What Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition where a woman’s hormones are imbalanced. PCOS results in a high amount of androgens, which affects a woman’s menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is disturbed, causing irregular or missed periods. Some women develop cysts in the ovaries with this condition. PCOS may lead to fertility challenges, but intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be an effective treatment option.

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Does PCOS prevent pregnancy?

Women who have PCOS may become pregnant with the right treatment suggested by the doctor. There are various treatment options such as medications to help ovulate or regulate the period. Lifestyle changes include keeping a healthy weight, reducing stress, eating healthy, and treating any medical conditions such as diabetes. When medications fail, other options such as IVF, IUI, and surgery may help improve fertility. The decision for treatment depends on each case and the outcomes of the initial treatment.

Defining IUI and IVF

IUI is a fertility method that is less invasive and involves inserting the sperm into the woman’s uterus. IVF is a more complex method that involves more than one step. IVF involves removing the eggs, fertilizing the eggs with sperm, and then placing fertilized eggs back into the woman’s body.

IUI or IVF for a better outcome?

The success rate of any treatment depends on the woman’s body and other existing medical factors. Both IUI and IVF can result in pregnancy for women with PCOS but the effect on a woman’s body varies. Neither IVF nor IUI guarantees positive outcomes all the time, but typically IVF has a higher rate than IUI. However, the doctor will decide on the right treatment considering other factors such as medical conditions, age, and family history. If both fertility treatments do not succeed, the other possible option is to use donor egg IVF.

The consequences of fertility treatment

Just like other treatments, fertility treatment comes with side effects. The risks are lower for IUI as compared to IVF. The possible IUI risks include multiple births, spotting, and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Some IVF consequences include multiple births, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, miscarriage, low birth weight, and birth defects.

Possible PCOS-related problems

A woman with PCOS does have some associated risks with getting pregnant. Some risk factors include miscarriage, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. Not every woman will face such risks and complications, as every woman’s body is different.

Prevent PCOS complications during pregnancy

Women should still manage PCOS during pregnancy. One way is to lose or maintain weight before planning to get pregnant. Keeping blood sugar levels in the normal range before getting pregnant is also helpful. Another important tip is to take essential supplements such as folic acid. Although PCOS may lower fertility, getting pregnant is still possible for many women with IUI or IVF.

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