PCOS stands for to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome have problems with ovaries since they produce increased amount of androgens, which is simplified “not good”.
Even slightly higher levels of androgens can prevent ovaries to produce mature developed eggs. And then each month follicles try to grow in an egg, but they become trapped in their growth since they are exposed to abnormal amount of androgens. This happens every month and over longer period of time and follicles that do not develop build up in ovaries which later leads to PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).
PCOS is also sometimes referred to as PCO (polycystic ovaries) or PCOD (polycystic ovarian disease). This condition is actually quite common, and it is estimated that PCOS affects about 8-10% of women of reproductive age may have PCOS.
Most common symptoms of PCOS are irregular periods or even a total lack of menstrual cycles. Often
women with polycystic ovaries have an excess amount of testosterone and androstenedione. High levels of testosterone causes increased facial and body hair growth, which is called hirsutism, as is seen in the teens or early 20s, and gradually get worse over the years.
The infertility rate with polycystic ovaries is very high, which means women dealing with PCOS will very probably have problems when trying to conceive.
Most common fertility treatments for women with PCOS are:
- Femara (Letrozole)
- Injectable Gonadotropins
- IVF – In Vitro Fertilization
Clomid is one of the most common fertility treatments that is applied in women with PCOS for one reason: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome treatment addresses hormonal and ovary abnormalities, and historically Clomid success rates has been proved to be one of the most effective. For example ¾ of women that are not ovulating will ovulate on Clomid at some dosing level, and as much as half women that ovulate with Clomid also get pregnant with it. Women who are younger than 35 and have PCOS have about a 10 to 15% chance for pregnancy per cycle with Clomid treatment and this statistics stays the same for about 3-4 months, which means that if they ovulate with Clomid and if sperm and fallopian tubes are normal, they do have 10-15% chance of getting pregnant for the first 4 months (menstrual cycles) on Clomid.
However, for women with PCOS the success rate is on the side of IVF: approximately 70% of women with PCOS will get pregnant with one IVF cycle, and approximately 60% of PCOS women will give live birth.