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Can I Still Get Pregnant if I Have PCOS?

Can I Still Get Pregnant if I Have PCOS?

Considering the current world population and looking back on the span of human history, it would seem that pregnancy is not only natural, but easy and uncomplicated. Yet more than 6 million women in the United States alone have trouble getting pregnant or staying pregnant. 

Fertility problems stem from a wide range of health issues, and many of them involve your hormones. At The Endocrine Center in Houston, Texas, our team of experts specializes in hormonal imbalances and the treatments that correct them. Here, we take a closer look at the most common female hormone issue that affects fertility — polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

How PCOS affects fertility

Although the causes of PCOS aren’t clear, the results are. The condition occurs when your ovaries produce too many androgens, which are typically considered male hormones. While all women have a small amount of these hormones, PCOS tips the scales considerably and changes the way your body functions.

Specifically, this hormone imbalance interferes with your menstrual cycle. During a normal cycle, your ovaries release a mature egg each month to either be fertilized by a man’s sperm or to be flushed away during your period. But PCOS causes your eggs to stay entombed in their little sacs, called follicles. where they never mature enough to trigger the ovulation process.

The sacs or cysts multiply over time — hence the name “polycystic” — continuing to block ovulation. This leads to low progesterone levels, high androgen levels, and a series of issues that make it tough to get pregnant. 

Your periods become unpredictable — some are light, some are heavy, and many never come at all. Without regular ovulation and predictable menstrual cycles, your reproductive system can’t function normally, and ultimately, you can’t conceive a baby — but there’s hope in PCOS treatments.

You can still get pregnant if you have PCOS

Studies show that 70%-80% of women with PCOS struggle with infertility. The good news is that we offer several treatment options that may help you overcome the fertility issues associated with PCOS so you can have the family of your dreams.

There are several ways to approach PCOS treatment, and each depends on your goals. For example, if you’re not trying to get pregnant now or in the future, hormonal birth control pills can help get your periods back on track. If unwanted hair growth is your main issue, laser hair removal can give you a nearly permanent solution.

However, if you want a baby, we turn to treatments such as gonadotropinsclomiphene, and letrozole that jump-start ovulation. Every woman responds to these treatments differently, and they may or may not work for you. Our team is here to help you navigate your options and your fertility journey. 

If you’re experiencing the classic symptoms of PCOS, including fertility challenges, schedule a visit with our hormone specialists at The Endocrine Center. We have three locations in the greater Houston area all staffed with knowledgeable and compassionate medical professionals ready to help you grow your family. Request an appointment online, or call us today.

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