Below is an article penned by guest writer Valerie Johnson of Healthline. I've chatted with Heathline about a guest post for a while. However, I wanted something dear to me that readers could relate. I participate in a few message boards regarding PCOS and Infertility because I have PCOS. Dealing with PCOS is challenging and I would like to enlighten others about the syndrome.
A Look at PCOS and Infertility
There are many issues that relate directly to women and their fertility. And it is interesting and important to keep in mind that women’s bodies change on a fairly constant basis, and not only during pregnancy.
As an example, let's consider the process known as ovulation. While many of us view this as a single event that happens once each month of a pre-menopausal woman's life, it is a lengthy process of change. Here's how it works:
A woman will enter into a menstrual cycle each month, and in the first half of it their ovary will develop "follicles" that will eventually lead to the release of a single egg from one of them. Over the next few days, one follicle continues to grow and develop, and produce a single egg. When that egg has reached maturity, the body will increase specific hormones and cause the egg to burst out of that follicle. That is the moment of ovulation.
Clearly, this is a delicate process that requires specific hormones in specific quantities, to be produced at the ideal moment. If there are issues relating to hormones, there may be a serious disruption to the entire process.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is just as it sounds. The woman has "poly" or many cysts in her ovaries. These are formed because the body fails to produce the right hormones during the menstrual cycle and the follicles will only begin to mature, but grow to completion. They will then start to hold the fluid that has gathered, cease growing, and become cysts.
What is so interesting is that it is a "women's issue", but is also dictated by some of the, what many consider to be, male hormones. Excessive amounts of testosterone and insulin that are the leading causes of PCOS, and it may ultimately prevent a woman from conceiving.
This is because the body is not creation enough progesterone to allow the lining of the uterus to thicken and to trigger the release of the egg. Additionally, progesterone tends to guide the menstrual cycle or pattern, and its absence in sufficient quantities can cause a woman to have no cycle at all. Thus, PCOS and infertility are often associated directly with one another.
Predictions are Not Possible
Because hormones are impacted by PCOS, it then becomes more challenging for a woman attempting to conceive to use typical ovulation prediction methods. As an example, many women track their menstrual cycles in order to know when they are ovulating and when to attempt to conceive. This is guessing at best and that is why many women also monitor their hormone levels. Unfortunately, women with PCOS have elevated levels of some hormones on a constant or unpredictable basis, and this can make any monitoring completely ineffective.
The good news about all of this is that there are many ways that the issue can be treated, and even for women who are seeking to become pregnant.
One of the very first things a physician will suggest is for the women to consider weight loss. This is because anyone in the overweight category may be producing fewer necessary hormones and a small drop in weight can cause the body to rebalance.
Additionally, there are insulin regulating drugs, fertility drugs, and manual fertilization tactics that harvest a woman's eggs and then restore them in a fertilized state in the uterus. There are also some alternative treatments that are designed to trigger the ovaries to function properly.
They key is to know that there are options and to seek some guidance from a physician if your goal is to conceive.
Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.