Why is the infertility rate more in women with PCOS?
We have been battling PCOS since a long time. As we know, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common disorder caused by the imbalance of reproductive hormones in women. This creates problems in the ovaries leading to irregular menstruation. PCOS tends to cause infertility in women. It is estimated that polycystic ovarian syndrome affects about 8-10% of women of reproductive age.
What is Infertility?
According to WHO, Infertility is a disease of the male or female reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.
What are the Risk Factors of Infertility in Females?
- Women’s health is very crucial for fertility. An unhealthy lifestyle can be a major risk factor for infertility.
- Lack of proper exercise can lead to infertility in women.
- Obesity too increases the risk of infertility.
- In women, the ability to conceive starts to fall after the age of 32.
- Eating disorders and unbalanced diets too are a huge threat to fertility.
- Mental stress can also be responsible for infertility in some cases.
- Smoking and alcohol consumption are also considered to be risk factors in this case.
Main causes of Infertility in Females –
- Tubal disorders such as blocked fallopian tubes, which are in turn caused by untreated sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or complications of unsafe abortion, postpartum sepsis, or abdominal/pelvic surgery.
- Uterine disorders could be inflammatory (such as endometriosis), congenital (such as the septate uterus), or benign (such as fibroids).
- Disorders of the ovaries, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and other follicular disorders.
- Disorders of the endocrine system causing imbalances of reproductive hormones. The endocrine system includes the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands. Examples of common disorders affecting this system include pituitary cancers and hypopituitarism.
What is the connection between Infertility and PCOS?
Usually, a normal menstrual cycle is facilitated with ovulation where a mature follicle, egg (cystic structure) develops. The mature egg which is ready to ovulate has a diameter of about 18 to 28 mm. Approximately 14 days after the ovulation, the woman will either get her periods or will be pregnant, according to the situation.
PCOS causes increased levels of male hormones (androgens) in women. PCOS has negative impacts on fertility. This is because women with PCOS do not ovulate regularly or normally. Ovaries overproduce estrogen which in turn affects ovulation. The main difference between polycystic and normal ovaries is that even though the polycystic ovaries contain many small antral follicles with eggs in them, the follicles do not develop and mature properly, so there is irregular and sometimes no ovulation. Now due to irregular ovulation, menstruation becomes irregular. Increased levels of male hormones like testosterone can affect the quality of the egg, along with the process of ovulation, thus affecting fertility in women.
Due to these reasons, the infertility rate with PCOS is considered very high. Women suffering from PCOS are bound to face certain difficulties while trying to conceive.
Women suffering from PCOS and infertility need induction of ovulation to get pregnant. Ovulation induction is the process of stimulating the development of one or more mature follicles in the ovaries through the help of medication.
Below are the ways of inducing ovulation-
- Clomid – also known as clomiphene citrate or Serophene, is an oral medication that is commonly used for the treatment of infertility.
- Femara – with the generic name letrozole, is an oral drug that can be an effective fertility treatment for women with ovulation prob problems with unexplained infertility.
- Metformin – brand name Glucophage, is an oral drug for the effective treatment of PCOS.
- Injectable Gonadotropins – Injectable FSH hormone products are often referred to as injectable gonadotropins or “injectables”, an effective oral medication for women with PCOS and infertility. In case oral medication does not respond, injections are also available.
- IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) – a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) where a fertilized egg is implanted into a surrogate’s uterus. It is mainly used for infertility treatment and gestational surrogacy.
Do we have any other alternative?
Oral medications have side effects like bloating, headache, breast tenderness, upset stomach, hot flashes, and mood swings. While IVF can create other problems like unwanted multiple births, premature delivery and low birth weight of the baby, miscarriage, birth defects, etc. A natural way to improve fertility during PCOS is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Proper diet and exercise can help boost fertility by leaps and bounds. Yoga and meditation to keep the body and mind in peace are also very helpful.
andMe fertility combo is an alternative that can help women with PCOS and infertility. The combo consists of andMe PCOS drink and andMe OvaBoost.
andMe PCOS drink consists of 25 natural ingredients that help specifically in balancing the hormones of the body. This drink is also beneficial for regularizing periods along with managing required body weight. Lodhra and Vitamin B6 help to balance the hormones. Garcinia Cambogia and Chromium help in weight management. Ashok and Shatavari help to regularise periods. Ashwagandha and Vitamin C boost immunity. These are the main ingredients of the product.
andMe OvaBoost is a plant-based drink that focuses on increasing fertility in women with PCOS. This drink helps in improving the quality of the egg. It also helps in creating the ideal environment for fertilization. It also prepares the body for pregnancy. Gokshura Extract, Zinc, and COQ10 work combined in reducing the decline in egg number with increasing age. Chasteberry, Vitamin B9, and DHA are beneficial for creating the necessary environment for egg fertilization. Shatavari, Magnesium, and Inositol prepare the body for pregnancy. DHA and Vitamin E help prepare the uterus lining.
Consuming these two, andMe PCOS drink and andMe OvaBoost, regularly for 8 to 12 weeks before planning to conceive, can balance the hormones and boost fertility in women with PCOS. andMe OvaBoost can also be consumed during the 1st trimester and it helps in preparing the body for pregnancy. Both the drinks are natural without any preservatives or chemicals. The products are gentle and have no side effects. An alternative, so natural and pure that it beams with positivity, is a must-have in any woman’s life suffering from PCOS and infertility.