Polycystic ovary syndrome: Can I still get pregnant?
Q. Can a woman get pregnant if she has polycystic ovary syndrome?
A. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal imbalance among women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS who want to get pregnant usually need to take medications to cause the ovaries to release eggs (ovulation).
Most women who have PCOS never have a normal menstrual cycle. The ovaries develop cysts and don't release eggs. These cysts are fluid-filled sacs (follicles) that contain immature eggs.
Medications that may help trigger ovulation include:
Clomiphene citrate (Clomid, Serophene)
Gonadotropins, such as a combination of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) or FSH alone (Fertinex, Follistim, Gonal-F)
With this type of treatment, more than 60 percent of women with PCOS are able to conceive. Without treatment, the chance of pregnancy is very low.
In addition, researchers are studying the use of metformin (Glucophage, Glucophage XR), an oral medication for type 2 diabetes, to treat PCOS. Metformin reduces the amount of glucose made and released by the liver. Doctors don't know the cause of PCOS. But research suggests a link to insulin metabolism. Several clinical trials have shown that metformin improves ovulation and decreases the male hormone androgen in women with PCOS.
During pregnancy, a woman with PCOS may be at greater risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
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