Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal problem that affects 5-10% of all women of child-bearing age. It is the most common female hormonal problem and one that can have significant bearing on female fertility, although it is worth knowing that having polycystic ovary syndrome does not necessarily make you infertile, and many women with PCOS are able to get pregnant.

The common signs and symptoms of PCOS include irregular or absent periods, excess body fat, excess facial hair, oily skin or acne, difficulty maintaining weight and difficulties getting pregnant. Women with PCOS are predisposed to developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and endometrial cancer (cancer of the womb lining) later in life.

Where PCOS features in female infertility, the usual problems are irregular ovulation or anovolution (this is when the ovaries aren’t releasing egg cells during the menstrual cycle). We have found that management of this common condition is often disjointed, with many women unsure about the diagnosis or management options.

So you can be reassured that our comprehensive and integrated service is provided by our team of highly experienced reproductive medicine consultants, gynaecology nurses and counsellors. We investigate the cause of your PCOS thoroughly, identify the most appropriate means of treatment – for all aspects of the condition, including infertility, menstrual irregularity, skin problems and weight concerns – and we provide complete follow-up and support throughout the process. In the majority of cases where irregular ovulation or anovulation is to blame for your infertility, we can successfully treat you. Where amenorrhoea (the complete absence of a menstrual period) is encountered, successful treatment is also possible. In those cases where amenorrhoea cannot be corrected, we offer full counselling and can advise you on alternative routes to pregnancy, such as IVF or ICSI.

If you would like to know more about how we investigate and treat polycystic ovary syndrome and other causes of female infertility, please call us on 01992 78 50 60 or email us at enquiries@hertsandessexfertility.com.