Infertility is described as the inability to conceive, after trying for 1 year with regular unprotected sex. If you or your partner are above the age of 35, you should visit a fertility specialist after 6 months of trying as the risk of age-related infertility begins around the age of 35.
The main symptom of infertility is the inability to conceive despite having regular unprotected sex. Apart from that having irregular or no periods indicate that you haven’t been ovulating regularly. There might no other visible signs and symptoms. However, your doctor might ask you about your history of fertility problems, repeated miscarriages, painful periods, history of endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory diseases.
In PCOS, the underlying hormonal imbalance affects this process of egg maturation, which means the egg is not released regularly, These cysts are nothing but egg containing follicles that have not developed to their full maturity and are still too small to be released. Like this many small follicles are developed on the ovary that fail to mature, which appear as cyst on the ovaries but are actually immature eggs. Having cysts does not make you infertile but without regular ovulation or egg release, it can get difficult to get pregnant. However, there are multiple treatment options to help induce ovulation and increase your chances of conceiving.
The first line of treatment to improve fertility with PCOS is to follow a healthy lifestyle. Some women may require medications such as ovulation induction medicines that can help stimulate the process of ovulation in addition to making lifestyle changes. And in some women where a combination of lifestyle changes and medications haven’t helped in conceiving naturally, assisted reproductive technologies (such as IVF) is another option. These procedure are often expensive and demanding, and are the last option after other lesser intensive treatments haven’t shown results.
It is encouraging to know that women with PCOS have had the same number of children (with or with medical assistance) as compared to women without PCOS. Although having PCOS does make it difficult to get and stay pregnant — but with proper lifestyle changes and taking medications where required, you can greatly increase your chances of conceiving naturally.
Around 70% of women with PCOS experience some issues in getting pregnant. And PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women. However, fertility is not just a ‘women issue’. Both men and women can contribute to infertility. So if you have been trying to conceive for a while now and haven’t had any luck or are above the age of 35, speak to a doctor who can recommend you to a fertility specialist to understand the root cause of your fertility problems. There are plenty of treatment options that can address your specific concerns.
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Are you at risk of infertility?
If you don't get your periods regularly, you could be at risk of infertility. Take our quick Infertility Risk Assessing Quiz to find outTake the Infertility Quiz Now