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What is PCOS?
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[text on screen]: Ask the Expert. Fertility Authority; Your Most Trusted Source
[text on screen]: What is PCOS?
Dr. David Kreiner, Founder, East Coast Fertility: PCOS is polycystic ovarian syndrome. It’s found in about 7 percent of women of reproductive age.
And therefore it’s a condition, because it can lead to infertility, it’s a condition that we see often in our office.
Ovaries develop numerous small follicles, hence the name “polycystic ovaries.”
Patients with PCOS, in addition to having irregular menses and infertility, can have problems resulting from increased male antigen hormones or testosterone.
The testosterone, in addition to preventing the ovaries from ovulating (and hence causing irregular menses infertility) the testosterone can lead to increased acne, testosterone can cause increased facial and body hair, testosterone can cause increased lipids in the blood, also know as hyperlipidemia.
There’s also health-related problems that can result in patients with PCOS. They can develop; as a result of the high glucose they can develop diabetes. And they can develop hypertension.
We treat PCOS basically doing three different things: We like to limit your carbohydrate intake so that diet becomes very important.
We like to increase exercise, because your ability to deal with carbohydrates is much improved with exercise. You have much lower spikes in insulin in response to a carbohydrate meal when you exercise.
And we use a diabetes drug known as metformin or Glucophage. This also will improve glucose tolerance.
If you do all three things: the diet, the exercise, and the metformin, approximately 50 percent of patients may conceive.
Even the patients who will be very best in adhering to the diet and exercise, if they take fertility drugs under the direction of a reproductive endocrinologist, then we can increase the success rate even more.
Those patients who don’t respond, who don’t get pregnant, with Clomid, with fertility pills and with the diet, exercise and metformin, are great candidates for in vitro fertilization.