Posts for: May, 2017
Worried that you may have PCOS? Find out more about this condition and what we can do to help.
Do you notice that you have irregular menstrual cycles? Do you sometimes skip your periods altogether? You could be dealing with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a condition in which estrogen and progesterone levels are off kilter and can lead to to ovarian cysts. Find out more about this condition and how your OBGYN can help.
What causes PCOS?
Unfortunately, no one really knows what causes this condition, but it is believed that genetics and hormonal imbalances have some responsibility in who develops PCOS and who doesn’t. If your mother or immediate family member has this condition, you are also more likely to develop PCOS.
Women with PCOS also tend to have an overproduction of androgen, a male sex hormone. Androgen can affect how an egg develops or is released each month.
What are some telltale signs that I have PCOS?
Many women will start to notice that something is amiss one they start menstruating. Of course symptoms varies from woman to woman, but many people with PCOS notice that they have irregular menstrual cycles.
With the imbalance of hormones, some women may start developing more masculine characteristics such as:
- Excess hair on the face, chest, fingers or toes
- Thin hair
- Deeper voice
Besides these symptoms women with PCOS may also experience:
- Weight gain (usually caused by other chronic health problems like diabetes)
- Abdominal pain
How will a PCOS specialist treat my condition?
While there is no cure for PCOS, there are certainly ways to manage your symptoms. Your treatment plan will be tailored to what symptoms you are experiencing. Of course, a healthy diet and regular exercise are recommended for everyone who has been diagnosed with this condition.
Birth control pills may also be prescribed to help regulate hormones and your menstrual cycle, and they sometimes have the added bonus of improving your acne. For women with PCOS who are looking to get pregnant, fertility treatments may be recommended to help assist in successful ovulation.
If you are concerned that you may have PCOS, or if you are having issues with irregular periods, it’s time you talked to your gynecologist.
If you are having issues conceiving find out if fertility treatments are the next best option.
According to a CNN article published back in 2014, there is a record number of babies being born via IVF. If you and your partner have been trying to get pregnant for over a year without success then it might be time you talked to an OBGYN about whether IVF could improve your chances.
What types of infertility can IVF handle?
There are many reasons why a couple could be infertile. IVF may be a great option for you if you or your partner are dealing with any of these issues:
- Low sperm count or motility
- Uterine or fallopian tube issues (e.g. uterine fibroids; fallopian tube blockage)
- Ovulation disorders
- Antibodies that attack the sperm or egg
- Genetic disorders
What affects the success of IVF?
The age of the woman will be a factor in the success rate of IVF. Women under the age of 35 will have a higher success rate (41- 43 percent) than a woman over the age of 40 years old (13 to 18 percent). Women between the ages of 35 to 37 have a 33-36 percent success rate while women ages 38 to 40 have a 23-27 percent success rate. Of course, as techniques continue to advance and improve, we are finding that success rates in every age group have grown.
What is involved in IVF?
There are five steps to the IVF process:
- Your fertility specialist will prescribe fertility medications to stimulate egg production.
- The eggs will be retrieved through minor surgery.
- The male will provide a sperm sample, which will be combined with the egg.
- During insemination, the lab will mix the sperm and egg together to fertilize the egg. Once the eggs have fertilized they are called embryos.
- Then the embryos are inserted into the uterus about 3-5 days after fertilization.
Learn more about IVF, the fertility treatment that is helping more and more couples be able to conceive. Talk to your gynecologist about whether IVF is right for you.