Polycystic ovary Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Guide

 

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age in the UK. Nearly 80% of women with PCOS experience difficulty getting pregnant because of their condition.

We have created this guide to help you understand PCOS so that you are fully informed about your options, whether you are ready to start a family now or in the future.

 

What is in this guide?

    • A detailed introduction to PCOS
    • How to identify symptoms of PCOS
    • Myths and truths about PCOS
    • Different treatment options
    • Real stories from women and mothers with PCOS
    • A dictionary of medical terms

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What are polycystic ovaries?

 
 

 

Polycystic ovaries are very common – it’s estimated that a third of women have them. If the ovaries are polycystic, it means they contain a higher-than-normal number of ovarian follicles. It is important to know that having polycystic ovaries does not mean having ovarian cysts.

Polycystic ovaries and PCOS are not the same, and not all women with polycystic ovaries will develop PCOS. Women that do develop PCOS may experience irregular periods, which is a sign of anovulation (when the ovaries do not release an egg during a menstrual cycle). This is what can makes it difficult to get pregnant.

How do I know I have PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a metabolic disorder, which disrupts a woman’s hormones. This hormonal imbalance can appear in symptoms such as weight gain, excess hair growth and difficulty getting pregnant. Symptoms of PCOS normally appear during puberty, but they can also present later in life.

Specialists can diagnose PCOS when at least two of these symptoms are present:

    • Polycystic ovaries (confirmed by an ultrasound scan)
    • Oligo-ovulation (irregular ovulation) or anovulation (lack of ovulation)
    • Hyperandrogenism (excess production of male hormones, which causes acne and excess hair growth)
Can I get pregnant with PCOS?

Can I get pregnant with PCOS?

If I want to get pregnant, what are my treatment options?

If you are trying to get pregnant, your consultant may advise changing your lifestyle and adopting healthier habits to improve your chances of conceiving.

Depending on your specific circumstances such as age and medical history, you may be prescribed medication to induce ovulation.

In some cases, surgical treatments are necessary to encourage ovulation.

In our guide, you will find a comprehensive summary of the different treatment options recommended for women with PCOS who are trying to conceive.

Download here

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