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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Overcome the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome with accurate diagnosis and treatment

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that causes irregular cycles and infertility in women. Our San Antonio fertility doctors have the experience and knowledge to diagnose and treat this common syndrome, which affects about 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. Although PCOS can cause infertility, it is treatable.

What are the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome?

Our San Antonio fertility doctors know that each PCOS patient is unique because the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome vary. However, some of the most common symptoms include irregular or absent menstrual cycles, excessive body and facial hair, acne, difficulty losing weight, thinning hair and infertility.

Our San Antonio fertility doctors may rely on a woman’s health history, physical exam, pelvic exam, pelvic ultrasound and blood work to make a diagnosis. To diagnose PCOS, a woman must have two of the following symptoms:

  • Irregular or absent periods
  • Elevated levels of androgens (male-type hormones that women normally have in low levels), either by bloodwork or clinical exam
  • A “polycystic” appearing ovary, the symptom of chronic ovulation problems

What are the treatments for PCOS?

Because women who have polycystic ovary syndrome do not ovulate regularly or at all, it can be difficult for these women to become pregnant without help from fertility treatments. In addition to infertility, this syndrome can be linked to several other health problems, including metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, heart disease, obesity and endometrial cancer.

Although PCOS can cause infertility and other health issues, it is treatable. For women not trying to conceive, preventing uterine lining overgrowth and managing androgen-excess symptoms, such as unwanted hair, are most commonly achieved through hormones, which also act as birth control for many women. However, for women with PCOS trying to conceive, other medications need to be used to help ovulation occur.

Almost all women with PCOS will require treatment with fertility medications to induce ovulation. Common medications include Clomid and Femara. Our San Antonio fertility doctors may prescribe them in conjunction with timed intercourse or intrauterine insemination (IUI), depending on the patient’s unique situation.

If a woman with PCOS also struggles with extra weight or is overweight, our San Antonio fertility doctors will recommend weight loss to make the medications more effective, and to achieve a healthier pregnancy. Weight loss of just 5% to 10% can improve the symptoms of PCOS and may even help some women start ovulating on their own.

With the right diagnosis and treatment, the majority of women with polycystic ovary syndrome are able to conceive and make their dreams of parenthood come true. Contact our San Antonio fertility doctors to schedule an appointment and learn more about overcoming PCOS.