April 2024

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Fertility

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects approximately 10% of women  of reproductive age. It is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. PCOS is characterized by an  overproduction of androgens, or male hormones, by the ovaries. This hormonal imbalance can lead to a variety  of symptoms, including irregular periods, excessive hair growth, acne, and weight gain. However, one of the  most significant implications of PCOS is its effect on fertility. (Source: Tommy´s)


Understanding PCOS

PCOS is a complex condition that is not fully understood. It is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic  and environmental factors. Women with PCOS often have a mother or sister with the condition, suggesting a  genetic link. Additionally, conditions such as insulin resistance and inflammation are commonly found in  women with PCOS, indicating a possible environmental trigger. (Source: ScienceDirect) The hormonal  imbalance in PCOS leads to the growth of small cysts on the ovaries. These cysts are not harmful, but they can  lead to hormonal imbalances that can cause symptoms and affect fertility.


PCOS and Infertility

PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility. Women with PCOS often experience irregular  menstrual cycles due to the overproduction of androgens. This can interfere with the process of ovulation,  making it difficult for these women to conceive naturally. Furthermore, women with PCOS are at a higher risk  of complications during pregnancy, including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and premature birth.  Therefore, managing PCOS is crucial not only for achieving pregnancy but also for maintaining a healthy  pregnancy.


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Fertility


Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing PCOS can be challenging as there is no definitive test for the condition. Doctors typically diagnose  PCOS based on the patient’s symptoms, blood tests to measure hormone levels, and ultrasound imaging to  check for the presence of ovarian cysts. Treatment for PCOS aims to manage symptoms and improve fertility.  This often involves lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise to improve insulin resistance and lower blood  sugar levels. Medications may also be prescribed to regulate menstrual cycles, reduce androgen levels, and  assist with ovulation.



In vitro fertilization (IVF) can be a successful treatment option for women with PCOS who have not been able  to conceive naturally. During IVF, eggs are retrieved from the ovaries and fertilized in a laboratory. (Source:  OnPoint Nutrition) The resulting embryos are then transferred back into the woman’s uterus. IVF can be  particularly beneficial for women with PCOS as it bypasses many of the issues that can cause infertility in these  women, such as irregular ovulation. Additionally, medications used during IVF can help to regulate hormone  levels, further improving the chances of a successful pregnancy.  

While PCOS can pose significant challenges to fertility, it’s important to remember that every woman’s  experience with PCOS is unique. With the right diagnosis and treatment plan, many women with PCOS are  able to overcome these challenges and successfully conceive. It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider  to discuss individual symptoms, risks, and treatment options. It’s also important to remember that while PCOS  can make it more difficult to conceive, it does not make it impossible. With the right support and treatment,  many women with PCOS go on to have healthy, successful pregnancies




Tommy´s - PCOS & Fertility: Symptoms, Treatment & Tests (tommys.org)

ScienceDirect - Should all women with PCOS be treated for insulin resistance? - ScienceDirect

OnPoint Nutrition - Frequently Asked Questions About PCOS: OnPoint Nutrition (onpoint-nutrition.com)