PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is an incredibly common disease, impacting 5-10% of reproductive aged women. PCOS impacts a woman’s health in a variety of ways, from negatively impacting heart health to causing unwanted weight gain. But as you may be able to tell from the name, PCOS can also impact a woman’s fertility and is in fact of the leading causes of infertility in women. September is National PCOS Awareness Month and the perfect time for the fertility experts of The Center for Reproductive Medicine in Mobile, Alabama to share how PCOS can affect your fertility.

PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility.

Most women who suffer from PCOS have symptoms that include irregular or absent ovulation. This is due to a hormone problem wherein a woman’s body produces higher than normal levels of androgens.  These high levels of androgens interfere with the development of eggs, and ultimately ovulation. PCOS can also make your ovaries larger than normal, and these larger ovaries can have many tiny cysts that contain immature eggs. Because of this, if you are experiencing infrequent or irregular periods, contact the fertility experts of The Center for Reproductive Medicine for a fertility check, as this could be a symptom of PCOS.

PCOS can impact your weight.

Weight is often a factor in women with PCOS who are struggling with infertility. Excess pounds can impact your hormone levels, so losing weight is often the first step to getting your hormones back to normal levels. Overweight women who lose as little as 5-10% of their body weight can see an improvement in ovulation, menstruation, and insulin sensitivity – all of which will improve their chances of achieving and maintaining a pregnancy.

While many women with PCOS find it tougher to shed pounds than those who do not have PCOS, losing weight is still possible. Work with your physician to find a diet that will help you lose weight in a healthy way and spend more time being active. Move in whatever way feels good to you – walking, yoga, swimming, or dancing. Moderate exercise and a healthy diet can not only help improve your odds of becoming pregnant, they can also improve your PCOS symptoms, reduce your risk of chronic diseases, lower stress levels, and contribute to your overall health and well-being.

If you have, or suspect you may have, PCOS and would like more information please call The Center for Reproductive Medicine at 251-438-4200 to make an appointment. Your care team will assess your specific situation and determine the best course of treatment to put you on the path to parenthood.