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Dr. George Ioannidis
CONSULTANT OBSTETRICIAN & GYNAECOLOGIST
FERTILITY AND IVF SPECIALIST

Director GONIMOTIS Reproductive Centre
v. Scientific Director Institute of LIFE MHTERA Hospital IVF Unit

Dr. Alexandra Georgakopoulou
CONSULTANT OBSTETRICIAN & GYNAECOLOGIST
FETAL MEDICINE SPECIALIST

Scientific Director GONIMOTIS Ultrasound Centre
Scientific Collaborator MHTERA Hospital Fetal Medicine Unit.

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Home  /  Fertility  /  Polycystic ovary syndrome

Fertility

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common hormonal problems in women and one of the main causes of infertility. The term “polycystic ovaries” refers to ultrasound imaging of the ovaries in which they appear to contain many small follicles (more than 10) which generate irregular hormone levels, thus causing hormonal imbalance.

One in ten women of childbearing age suffers from polycystic ovarian syndrome without the majority of them even knowing they have it. Diagnosis is usually made when women are trying to get pregnant and they do not.

How do I know if I have polycystic ovary syndrome?

The symptoms of the syndrome include irregular period or even ammenorrhea, increased hair growth, acne, obesity and difficulty in conceiving.

Hormonal imbalance affects ovulation, which may occur irregularly or not at all. There may also be a mild increase in testosterone levels, causing acne or increased hair growth. Hormonal imbalance can cause problems in the metabolism of sugar and carbohydrates, leading to weight gain as well as an increased risk for gestational diabetes if a pregnancy occurs. There is also a documented increase in the risk of miscarriages in women suffering from polycystic ovary disease.

For the above reasons, if you have polycystic ovary syndrome, the likelihood of your getting pregnant is lower and you should seek specialist advice from the gynecologist.

What tests should I undergo?

Intravaginal ultrasound (it will show the presence of many small follicles)

Hormonal blood tests (on menstruation days): Higher testosterone and LH levels are seen compared to women with normal cycles.

Blood tests to check your glucose and insulin levels.

The presence of polycystic ovaries is not always bad news. Younger women may have serious side effects due to this syndrome, but as women grow older, the number of follicles drops and hormonal imbalance can sometimes be corrected alone. The result is that women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome in their teens and twenties may sometimes end up having more eggs in their thirties and therefore a better chance of conception.

Is there a cure for polycystic ovary syndrome?

Weight loss: Weight loss has a very beneficial effect on balancing hormones and restoring period and ovulation. But it is relatively difficult, so women must adopt a new lifestyle with exercise and proper nutrition

Medicinal treatment with insulin sensitizers, such as metformin (Glucophage), reduces insulin resistance and can help in weight loss.

Medicines that cause ovulation, such as clomiphene citrate (clomiphene citrate or serpafar)

If this does not work, injectable drugs (FSH) should only be used under the control of a gynecologist specialized in fertility.

See more about ovulation induction