The Short Story on PCOS and Infertility Problems We know you’re in a hurry!
PCOS Is a Leading Cause of Female Infertility
PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a leading cause of female infertility since it can create polycystic ovaries and other symptoms. Also known as PCOD (Polycystic Ovary Disorder), PCOS is an endocrine disorder that causes various hormone levels to become irregular. High levels of insulin disrupt ovulation, thereby making a pregnancy difficult. Fortunately, there are a variety of PCOS fertility treatments available to restore proper ovulation. While there are pharmaceuticals and surgeries that might help the problem, there is a natural approach also. Many experts say that taking care of your health through eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and taking targeted nutritional supplements can give you the best chance for a trouble-free PCOS pregnancy.
What Causes PCOS Infertility?
Insulin Resistance is an influencing factor of PCOS. It prevents the efficient conversion of sugar into energy because the walls of your cells have become de-sensitized to insulin. This causes the glucose and insulin levels in your bloodstream to become significantly unbalanced, leading to an increase in free-floating glucose, which is sent to your liver and converted to excess body fat. As a result, you can suffer from weight gain and obesity, which, in turn, leads not only to PCOS but also to other serious health conditions like cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.
An estimated 5-10 percent of all women in their childbearing years have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The numbers are rising along with the twin epidemics of obesity and inactivity. PCOS sufferers share a constellation of health problems, ranging from stubborn obesity, poor cardiovascular health, and a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Because the symptoms vary so widely and you might not display all the symptoms, doctors very often misdiagnose Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. In fact, 8 out of every 10 women with PCOS could have Insulin Resistance, resulting in higher-than-normal insulin levels that can act on the ovaries by increasing male hormones. The end result is that a PCOS sufferer can stop ovulating, gain weight, develop skin conditions like acne and skin tags, and grow abnormal facial and body hair. Other PCOS symptoms include decreased sex drive, high cholesterol levels, exhaustion or lack of mental alertness, depression and anxiety, sleep apnea (breathing problems during sleeping), and thyroid complications.
What You Might Expect With PCOS
PCOS and infertility often go hand-in-hand since PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a major cause of infertility in many women, which can sometimes go undiagnosed. One symptom of the condition can be nine or fewer menstrual cycles per year. The disorder can also cause heavier than normal bleeding during periods.
These symptoms are the result of the ovaries failing to produce hormones that keep the menstrual cycle regular. Because women with PCOS don’t have regular periods, many are unable to ovulate and become pregnant.
That’s not all the symptoms you might be experiencing though. Women with PCOS sometimes report other ailments, including acne, excessive hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes (Hirsutism), and/or hair loss. You also might experience weight gain, ovarian cysts, dandruff, depression, pelvic pain, sleep apnea, and skin tags (excess flaps of skin in the armpits and neck area).6 It’s also important to note that no two women will have the same symptoms, making PCOS a difficult syndrome to diagnose.
Treatments for PCOS Infertility
Surgery is one approach to PCOS infertility. According to the University of New South Wales, “Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has been managed surgically since the development of wedge resection (tissue removal) in the 1930s. Second-line surgical interventions for anovulation associated with PCOS include laparoscopic ovarian diathermy.”2 Essentially, electrocautery (a laser) is used to destroy parts in and around the ovaries that are interfering with reproduction.
The University’s report goes on to say, “Bariatric surgery (an implanted medical device or removal of a portion of the stomach, to reduce stomach size) may be considered for morbidly obese patients with PCOS, although further research assessing such surgery specifically in PCOS patients is needed. Assisted reproduction, in the form of IVF (in vitro fertilization) with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injection, is usually indicated as third-line medical treatment or in the presence of other infertility factors. There is an ongoing debate concerning the relative merits of IVF and ovulation induction in PCOS, comparing the higher multiple pregnancy rate of ovulation induction with the greater cost and psychological stress of IVF.”2
As for pharmaceuticals, the University mentions a few options. “Clomifene citrate (stimulates release of hormones for ovulation) should be considered as a first-line pharmacological therapy to improve fertility outcomes. Second-line medical treatments may include ovulation induction with gonadotropins (in clomifene citrate-resistant or clomifene citrate failure women) [to help egg production]…or possibly metformin combined with clomifene citrate (in clomifene citrate-resistant women).”3
Supporting Fertility Health Naturally
Since no single solution can reverse Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or Insulin Resistance, you must rely on a multi-faceted approach. Experts worldwide are saying, ‘Lifestyle change alone is considered the first-line treatment for the management of infertile anovulatory PCOS women…”5
That means a complete system, including nutritional supplements (blends of vitamins, minerals, and botanicals that are condition specific), a realistic exercise program, nutritional guidance, a support network that can help you change unhealthy lifestyle choices, and an information-laden website on which you can learn about your situation, is required to address these conditions. Losing weight helps too when it comes to ovulation.4 In fact, “For obese PCOS women weight loss of more than 5% of pretreatment weight restores menstrual regularity in 89%, of whom 30% achieved spontaneous pregnancy.”1
However, if left unchecked, then Insulin Resistance and obesity can create excess insulin in your bloodstream, a key symptom of PCOS which, as a result produces an abnormal amount of the male hormone testosterone. The increased presence of testosterone can prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg each month, thus causing infertility.
Insulin Resistance, obesity, and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome are causative factors behind infertility, which the Insulite PCOS System can help. It is specifically designed to help lower your testosterone levels and reduce weight gain by responding to the symptoms of PCOS in combination with a balanced, nutritious diet, regular exercise, and targeted Nutritional Supplements. By decreasing testosterone, it is possible for you to reduce ovarian cysts and help re-establish the delicate balance of your hormones, thereby enhancing the likelihood of ovulation, without which the chance of becoming pregnant is minimal.
Insulite Labs is widely recognized as the leader in providing a safe, effective approach to PCOS and restoring the possibility of pregnancy. Please explore our website to learn more about PCOS, Insulin Resistance, and how the five elements of the Insulite PCOS System might work for you.
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Take these Steps to Health
- Saleh AM, Khalil HS. Review of non-surgical and surgical treatment and the role of insulin-sensitizing agents in the management of infertile women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2004 Jul;83(7):614-621.
- “Evidence-based lifestyle and pharmacological management of infertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.” School of Women's & Children's Health, Division of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of New South Wales, Australia, May 2012 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22554175
- “Evidence-based lifestyle and pharmacological management of infertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.” School of Women's & Children's Health, Division of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of New South Wales, Australia, May 2012http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22554175
- "In women with polycystic ovary syndrome and obesity, loss of intra-abdominal fat is associated with resumption of ovulation." Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands, September 2011 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21771766 (July 2011)
- "The treatment of infertility in polycystic ovary syndrome: a brief update." Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia, May 2012 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22639834
- "Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) fact sheet" U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women's Health", March 2010 http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.cfm
The Insulite PCOS System is not intended to be medical treatment, nor is information on this website intended to be a substitute for the advice or care of a health-care practitioner. The Insulite PCOS System is a combination of nutritional supplementation and lifestyle programs intended to help individuals better manage their health and wellbeing. Consult a health-care practitioner before beginning the Insulite PCOS System. Because of ongoing research, clinical experience, and the rapid accumulation of information relating to the subject matter discussed on this website, the website's users are advised to carefully review and evaluate the information on this website and continue to expand and broaden their knowledge of new information as it becomes available on this website and elsewhere. The use or application of the information contained on this website is at the sole discretion and risk of the user.
Since June 2008, Insulite Laboratories and Insulite Health has supported more than 2.4 million women through the Insulite PCOS System, through this website, through emails providing information and support, through consultations with our Consulting & Advisory Team, through telephone conference calls, through online webinars, through published articles, and most recently, through social media community building and support efforts. Insulite Laboratories and Insulite Health are singularly dedicated to improving the lives of women with PCOS and conditions resulting from Insulin Resistance.
This website has been written by the research team at Insulite Health, a division of Insulite Laboratories. The members of the Insulite Health research team are experts in dealing with issues related to Insulin Resistance. Click here to learn more about the research team at Insulite Health.
This website is published by Insulite Laboratories. For more than a decade, Insulite Laboratories has been an authority on health conditions relating to Insulin Resistance, including PCOS. Find us on Google+