Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common and treatable cause of infertility that affects about 6-12% of women of childbearing age.
The expert providers at Marina OB/GYN diagnose and treat PCOS at two convenient locations in Marina Del Rey and Hawthorne, California. If you think you have PCOS, call or book an appointment online today.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), also known as polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a common hormonal disorder that affects women's overall health and appearance.
When you have PCOS, your ovaries may develop numerous fluid-filled sacs (cysts) and fail to release eggs on a regular basis. This can make it difficult to get pregnant. The team at Marina OB/GYN provides effective treatments to help you manage your symptoms and improve your chances of conceiving.
As many as 5 million American women of childbearing age have PCOS, making this condition one of the most common causes of female infertility. However, the true number is much higher than that since PCOS is a lifelong condition that continues past menopause. Certain factors may increase your risk of developing PCOS, including:
PCOS can occur at any age after puberty, but many women don't find out they have it until they seek treatment for infertility.
Being overweight can have many health repercussions, and unfortunately, PCOS is one of them. Yet reducing body weight can have a meaningful improvement on PCOS symptoms that affected women may be experiencing.
While it may be a struggle to lose weight with PCOS due to inflammation, insulin resistance, and hormonal problems, even a small amount of weight loss can improve symptoms of PCOS. A healthy diet, reduced sugar and caloric intake, swapping sugary and calorie-laden drinks for water, and daily aerobics exercises are the healthiest and most natural ways to lose weight.
PCOS signs and symptoms vary, but may include:
Because PCOS symptoms can mimic several other medical conditions, it is important to get PCOS screening. Your provider at Marina OB/GYN may detect PCOS with the use of an ultrasound.
To diagnose PCOS, your provider at Marina OB/GYN performs a physical and pelvic exam and carefully reviews your symptoms and medical history. If they suspect PCOS, they may check your hormone levels with a blood test or look for ovarian cysts with a transvaginal ultrasound or pelvic ultrasound.
Then, they develop a personalized treatment plan based on your specific symptoms and plans to have children. At Marina OB/GYN, our doctors work hard to match each patient with the best PCOS remedy for them. Depending on your needs, treatment for PCOS may include:
The caring providers at Marina OB/GYN tend to recommend conservative or natural approaches when medically appropriate. We understand that our patients do not wish to undergo extensive medical procedures that might prove unnecessary when natural or minimally invasive PCOS treatments may successfully treat the condition without resorting to extremes.
For PCOS triggered by a hormonal imbalance, oral contraceptives are an excellent way to manage hormonal PCOS. Taking the birth control pill every day at the same time helps control hormone levels to reduce PCOS symptoms.
For women that are having ovulation problems, Clomid boosts the chance of ovulation to up to 80% within the first three months. As you likely know, just because you are ovulating does not guarantee conception.
Patients that are struggling to conceive can increase the chance of conception by taking the medication as prescribed and engaging in intercourse with a male partner at the time of ovulation. If you are unsure when you are ovulating, our obstetrics specialist can help you track your monthly cycle so that you have a better idea of when ovulation peaks. Keeping a calendar of your monthly menstrual cycle dates can aid in tracking your ovulation cycle. Today, there are many helpful smartphone apps that make it easier than ever to track ovulation.
If conservative treatments don't relieve your symptoms or help you get pregnant, the team at Marina OB/GYN may recommend surgery with an Ovarian Cystectomy. PCOS rarely requires surgery, however.
It is considered the last line of treatment for PCOS that interrupts a patient’s quality of life when alternative PCOS treatments have proven ineffective. A cystectomy keeps the ovary intact so that the patient can get pregnant after ovarian cystectomy. The women’s health providers at Marina OB/GYN are among a small number of physicians that can perform surgery with robot-assisted technology.
This reduces pain, scarring, tissue damage, and lowers the infection risk from surgery. Our doctors perform surgery with the da Vinci Robotic Surgery system every week and even train other doctors on the correct technique for performing robotic surgery. While PCOS is unlikely to require surgical intervention, you can rest assured you will have the best Los Angeles-area PCOS surgeon at your side when you come to Marina OB/GYN.
Can I Get Pregnant With PCOS?
Many women learn they have PCOS only when they reach an age that they would like to start building a family. Getting pregnant sometimes proves more difficult than women realize. Unfortunately, PCOS can at times be the cause of infertility in women of childbearing age.
PCOS and infertility have a strong link. While it may be more difficult to conceive a baby with polycystic ovary syndrome, all hope is not lost. Our obstetrics providers are dedicated to helping women build families using fertility medications that can aid in conception. This is one of our areas of expertise. One of the best methods of encouraging pregnancy is ovulation medication for PCOS. For women trying to get pregnant with PCOS, an oral medication called Clomid (clomifene) is often the first line of treatment.
This medication spurs monthly ovulation to improve fertility. Clomid for PCOS works by acting on the selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) to help stimulate the release of a hormone known as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), along with luteinizing hormone (LH). The pituitary gland controls the release of these hormones. By stimulating hormonal production, it helps the female’s ovary to ovulate, or produce an egg, that may be fertilized.
To learn more PCOS symptoms and treatments with the help of a provider at Marina OB/GYN, call our office or book an appointment using the online booking system.