PCOS and Treatment for Infertility

PCOS and infertility treatments

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders affecting about ten percent women of reproductive age. It is not a disease and it can occur at any age before menopause. Moreover, since its symptoms are often similar to other conditions affecting women, PCOS can go undiagnosed for some time.

PCOS happens to be the most common cause of infertility in women. This is attributed to the ovaries creating an abundance of follicles each month without producing an egg. Women experience irregular periods, develop acne and high blood pressure. PCOS can produce elevated androgen hormones levels–including testosterone, resulting in abnormal facial and body hair growth. Some women develop ovarian cysts and may experience excessive weight gain.

Healthy choices are more than common sense when dealing with PCOS. Eating wisely, being physically active, sleeping well, and managing stress can help reverse the hormone imbalances being the centre of polycystic ovary syndrome and the symptoms those hormone changes cause. PCOS is a complex and heterogeneous disorder that presents a challenge for clinical investigators in the field of female infertility. PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome treatment in Chennai though is technologically advanced, believes in and advice natural ways of bringing about ovulation as primary treatment options to restore fertility.

Certain lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise to control obesity are considered first-line treatment for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. By maintaining a healthy weight and eating fewer processed foods or foods without added sugar, body’s use of insulin and balance of hormone levels can be improved. Some women report complete relief of PCOS symptoms after changing their diet and exercise habits. Weight loss can help to regulate menstrual cycle, improve the frequency of ovulation, lower androgen levels and thereby improve fertility. 

  • Maintain a healthy weight – Weight loss can reduce insulin and androgen levels and may restore ovulation.
  • Limit carbohydrate – Low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets might increase insulin levels. A dietthat offers complex carbohydrates to raise blood sugar levels more slowly is recommended.
  • Keep active – Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels. In women with PCOS, increasing daily activity and participating in regular exercise programs may treat or even prevent insulin resistance and help keep weight under control and avoid developing diabetes.

It has been proven time and again that shedding a small percentage of excess weight and exercising regularly can improve symptoms such as irregular periods and infertility. Weight loss is the first step for planning a pregnancy. It may improve the ability to get pregnant by restoring ovulationor make the body more responsive to fertility treatments if that is what is determined as the need. In fact, up to 75 percent of women with PCOS who were able to reduce their body weight also had better glucose control and improved androgen hormone levels, helping to restore ovulation and fertility.

Losing weight when aimed to specifically reduce the fat around the abdomen (belly fat) would be a positive goal. In an Italian study, those who rode exercise bikes for 30 minutes, three times a week, lost more abdominal fat than those who shed pounds by just eating less.More women in the exercise group than the diet group began ovulating even though both groups lost similar amounts of weight. Thus, there are less chances to be successful with only change in diet.

From a clinical point of view, the centre for PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome treatment in Chennai has observed that the conventional management of PCOS with medications only is not always satisfactory and produces some obvious side effects. Hence women with PCOS prefer alternative methods of treatment, chief among these being acupuncture, helps women with PCOS regulate and manage their menstrual cycles better. Acupuncture in combination with weight management has helped overcome infertility in women with PCOS.

A study conducted by Swedish researches at the University of Gothenburg, found that exercise and electro-acupuncture treatments could reduce some symptoms of PCOS. Swedish researchers were looking for a long-lasting treatment for PCOS without adverse side effects. During the 16-week study, nine women with an average age of 30 years underwent 14 acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture was applied to the abdominal muscles and back of the knee, points associated with the ovaries. The needles in the abdomen and leg were stimulated with a low-frequency electrical charge–enough to stimulate muscle contractions without resulting in pain or discomfort. The study found that the electro-acupuncture treatments led to more regular menstrual cycles, reduced testosterone levels and reduced waist circumference.

Acupuncture successfully regulates hormones and ovarian blood flow in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) related infertility. Maternal and Child Healthcare Hospital of Hengfeng County researchers compared the efficacy of acupuncture and drug therapy. The addition of acupuncture to drug therapy produced superior patient outcomes over patients receiving only drug monotherapy. The combined integrative medicine protocol using acupuncture produced improvements in the regulation of oestradiol (E2), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone (T), and prolactin (PRL) levels. Also, ultrasound imaging reveals that acupuncture improves ovarian blood circulation.

These studies reveal that acupuncture integrative care provides significant benefits for women with PCOS related infertility. These include improvements in the regulation of hormone levels and ovarian blood flow, which are significantly greater improvements than using only conventional drug monotherapy. The findings suggest that acupuncture has the potential to improve clinical outcomes for women with PCOS when combined with usual care.

To facilitate ovulation, commonly recommended medications are oral anti-oestrogens, medicines for breast cancer treatment to stimulate the ovaries and oral medication for type 2 diabetes to improve insulin resistance and lowers insulin levels.Taking a variety of medications may ease symptoms of PCOS but their side effects  such as malaise, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea can be annoying.A combination of medicines may be prescribed along with weight management and acupuncture to achieve safer effect necessary to conceive and carry ahealthy pregnancy.

The next step is injectable fertility drugs or gonadotropins. They are made of the hormones FSH, LH, or a combination of the two. Laparoscopic ovarian drilling is considered to be second-line treatment. Gonadotropins may be administered with an IUI (intrauterine insemination) procedure. IUI involves placing specially washed semen directly into the uterus via a catheter. If gonadotropins are not successful, the next step is in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or In Vitro Maturation (IVM).

All women with PCOS must consider choosing the right fertility clinic for Poly cystic Ovarian Syndrome treatment in Chennai.Basic treatment approach and methods with preconception guidelines are keys for great majority of women with PCOS to get pregnant using lower-tech fertility treatments.

Reference :Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine Vol. 22 (25) pp. 3588-3590.





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