What is PCOS and how can it impact your fertility?
Many women are impacted by PCOS. This disorder can cause menstrual pain and discomfort in many women. PCOS can also affect a woman’s ability to conceive. You may be struggling with PCOS and not even know it. Too much pain and discomfort from your period is not normal and you should consult a doctor to discuss this.
What is PCOS?
PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder. This disorder occurs in 8 to 10% of women who are of reproductive age. Women with PCOS often have irregular menstrual periods. Their periods may be infrequent or very prolonged. There is no known cause for PCOS. Many women suffer with this disorder unknowingly.
There are many symptoms that could be related to PCOS. Doctors typically diagnose patients who have two or more of these symptoms.
- Irregular menstrual periods: These are periods that may be infrequent or irregular. Some irregular periods may be painful, extremely heavy or light.
- Excess androgen: A high level of this male hormone may be a sign for PCOS. This male hormone can cause excess body hair and acne in women.
- Polycystic ovaries: This happens when a woman’s ovaries are enlarged and have follicles that are surrounding the eggs. This does not allow the ovaries to function properly.
If you have issues with your menstrual periods, or your periods are not regular it is important to see a doctor. Irregular menstrual periods can be caused by many factors, but it is best to get a doctor’s opinion. 
How can PCOS impact fertility?
About 70 to 80% of women with PCOS struggle with fertility. Women who are trying to conceive with PCOS should see a fertility doctor after trying to conceive with no success for six months.
PCOS is one of the most common reasons that women have trouble conceiving. Women with PCOS have larger ovaries than normal. Larger ovaries have more immature eggs that are less likely to fertilize and lead to a successful pregnancy. Women with PCOS also typically have a high level of the male hormone androgen. This impacts women’s ovulation and causes irregular cycles.
When trying to conceive with PCOS there are many treatments and medications to help. Doctors will typically recommend medications that regulate the menstrual cycle and promote ovulation. These medications will make your cycle regular like birth control, but you will be able to conceive. 
How can PCOS be treated?
PCOS treatment will not be the same for everyone. Your doctor will ensure that your treatment is specific to you and how PCOS impacts you.
If you want to get pregnant it is possible that your doctor will recommend a healthy diet and exercise. This can help relieve some symptoms and regulate your cycle. Your doctor may also recommend medications that cause ovulation. This option will mitigate PCOS and allow you to conceive more easily; but will not relieve the discomfort that is often associated with PCOS.
If you are not planning to conceive, a doctor may prescribe contraceptives to regulate your cycle and lessen some of the discomfort caused by PCOS. Doctors may treat some of your PCOS symptoms directly such as prescribing medicine to reduce acne.
PCOS can affect women very differently. Whether you are dealing with the standard symptoms or more uncommon symptoms it is important to speak with a doctor.