Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome
Polycystic ovaries syndrome or PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder seen in females. It's prevalent in adolescent girls to reproductive age group women. And the incidence is as high as 6 to 25%. The patients may present with delayed periods, inability to conceive, acne, obesity, excessive hair on the face.
Infertility in these patients is due to disturbed ovulation/ anovulation. In our clinic 3 out of 10 patients who report to us with infertility have PCOS. PCOS also poses long term health risks like diabetes, hypertension, dislipidemia and endometrial cancer.
Remember PCOS is not a disease, only a disorder. On the bright side, statistically 20% of women, who have polycystic ovaries, may not have problems in ovulating or conceiving.
Management aims at the symptoms the patient presents with. Most important here is life style modification. As obesity plays a vicious role in PCOS, just losing 5% of the body weight may cause resumtion of normal cycles. Regular exercise, balanced healthy diet and avoidance of junk food is important. Awareness is increased these days and we see PCOS clubs and specialised clinics coming up for the same.
Good news is that the patients with PCO and infertility can be easily treated with simple measures like inducing ovulation with medicines and then timed contact/ IUI. Nearly 60- 70 percent women will achieve ovulation and 40% of them will conceive over the first 3 attempts. It is not advisable to continue the treatment if there is no response to same or if 6-10 cycles of these medications have not helped achieve pregnancy.