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Specialty Treatment Polysistic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder that prevents eggs in the ovaries from growing and ovulating in a normal monthly pattern, resulting in polycystic ovaries (ovaries with many small follicles). PCOS can commonly lead to difficulty conceiving and hormonal imbalances. PCOS causes infertility in three to 10 percent of reproductive-aged women.

Common PCOS Treatment Options Women with PCOS are either oligoovulatory or anovulatory, which in lay terms means, that they ovulate less often than normal or not at all. If ovulation doesn’t take place, there is no opportunity for egg-sperm interaction and pregnancy to occur. The good news is that women with PCOS typically have many eggs, so the goal of treatment for PCOS-related infertility is simply to get ovulation to occur more predictably.

Women with PCOS usually have fewer than eight menstrual cycles per year, and it’s not uncommon to skip multiple periods at a time. Anovulation can be caused by chronic hormone abnormalities, including pituitary hormones such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Women with PCOS often have high levels of LH that contributes to the high levels of androgens (male hormones), along with low levels of FSH that contributes to poor egg development and an inability to ovulate. Clomiphene, also known by the brand name Clomid, is a common and cost-effective oral treatment for those who with PCOS and irregular menstrual cycles.

Insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia (elevated blood insulin levels) are also typical in women with PCOS, and can lead to impaired glucose tolerance and Type 2 diabetes. Metformin, an insulin-sensitizing medication, is most often used to treat patients with PCOS as a way to improve insulin resistance, lower insulin levels, and often improve ovulatory function.

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