Unfortunately, PCOS and infertility do tend to go hand in hand. There are a myriad of reasons this connection is made. It could be because the body may produce much more insulin than needed. For other cases it is because of an excessive amount of male hormones produced. Generally put, it may be the result of hormonal imbalances.
Ovulation: Understand how it works to understand why it doesn’t work
The normal process:
Whenever a woman undergoes her menstrual cycle, there is a whole process involved. Every month or so, depending on how regular or irregular the woman’s flow is, follicles will grow in the ovaries. For every follicle that grows, one egg starts to develop inside each as well. As your period proceeds, one follicle will remain. The reason for this is to release the egg during the process. Once the egg is good and ready, it will finally break loose, hence, ovulation. That is pretty much what the whole process is.
The problem of PCOS and infertility
Now that you know how ovulation takes place, it is time to understand why it doesn’t. Women who suffer from PCOS usually do not produce enough female hormones for this process. More specifically, the follicles that are supposed to create eggs don’t. As if that weren’t problematic enough, there is more. These barren follicles may turn into cysts, a lot of them outside of the ovaries.
One other symptom of PCOS that can affect the chances of getting pregnant is irregular or absent menstrual cycles. The problem is that if there is no ovulation, then there is no progesterone. Progesterone is the main element that is needed to thicken the lining of the uterus in preparation for a fertilized egg.
Age is yet another factor. As women get older, the chances of PCOS and infertility get higher as well. It is not only due to a lack of the menstrual cycle. Even just an irregular one can affect it as well.
Knowing the numbers
For women in the child bearing years, only a small percentage is affected by PCOS- just five to ten percent. Most of those unfortunate few do not even know that they have such a condition. Out of the five to ten percent who are likely to have this problem, only twenty percent will actually know that they are dealing with PCOS and infertility.
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Filed under Ovarian Cysts by Rebecca