Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is arguably one of the most common causes of infertility in our patient population – about 10% of the patients carries the diagnosis of PCOS. Patients with PCOS often suffer from infertility, unwanted hair growth and acne, sleep disorders, diabetes, and irregular menstrual periods.
Diagnosis of PCOS is done with 2 or more of the following findings: irregular menstrual periods (a sign of lack of ovulation), unwanted hair growth and acne (technically known as hirsutism) and abnormal ultrasound findings which demonstrate enlarged ovaries and /or ovaries filled with small follicles which contain “trapped” eggs.
Treatment for PCOS should be individualized and depends on the goal(s) of the patient. Diet and exercise improve the frequency of ovulation, improve fertility, lower the risk of diabetes, and decrease androgen (male hormone) levels. Patients who desire fertility often benefit from oral and injectable medication(s) to promote egg development. These medications are usually well-tolerate but can, especially in the case of injectable therapy, increase the risk of multiple pregnancy. Insulin sensitizing agents such as Metformin (Glucophage ®) are oral medications that also may improve ovulation.
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