Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) has become a widespread health concern among women of reproductive age. In the Indian sub-continent, an increasing number of women suffer from PCOS, a hormonal disorder triggered by unhealthy lifestyle choices, with these figures constantly going up. As per the estimated numbers, one in every five women in India suffers from PCOS, and three in every five women diagnosed are in their early teen years.
However, even today, women lack the general awareness about this hormonal disorder that prolongs for a lifetime. Nevertheless, a few options benefit women with PCOS to lead a healthy life and decrease its adverse effects.
What are PCOS?
As the name suggests, PCOS is a hormonal disorder that arises in women due to poor and unhealthy lifestyle choices. It causes the ovaries to grow cysts, which prevent the release of eggs at regular intervals (monthly), resulting in irregular periods or menstrual cycle. Such fluctuations in a woman’s menstrual cycle create problems during pregnancy. The PCOS symptoms include prolonged or infrequent menstrual periods or a high male hormone level in the female body. Moreover, women suffering from PCOS are at higher risk of diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, obesity, infertility, and miscarriage.
How PCOS Affects Fertility?
PCOS directly impacts a woman’s fertility due to irregular ovulation, i.e., the release of eggs. Subsequently, their natural menstrual cycle gets disturbed, and the chances of pregnancy diminish.
But, PCOS is not the end of the world. Although it prevails lifelong, there are several ways of controlling its adverse effects and inducing natural birth. For starters, merely leading a healthy lifestyle, avoiding certain food items, and regular exercising is a few of the PCOS solutions.
To tackle infertility, one can go for in vitro fertilization (IVF).
What is IVF?
IVF is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in the medical field, which uses a combination of medicines and surgical procedures to fertilize an egg using sperm. These fertilized eggs would then be implanted in the uterus.
Here’s an overview of what to expect in an IVF procedure:
- Ovulation induction: The first step prescribed by any doctor to start with IVF is to take fertility medications for several months. These medicines help your ovaries to produce eggs that are mature and ready for fertilization. Subsequently, regular blood tests and ultrasounds are conducted to monitor the egg production and hormone build-up.
- Egg retrieval: Once doctors are satisfied that the body has produced enough mature and ready eggs, they retrieve it from the ovary using a minor procedure.
- Fertilization: The eggs are combined with the sperm cells of the partner or a donor and stored in a container.
- Embryo Development: The egg and sperm mixture are observed to estimate the insemination. When these embryos are ready, doctors conduct a minor embryo transfer procedure to attach them to the uterus.
- Lastly, the doctors prescribe lifestyle choices and medications to help the embryo survive in your uterus and develop further.
The IVF procedure is turning out to be quite successful for many women. It is highly recommended that one shares their PCOS problem with the doctors and follow all the directions prescribed to increase the chances of conceiving via IVF.
But you need to be careful and observant with these IVF side-effects:
- Slight to heavy bleeding
- Allergic reaction to some medications or pills
- Headaches and nausea
- Mood swings, cramping, and breast tenderness
While some people can experience these effects, others might not feel them at all. It is better to consult the doctor and talk to them one-on-one about IVF’s side effects.
Is IVF a Feasible Option for Women with PCOS?
The estimates around conceiving a baby using IVF is nearly 70%. After a successful pregnancy, these women nearly have a 60% chance of successful live birth.
We’ll let these numbers speak for itself.