Polycystic Ovary Syndrome affects up to twenty percent of women in the UK today. It’s one of the most common conditions that can affect fertility, and at the time of writing, the causes of it are not understood. Doctors and scientists are examining different factors that could trigger the condition, ranging from the genetic to the environmental, but for the time being, we simply don’t know why PCOS triggers in some women but not in others.
What that means is that there’s no known cure for the condition. If you’re diagnosed with PCOS and are told there’s no cure, then it can be depressing – it can feel like you’ve lost your chances of a normal life, and specially of starting a therapy. Fortunately, you have plenty of reasons for feeling optimistic. There may not be a cure for the condition, but the symptoms of PCOS can be managed so their effect is reduced.
Of all the areas affected by PCOS, ovulation is the one where it hits you most dramatically. The overproduction of androgen caused by the condition prevents your ovaries from maturing eggs according to its normal schedule. This leads to ovulation that’s delayed or even skipped altogether, depriving you of opportunities to conceive, as well inflamed ovaries, as eggs linger there beyond when they should either be expelled or broken down and reabsorbed.
This is the key symptom you need to manage in order to conceive when you have PCOS – your lack of ovulation. There are fertility medications that can be prescribed, which encourage your body to produce more of the hormones that cause you to ovulate. You’ll work with your doctor to find the right time to start taking a course of the drug, so it can work with your menstrual cycle to encourage you to ovulate.
These fertility drugs also come with a list of side effects that may make you reluctant to use them, including potentially severe mood swings.
Another way to manage the entire suite of PCOS symptoms is to try to lose some weight. PCOS encourages your body to gain weight, due it’s insulin over-production. This causes a feedback loop, where more and more insulin is produced, driving the rest of the symptoms of the condition.
If you can lose some of that weight you can start to control how much insulin your body produces. As it returns to a more normal level, the symptoms will begin to lessen in their effect, including PCOS’ effect on your ovulation cycle!