Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Also known as the Stein-Leventhal syndrome, the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS affects around 4%-7% of women and it's the most common cause of infertility in women. Among the PCOS symptoms, the usual ones are irregular cycles, lack of ovulation or oligoovulation (irregular ovulation), prolonged period of premenstrual symptoms, such as bloating, mood swings, pelvic pain, backaches etc and excessive androgen (masculinizing) hormones, leading to excessive hair grow, male pattern baldness or male pattern obesity (central obesity).


Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is described as a cluster or string shaped agglomeration of cysts on one or both ovaries. Sometimes, even if the sonograph cannot detect cysts, the enlarged appearance of the ovaries could be a sign of PCOS and endocrinologic tests should show high levels of LH (Luteinising Hormone, responsible with triggering ovulation), FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone, responsible with the egg maturation) and testosterone (masculine hormone), combined with a condition called insulin resistance.

However, conception is possible even with a condition such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Even if the irregular cycles and the lack of ovulation can make life a lot more difficult, with a careful eye on monitoring your fertility signs and cycle details, using our ovulation calendar and interactive fertility chart and maybe with the help of an inexpensive OPK (Ovulation Prediction Kit), you can, in time, get to know exactly if and when your body releases an egg.

Under medical supervision and recommendation, you could consider following an ovulation restoration and booster program, based on metformin or clomiphene citrate. These ovulation boosters help the production of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), although they can have minor side effects, such as stomach upset, diarrhea and weight loss, the metformin is proven to reduce the risk of miscarriage, if taken during pregnancy, only under medical recommendation.

Some specialists related the fertility increase in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome by following a simple low glycemic index diet and by increasing the level of exercise.

An alternative is IVM (in vitro maturation, meaning the extract of an immature egg and its controlled maturation in vitro conditions) and IVF (in vitro fertilisation, meaning the extract of a mature egg in order to get fertilised in vitro conditions).

As a last solution, medical professionals could recommend laser surgery and cauterization.

For advice and support, contact Verity, a registered charity offering support to people affected by Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and join the Babywonderland forum to meet new people affected by PCOS or suspecting PCOS and contribute with advice.