Attain Fertility Gets the Word Out about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

(Purchase, NY)  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, between one in ten women of reproductive age in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).  An oft diagnosed, yet little discussed disease, PCOS may have a negative impact on a woman’s effort to become pregnant. In honor of PCOS Awareness Month in September, Attain Fertility wants to pump up the volume on the conversation to help raise awareness about the disease.

According to Dr. Laurence A. Jacobs, a reproductive endocrinologist at Fertility Centers of Illinois, an Attain Fertility® Center, symptoms of PCOS vary and many women don’t know they have it until they try to start a family and have trouble conceiving. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Oligo-amenorrhea (irregular or absent periods)
  • Oligo-anovulation (infrequent or no ovulation)
  • Infertility
  • Hirsutism (excessive hair growth) of face, chest or abdomen; Acne
  • Weight gain

“Many experts agree that in order to diagnose PCOS, you must first rule out other endocrine conditions, such as thyroid and adrenal disease,” explains Dr. Jacobs. “In addition,  the woman  must have 2 out of  3 of the following diagnostic criteria: History of irregular or absent menstrual cycles and/or no ovulation since puberty; Hirsutism and/or high blood levels of male hormones (Androgens); Ultrasound evidence of polycystic ovaries. Once it is determined that she does indeed have PCOS there is a very good chance that with lifestyle modifications and the use of certain drugs, a woman will be able to successful conceive naturally or through the use of assisted reproductive technology.”

Dr. Jacobs, who has been noted as one of the top fertility specialists in the U.S. by Ladies Home Journal and Chicago Magazine, recommends women take a number of steps to first find out if they have PCOS and then make important lifestyle changes once diagnosed, including:

  • If she hasn’t started her menstrual cycle by 17 and has any of the other symptoms, she should talk to her doctor. The earlier the diagnosis, the better
  • Once diagnosed, start and stick to a healthy weight loss plan that includes good nutrition and regular exercise.  Weight loss of 5-10% of body weight can independently lead to spontaneous pregnancies as well as dramatically improve pregnancy rates with all fertility treatments. (In addition, healthy body weight also improves a woman’s health during pregnancy as well as the baby’s health.)
  • Talk to your doctor and ask questions.
  • Find a support group or an online community. Sharing information and hearing other women’s stories helps to alleviate the feeling of being different or alone and helps build confidence and self-esteem

Dr. Jacobs has treated hundreds of women with PCOS and helped them to achieve successful pregnancies.  Two of his patients have offered their stories and are available for interview (see below). Both are in the greater Chicago Area.  To schedule interviews contact Marcia Clark at 845. 528.6647 or

PCOS Patient Profiles

Jenn – 31 years old, had all of the symptoms of PCOS. From not starting her menstrual cycle until she was 17 to battling weight gain and hirsuitism from the time she was a teenager, Jenn always felt something was wrong. Her mother, who she later discovered also suffered from PCOS, never spoke of it and her doctors finally put her on the pill to regulate her cycles. It wasn’t until she married and tried to start a family that her ob-gyn finally diagnosed PCOS and suggested she seek the help of a fertility specialist. After working with Dr. Jacobs she and her husband were able to conceive through IVF and are the happy parents of a 3 year old daughter.

Jana  – 31 years old, didn’t have classic symptoms of PCOS. Although she didn’t start her menstrual cycle until she was 17, she attributed it to the fact that she was an athlete. She and her husband wanted to start a family when she was 28. After a year of trying unsuccessfully, her ob-gyn put her on Clomid for 6 months. When that didn’t work she was referred to Dr. Jacobs who diagnosed her with PCOS. Through egg retrieval they were able to fertilize 6 eggs though only 3 were viable. Through IVF they implanted 2 eggs and she successfully conceived twins who are now 3. Jenn and her husband chose to freeze the third egg and she is currently 17 weeks pregnant.

Throughout PCOS Awareness Month, Attain Fertility will provide community support and education to encourage early intervention and making healthy lifestyle choices.  For more information about PCOS and fertility issues visit  Attain Fertility also has an active community of over 12,000 on Facebook.

Additional Media Resources

Attain Fertility Centers operates over 40 practices in 34 states. Fertility experts who work with PCOS patients are available from all locations.  Contact Marcia Clark at 845. 528.6647 or

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