Treating Polycystic Ovary Syndrome to Improve Fertility

Dr. Sabrina Gill, MD, MPH, FRCPC, discusses Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome treatment for fertility and pregnancy.

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Dr. Sabrina Gill, MD, MPH, FRCPC, discusses Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome treatment for fertility and pregnancy.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Sabrina Gill MD, MPH, FRCPC

Duration: 2 minutes, 29 seconds

One of the most common complications of polycystic ovary syndrome is infertility and an increased risk of early miscarriages.  

It's important to have yourself evaluated after six to 12 months of trying to get pregnant. Unfortunately, home ovulation kits or even basal body temperatures aren't as accurate in women with PCOS so you need to get actual formal hormonal testing and evaluations done.

So in regards to treatment, there are various options that you can consider. In women who are overweight and obese, weight loss is essential. Firstly, it can actually improve ovulation and you may not need any other treatments plus of course if you're at higher weight pre-pregnancy, it puts you at risk of complications such as diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy so it's important to pursue a healthy weight loss program.

You may be referred to a fertility clinic for further testing and treatment. The treatment options that are available first are medications that you just take for five days and these are medications that basically push the ovary to ovulate and to release the egg.  

If those don't work, then of course there are hormonal, usually medications in the form of injections, that women take to basically override and induce a regular menstrual cycle.  And, of course, lastly there are other options such as in vitro fertilization that can be used.

So another treatment option that's unique to women in polycystic ovary syndrome for infertility are drugs that decrease insulin resistance such as metformin. In studies, it hasn't been shown to be as successful as other fertility treatments, but it can be helpful in regulating your periods, helpful with a bit of weight loss and has a success rate of almost 50 percent of ovulation. So it could be considered as a treatment option either alone or in addition to other treatments.

So if you have any difficulty with infertility, it's important to see your physician and have a discussion in regards to the evaluation and treatment options.

Presenter: Dr. Sabrina Gill, Endocrinologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Endocrinologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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