How Does PCOS Affect Fertility?

Aug 08, 2022
How Does PCOS Affect Fertility?
Polycystic ovary syndrome comes with hormone imbalances and metabolism problems for many women. Learn about how this lifelong disorder affects your ability to get pregnant.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health,  polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects between 5 and 10% of women of childbearing age. The condition, which involves a hormone imbalance, can cause various issues with menstruation and may bring about acne, hair loss, and hirsutism. If you have it, you might not realize much about it until you start thinking about getting pregnant.

PCOS is the leading cause of infertility among women. Yet, that doesn’t mean that getting pregnant is entirely impossible. CARE Fertility in Bedford and Fort Worth, Texas, provides advanced and personalized infertility treatments that improve your chances of getting pregnant, even with PCOS. Our specialists can advise you about the link between PCOS and infertility to help you better understand your condition and how treatment helps. 

The underlying cause of PCOS-related infertility

Most people know that ovaries produce the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. However, few realize that ovaries also produce androgens or male sex hormones. If you have PCOS, there is an imbalance among the hormones produced by your ovaries. Specifically, your ovaries produce an abnormally high level of androgens. For many women, this happens because their ovaries develop many fluid-filled sacs, called cysts, which produce those androgens. 

With so many of these hormones, many women with PCOS do not ovulate at all. Ovulation is the monthly release of an egg from your ovaries into your fallopian tubes, which opens the door for the possibility of fertilization should sperm reach the mature egg. 

When ovulation doesn’t occur, there is no chance for fertilization to happen. This is one of the main reasons why infertility is so prevalent among women with PCOS. Some fertility treatments work by stimulating ovulation to get around this issue, while others, namely in vitro fertilization, involve collecting eggs directly from the ovary.

What you can do

Our specialists at CARE Fertility routinely diagnose PCOS using blood tests to evaluate hormones as well as ultrasound imaging to view your ovaries directly. They use these methods when you come in for a consultation with concerns that may be related to PCOS. 

One of the first indications of something going on with your ovaries is having irregular periods. While PCOS is far from the only cause of menstrual inconsistency, it frequently causes light periods and missed periods. Any irregularity with your periods needs to be evaluated, and our experts are happy to assist you with this issue. 

If you’d like to explore the connection between PCOS and infertility further, or if you’re considering your fertility treatment options, contact CARE Fertility with a phone call or schedule an appointment online at either of our offices today.