Polycystic Ovaries

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which the ovaries accumulate tiny cysts ( little follicles two to five millimeters in diameter, each of which contains an egg) instead of the follicles growing and going on to ovulate, they stall and secrete male hormone into the blood. Ovulation can be rare without the help of medications. In some women, there will be a long history of irregular periods and, perhaps, an increase in facial and body hair caused by more than the normal amount of male hormone in the blood. There are estimates that about 20 percent of all women have mild polycystic ovaries (PCO). It is probably genetic – often coming down the male side of the family. When a woman is not trying to get pregnant, oral contraceptive pills are good treatments: they stop follicles and male-hormone-producing tissue from accumulating, stop complications such as abnormal hair growth from taking place, give regular periods, provide contraception, and protect future fertility.

If you are attempting pregnancy then the drug clomiphene (Clomid) is the first choice to induce ovulation. If clomiphene doesn’t work, then physicians often use injectable medications such as Pergonal, Humegon, Gonal-F , Follistim, and Repronex. Using hMG to induce ovulation in preparation for getting pregnant naturally is often complicated; however it is most challenging in women with PCO, since often up to 10 or 20 follicles will respond and try to ovulate. It is important that if this happens the cycle be cancelled, and the next month be started with lower doses of medications.

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