PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. September is National PCOS Awareness Month and the perfect time for Attain to share 3 things about how PCOS affects your fertility.
- You are not alone. Between 5-10% of women of childbearing age in the US or roughly 1-in-10 women, have PCOS. That’s a whole lot of women in the same boat as you. If you’re looking for support, check out the PCOS Challenge.
- PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility. It’s a hormone problem that interferes with the reproductive system. PCOS can make your ovaries larger than normal, and these larger ovaries can have many tiny cysts that contain immature eggs. PCOS can also cause a woman’s body to produce higher than normal levels of androgens, which are typically thought of male hormones. Because of this, high levels of androgens interfere with the development of eggs, and ultimately ovulation. If you are experiencing infrequent or irregular periods, contact Attain for a fertility check, as this could be a symptom of PCOS.
- Alter your lifestyle. Weight is often looked at when it comes to PCOS and infertility. Excess pounds affect your hormone levels, so losing weight could be the first step to getting your hormones back to normal levels. Overweight women who lose as little as 5-10% of their body weight may see an improvement in ovulation, menstruation, and insulin sensitivity. Many women with PCOS find it tougher to shed pounds than those who do not have PCOS. Despite this, the effort is well worth it. Move in whatever way feels good to you – walking, yoga, swimming, dancing. And improve your diet by replacing processed foods with whole grains and food high in dietary fiber. Moderate exercise and a healthy diet not only help improve your odds of becoming pregnant, they can also reduce your risk of chronic diseases, lower stress levels, and contribute to your overall health and well-being.
If you have, or suspect you may have, PCOS and would like more information please call Attain to make an appointment. Your care team will assess your specific situation and determine the best course of treatment to put you on the path to parenthood.