What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?
What is Anovulation?
An estimated 10 % of women of childbearing age have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), making PCOS a leading cause of infertility. PCOS is a complex issue and no one knows its exact cause. In infertility cases, women with PCOS may produce too much insulin, which in turn causes the ovaries to over-produce male hormones called androgens. This can lead to a number of symptoms, including excessive hair growth, weight gain, and ovulation issues and infertility.
Frequently, women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) have problems with their menstrual cycle and issues with ovulation (or anovulation). In women with PCOS, the ovaries do not produce sufficient hormones and the egg or ovum may not mature. In PCOS, developing ova may remain as cysts (or appear cyst-like). In such cases, ovulation does not take place and the reproductive hormones are thrown out of balance, specifically progesterone. Without hormonal balance and progesterone, a woman’s menstrual cycle may be irregular or absent. As noted above, the ovaries (or ovarian cysts) can produce male hormones called androgens.
Symptoms of PCOS include infrequent menstrual periods, no menstrual periods, and/or irregular bleeding, infertility or inability to get pregnant because of a failure to ovulate, increased growth of hair on the face, chest, or stomach, weight gain or obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
For trying-to-conceive women, treatments of PCOS include fertility medications: Clomiphene (pills) and Gonadotropins (shots) can be used to stimulate the ovary to ovulate. Natural fertility supplements, such as FertilAid for Women, are popular with PCOS sufferers as well.
What is Anovulation and Amenorrhea?
Anovulation is indicated when a woman does not ovulate, or release an egg, during her menstrual cycle. Anovulation may occur in women with PCOS, as well as women with other infertility issues. For some women with infertility symptoms, the ovaries/follicles do not develop properly, the egg does not mature, and ovulation may not take place every cycle, may take place sporadically, or in some cases, ovulation may not take place at all.
Who who experience anovulation women may never ovulate without the help of fertility drugs. Also, women may also experience amenorrhea, or have no menstrual periods for months or even years at a time.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a very common cause of anovulation and infertility. When it is suspected, additional testing may be indicated. In cases of anovulation or PCOS, clomiphene (pills) and Gonadotropins (shots) can be used to stimulate ovulation.