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Tips to curb infertility: Here’s how to increase fertility for PCOS sufferers

Most women expect and want to experience motherhood. However, women who suffer from long-term medical conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) frequently worry about having children, particularly whether or not they will be able to conceive. PCOS is a complicated hormonal disorder that affects as many as one in five women of reproductive age. The […]

Most women expect and want to experience motherhood. However, women who suffer from long-term medical conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) frequently worry about having children, particularly whether or not they will be able to conceive.
PCOS is a complicated hormonal disorder that affects as many as one in five women of reproductive age. The majority of women with PCOS have decreased levels of «follicle stimulating hormone,» which is necessary for pubertal growth and the health of men›s testes and women›s ovaries, and increased amounts of luteinizing hormone, which triggers ovulation.

Women with PCOS frequently experience irregular menstrual periods as a result of these hormonal abnormalities since they either seldom or never ovulate. Thus, women with PCOS are more prone to experience difficulties in getting pregnant. And while most PCOS-afflicted women become pregnant, they frequently take longer to do so and are more likely than non-PCOS-afflicted women to require reproductive therapy.
In this article, we will look at tips to curb infertility and how to increase fertility for PCOS sufferers.

How does PCOS affect fertility?
According to Dr. Archana Dhawan Bajaj, Gynecologist, Obstetrician and IVF Expert, Nurture IVF Clinic, New Delhi, “PCOS affects fertility in a number of ways beginning with bringing about hormonal abnormalities, causing ovarian cysts and throwing your periods out of sync (irregular menstrual cycles). This in turn can lead to irregular or non-existent ovulation, commonly referred to as anovulation, which is the reason for the irregular menstrual cycle. An egg is discharged from the ovaries during a normal menstrual cycle and can be fertilized by sperm to become pregnant. But this process fails to work properly in PCOS due to an imbalance in hormones, notably high levels of insulin and androgens, or male hormones. Infertility may result from irregular egg releases from the ovaries or from incomplete egg maturation.”

Ways to improve your fertility
Although the road to motherhood is impacted in those suffering from PCOS, however, there are various treatment options available that can help to increase your chances at conception.
•          Changes in lifestyle
Your general health and fertility may benefit from leading a healthy lifestyle.
A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins and whole grains should be your major focus. Along with a healthy diet, regular exercise, like brisk walking and swimming, can help control hormone levels, lower insulin resistance, and manage weight. Reduce stress by practicing yoga or meditation, which are calming methods that might improve fertility.
•          Maintaining a healthy weight
Keeping a healthy weight is essential for managing reproductive problems associated with PCOS. Studies have shown that it is possible to restore a regular ovulation cycle and increase the likelihood of becoming pregnant with even a little weight loss of 5% to 10% of body weight.
•          Medications
Your healthcare professional could suggest using medication to control your menstrual cycle and induce ovulation, depending on your unique circumstances.
It is crucial to weigh the dangers of multifetal gestation (twins and triplets) and hyperstimulation syndrome, which can result in enormous, painful ovarian cysts, before using drugs to induce ovulation. “Those who have PCOS are more vulnerable to each of these risks.”
•          Assisted reproductive techniques
Your doctor could suggest that you see a fertility expert for advice on assisted reproductive methods such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) if lifestyle modifications and medication are ineffective.
The odds of a successful pregnancy can be increased and fertilization assisted by IUI and IVF.
•          Emotional support
Trying to conceive while having PCOS may be a difficult emotional journey. Do not shy away to ask for help from your friends, family, and spouse to help you manage the emotional difficulties and stress.

The author is the Gynecologist, Obstetrician and IVF Expert, Nurture IVF Clinic, New Delhi.

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