Can polycystic ovarian syndrome affect fertility?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a very common menstrual disorder affecting around 1 in 10 women. It is diagnosed when a woman has two of the three following symptoms: ovaries with many small cysts, a raised level of the male hormone testosterone and irregular periods.

Why is my fertility affected?

The exact cause of polycystic ovarian syndrome is not known; several factors are likely to be involved including insulin resistance and a high level of luteinising hormone. What is known is that one symptom is the abnormal development of the follicles in the ovaries: they often fail to develop fully, causing problems with ovulation and therefore irregular periods. Ovulation is essential to the conception process: a reduction in periods tends to result in reduced fertility.

What are my treatment options?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is often associated with being overweight or obese. If this is the case, then the first step is to lose weight as this can significantly improve your chances of regular menstruation. After this point, you may be a suitable candidate for fertility treatment or, in some cases, surgical intervention.

During a consultation at the London Clinic, female gynaecologist Miss Amanda Tozer will take your full medical history before conducting a pelvic ultrasound and running blood tests. Diagnosing your individual case, Miss Tozer will then advise you on the most appropriate treatment. Many women with polycystic ovarian syndrome respond well to fertility drugs such as Clomiphene whereby a more predictable window for conception is created by inducing ovulation.

Miss Tozer is a Consultant Gynaecologist and Sub-Specialist in Reproductive Medicine. She has treated the whole spectrum of menstrual disorders, helping many women to achieve the family they desire. Testimonials from her previous patients in London credit her for her attentive, personal and encouraging care.