As we continue raising awareness of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome this September, we believe it is important to not only discuss the symptoms but to also discuss the possible treatment options. Earlier this month we detailed how the causes and symptoms of PCOS are varied and manifest differently in every woman. This makes successful treatment of PCOS difficult for gynecologists and fertility doctors alike. However, managing the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome can be achieved. It is even possible for patients suffering from infertility to become pregnant as a result of specific PCOS treatment.
To treat a hormonal disorder like polycystic ovary syndrome, it is necessary to understand what hormones are and how they work. Hormones are biological chemicals that are secreted by various glands in our bodies. They are transported through our circulatory systems and “tell” our organs what to do and how they should function. They are responsible for our metabolism of food, our moods, our body temperature, growth and development, as well as our sexual growth and reproductive health. The most relatable example of how hormones work is to think about when you went through puberty. Your pituitary gland secreted a mass of sex and growth hormones telling your body to mature. These hormones were responsible for telling your body to begin menarche, to develop breasts, etc. Throughout our lives we are constantly being influenced by the hormones in our bodies. When hormones go haywire, it can create a serious impact in our lives.
This is why treating a disorder like PCOS can be so difficult. The changes in hormone levels throughout your body cause a physical and mental change in you. Worst of all this particular disorder can cause serious fertility issues.
PCOS can cause a woman to cease to ovulate along with toying with all of her other hormones. The hormonal roller coaster can also cause a woman to gain weight and in some severe cases even develop type two diabetes. One of the first things your fertility doctor will have you do when it is discovered that you suffer from PCOS is to lose weight and make major lifestyle changes.
Losing the Weight
It may not seem fair that the disorder that caused you to gain a lot of weight is also causing you fertility issues. You can be assured that it is not. However, by losing that weight, managing the symptoms of PCOS can be much easier. Lifestyle changes are very difficult to make, especially when you’re suffering from a hormonal disorder such as PCOS. But, by becoming more active, and making healthy choices to lose the weight you’ve put on, you can “restart” your body and help regulate your own hormones without medical intervention. What you consume and how active you are has a major effect on your hormone levels. There are even hormones, hormone-like chemicals, and chemicals that cause production of more hormones in the foods we eat. For example, soy products have a high concentration of phyto-estrogens which can be beneficial to women attempting to become pregnant. Similarly refined carbohydrates are quickly turned to glucose, which tells the pancreas to release insulin. This cause and effect hormonal response is true for many foods. By changing what you eat and how active you are you can significantly increase your odds of becoming pregnant and managing the symptoms of your polycystic ovary syndrome.
When To See The Doctor
For some women, losing the weight is not enough. Medical intervention becomes necessary to achieve pregnancy with PCOS. The reason that many women become infertile while diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome is because their bodies are failing to ovulate. Once Dr. Chamoun can discern that this is the issue, and after the lifestyle of the patient has been adapted, medical intervention is necessary. The two most common pharmaceuticals used for women seeking pregnancy with PCOS are Clomiphene and Metformin. Clomiphene is often the first drug used to help a woman with PCOS achieve pregnancy. It indirectly causes ovulation, allowing eggs to reach maturity and be released despite the hormones being released because of the PCOS. If this treatment works, the eggs released have a fighting chance of being fertilized and developing into a beautiful baby. Metformin, on the other hand, is actually an insulin sensitizing drug most commonly used for treatment of diabetes. However when insulin is causing the woman with PCOS fertility issues, it can be used regulate and stimulate ovulation. By keeping the insulin in check, this drug is able to help a woman become pregnant.
There are many more ways that we can help you become pregnant despite your PCOS diagnoses at Viera Fertility Center. If you have any questions about how to best regulate your symptoms and are anxious to become a mother, don’t hesitate to call us today.