Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can wreak havoc on a woman’s ability to get pregnant, but thanks to advances in fertility science there is now hope for most women with this disease that involves irregular function of the ovaries. An estimated 7 million women in the U.S. have PCOS.
One of the most devastating effects of PCOS is its impact on fertility. Usually women with PCOS have low levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and high levels of androgens (male hormones), which can impact ovulation and make it difficult to conceive. Women with PCOS also have higher rates of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and premature delivery.
“September is PCOS Awareness Month, and we want to not only raise awareness about this disorder that affects so many of our CCRM patients, but to spread the message that when it comes to starting a family, PCOS isn’t a dead end; it just requires a different path. In fact, fertility treatments are very successful at helping women with PCOS get pregnant,” said Dr. William Schoolcraft, M.D., founder of the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM) and the CCRM Network of clinics across the United States and in Canada.
While it can be more challenging to have a successful pregnancy for patients with PCOS, CCRM doctors have helped countless women with PCOS start families of their own.
After struggling for years with weight issues, acne, excess hair on her face, and an inability to get pregnant, Taryn Sikesand her husband, Jonathan, visited Dr. Lisa Hasty at the Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine, a CCRM Network Clinic. Very soon after Taryn walked in the clinic’s door, Dr. Hasty diagnosed her with PCOS, something no other physician had done. Dr. Hasty immediately put Taryn on a medical plan and healthy diet. Soon Taryn not only looked and felt better, but she and her husband now have two daughters.
“As Taryn’s story illustrates, medication, diet, and other lifestyle changes can make successful pregnancies possible for women with PCOS. While a diagnosis of PCOS can be devastating, we encourage couples struggling with the disorder and infertility to explore all options before giving up on their desire to have a family,” Dr. Schoolcraft said. “Our doctors care deeply about their patients and will be right there with you in the fight, doing absolutely everything they can to help you have the children you’ve always wanted.”
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