Actions To Take
If you have been diagnosed with PCOS, you should know that your fertility doctor may prescribe fertility medications to stimulate ovulation if you’re not ovulating or ovulating irregularly. Also, since women with PCOS who lose weight will begin to ovulate normally, depending on their current weight, we may also recommend losing weight to help.
In general, if you have PCOS and are trying to conceive, it will require medication that allows you to release an egg in a predictable manner. The medication used can be as simple as a pill. Women who are not trying to conceive but would like to manage symptoms may succeed in using a birth control pill.
The biggest takeaway is that women with PCOS tend to have a very good prognosis for achieving pregnancy. Unfortunately, reviewing symptoms and signs and considering second options can sometimes be lost in the discussion when receiving the diagnosis. But, with the proper care, the outlook is positive.
Second, there are other lifelong risks with having a diagnosis of PCOS that will require monitoring and management so being proactive about any concerns you may have about PCOS is a smart move not just for your fertility but for your long-term health as well.