Helping Hopeful Parents Struggling with PCOS
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition that can compromise your ability to become pregnant. The disorder, also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome, affects approximately one in 10 women of childbearing age. In addition to making pregnancy difficult, PCOS symptoms can affect your overall health, appearance, and well-being. Fortunately, Drs. Stephanie L.F. Gustin, Elizabeth Constance, and Elizabeth Weedin at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC in Omaha, NE, can provide PCOS treatment in order to help you grow your family.
What Causes PCOS?
PCOS can occur due to an overabundance of male hormones. This hormone imbalance affects your menstrual cycle and the activity inside the ovaries, resulting in abnormal egg development, missed periods, or irregular periods. Without a predictable menstrual cycle, conception can be difficult. In addition to affecting your fertility, PCOS can cause changes in your physical appearance, including:
- Abnormal hair growth
- Thinning hair
- Weight gain
- Skin tags
PCOS has also been linked to serious overall health concerns such as:
Although PCOS can make it more difficult to become pregnant, it does not make it impossible. Women diagnosed with PCOS can still conceive, but they usually have a higher risk of complications during gestation and delivery.
PCOS can affect any women of childbearing age, but there are certain risk factors that can increase your chances of developing PCOS, including:
- A family history of the condition
- A family history of diabetes
- Long-term use of certain seizure medications
PCOS is very common, but many women are not diagnosed by a doctor until the ages of 20 to 40. As PCOS can make it difficult to become pregnant, many women only go to a doctor when they are having infertility concerns.
IVF been proven highly successful in achieving pregnancy among patients with PCOS symptoms.
Diagnosis and Treatment
In order to prescribe a treatment that is appropriate to your condition and pregnancy goals, our doctors can perform a medical history evaluation, pelvic exam, imaging, and blood testing. While there is no cure for PCOS, our doctors can help you make lifestyle changes (such as regular exercise and a healthy diet) and provide medication to treat the symptoms of PCOS. Medication such as clomiphene can restore regularity to your ovulation cycle and help you increase your chances of pregnancy.
If lifestyle changes and medication are unsuccessful, we can also provide ovarian drilling or in vitro fertilization (IVF) to increase your chances of becoming pregnant. During IVF, our doctors can manually extract the eggs and combine them with a sperm sample in our laboratory. Once the eggs are fertilized, they will be implanted into the uterus. This method has proven highly successful in achieving pregnancy for patients with PCOS.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have suffered three recurrent pregnancy losses, our team of doctors recommends scheduling an evaluation to help determine the cause of your infertility. Our treatments are customized to your condition, needs, and goals. Call our office at (402) 717-4200 or send us an online message to schedule your consultation.