Fertility Specialists of Texas

PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a common but treatable condition

Polycystic ovary syndrome, also known as PCOS, is one of the most common causes of female infertility. It’s also the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age. In fact, approximately 5-10% of reproductive age women have it. This syndrome can have many symptoms. However, the key components are irregular ovulation/periods, multiple ovarian cysts and elevated levels of male-type hormones.

Partnering with a doctor who has experience treating polycystic ovary syndrome can help you find relief from many of the symptoms. Additionally, the team at our Dallas-Fort Worth infertility center offers highly effective fertility treatments for women with this condition.

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome can experience a variety of symptoms

Women with PCOS can experience many different symptoms. Because these symptoms can vary, some patients don’t initially realize that the same condition is causing all of them.

  • Irregular or absent menstrual cycles
  • Infrequent or absent ovulation
  • Excess facial and body hair
  • Male-pattern balding
  • Acne on the face, back, and/or chest
  • Infertility
  • Elevated FSH to LH hormone ratio
  • Elevated levels of androgens (male-type hormones)
  • Multiple small cysts on the ovaries
  • Overweight or obese
  • Insulin resistance
  • Elevated cholesterol

Polycystic ovary syndrome can be difficult to diagnose because a patient may not have all the symptoms. For example, a woman with this condition may not have weight issues, acne or hair growth problems, but she may have irregular periods and elevated androgen levels. In this case, the team at our Dallas-Fort Worth infertility center would still diagnose her with this condition.

It’s important to see a specialist for PCOS diagnosis and treatment

Because it can be challenging to diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome, patients should visit a specialist for diagnosis and treatment. When a woman visits our Dallas-Fort Worth infertility center, our doctors will consider her needs and goals when creating a treatment plan.

Medications. If fertility is not an immediate concern, hormonal therapies often correct the problems with PCOS. Birth control pills may reduce acne and excessive hair growth and regulate menstrual cycles.

Weight loss. For overweight women, just a 10-15% weight loss may be enough to allow ovulation to occur. Weight loss is associated with lowered androgen effects, less insulin resistance, an improved lipid profile and resumption of ovulatory function.

Insulin sensitizers. Studies with Metformin indicate that most women with polycystic ovary syndrome will ovulate after three months of treatment. We frequently start Metformin at a dose of 500 mg per day for one week and work up to a total dose of 2,000 mg per day.

Fertility medications. If a woman needs fertility medications, the first and simplest step is to use Femara (letrozole) or Clomid (clomiphene citrate) with timed intercourse or intrauterine insemination (IUI).

If these medications don’t help you ovulate, we may prescribe gonadotropins. Gonadotropins stimulate the growth of one or two eggs. We will monitor egg growth and development with bloodwork and ultrasound examinations. If too many follicles are developing, and the risk of having a pregnancy with multiples is high, then we will cancel the treatment cycle.

Start your journey to overcome the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome

Whether you want to become a mother right now or you’re looking for symptom relief, our Dallas-Fort Worth infertility center can help. Contact us to schedule an appointment to learn more about PCOS. We can help improve your symptoms and fertility.