The Fertility Center of Las Vegas

Conceiving with PCOS – Possibilities for parenthood

A careful choreography of hormones happens monthly to spur ovulation. For those with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), hormones are unbalanced, meaning ovulation is highly irregular to nonexistent. The good news is, you can still get pregnant with PCOS treatment. Our Las Vegas fertility physicians are experienced in addressing this common cause of infertility, and harbor hope and treatment options for conceiving with PCOS.

What’s in a name? Why PCOS is confusing

Women suffering from PCOS are not alone. A leading cause of infertility in women ages 20 to 35, PCOS affects an estimated 8% to 13% of reproductive-aged women, according to the World Health Organization. Women who present with PCOS exhibit at least two of three symptoms.

  • Irregular ovulation (or an absence of ovulation)
  • Elevated levels of male hormones (androgens)
  • Polycystic ovarian appearance confirmed by ultrasound

Receiving a diagnosis of PCOS can feel daunting and confusing. It’s important to reassure women that what they fear are cysts are more accurately described as immature follicles, or fluid-filled sacs. Having an accurate diagnosis allows our experienced Las Vegas fertility physicians to address underlying issues to get a patient to ovulate. Once that happens, conceiving with PCOS is not only possible, but in many cases probable.

Examining the big picture of conceiving with PCOS

If you want to get pregnant with PCOS, our reproductive endocrinologists will work diligently to uncover the root cause of PCOS and understand the bigger picture of your diagnosis. PCOS can be a metabolic disorder, with an estimated 30% to 40% of those affected displaying insulin resistance. These high glucose levels can cause a release of androgens, or male hormones, and suppress ovulation.

For those who struggle with weight, as many do with PCOS, our doctors often recommend lifestyle changes in conjunction with medical options to get ovulation back on track and make conceiving with PCOS possible. If you are taking weight-loss medication, it is important to have a conversation with your doctor before trying to get pregnant, as this medication needs to exit your system.

These are some recommended options to help you get pregnant with PCOS.

  • Diet and exercise – Weight harbors estrogen, which in excess can disrupt ovulation. Eating a healthy diet, combined with regular exercise of about 30 minutes daily, can help control weight and lower blood sugar.
  • Oral medicationsClomid or Letrozole are pills to help the ovaries develop eggs and ovulate by decreasing estrogen levels. This reduction communicates to the brain that it needs to release hormones to stimulate egg development in an anticipated move toward ovulation. Timed intercourse can be effective while using these medications to conceive with PCOS.
  • Anti-diabetic medication – Metformin is used to increase sensitivity to insulin to decrease the amount of insulin circulating in the body. Being overweight or obese exacerbates insulin resistance, and metformin can influence those chemical pathways.
  • Additional treatments – Some patients still need extra help to conceive with PCOS. Depending on your situation, our fertility specialists might recommend intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).

You can get pregnant with PCOS

If you’ve received a diagnosis of PCOS, don’t distress. Our Las Vegas fertility physicians are poised to manage your condition and know that conceiving with PCOS is possible. Contact us to learn more.