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Wednesday, 16 December 2015
I Have hormone imbalance (PCOD/PCOS): Can I Conceive?
Gaudium’s Miracle Baby
When Safla Rani, 56 and her husband Brij Lal, 68 first came to Gaudium, they were distraught, yet hopeful of having a baby. In last 17 years, the couple had undergone multiple failed fertility treatments in India and abroad.
Safia Rani had a multitude of health problems, including severe PCOD, which had prevented her from conceiving naturally. At Gaudium IVF Delhi, in the care of a dedicated team of fertility super specialists, Safia Rani underwent individualised treatment for PCOD and for poor endometrial receptivity. She was also treated for high blood pressure and high blood sugar, and was given hormone therapy to restore hormonal balance.
Once the causative factors were successfully treated, she underwent in vitro fertilization and delivered a healthy baby boy who is now one year old.
PCOD (polycystic ovary disorder), also known as PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is a health disorder in which a woman develops multiple cysts in one or both of her ovaries.
Every month a woman’s ovaries start developing eggs which are contained in follicles or tiny sacs. At the time of ovulation, one of these follicles releases a mature egg for fertilization. In women who have PCOD, the ovaries tend to develop an abnormally high number of follicles, many of which would grow larger but fail to release an egg, thus turning into a cyst.
Many women do not know they have polycystic ovaries until they experience physical symptoms or face problems with conceiving a baby.While the exact causes why some women have PCOD and others don’t are still unknown, experts say that it is a genetic condition often passed on by mother to daughter. However, your mother having PCOD does not necessarily mean that you will have it as well.
PCOD is known to affect 1 in every 10-15 women and is a leading cause of infertility in women of child-bearing age. The condition affects women of all ages, including girls as young as 12 years old.
What are the symptoms of PCOD?
PCOD is a disorder of the endocrine system and causes hormonal imbalance in the body, particularly of androgens or ‘male hormones’. A woman’s body makes some amount of these hormones, but women with PCOD have abnormally high levels of androgens, leading to problems such as excessive body hair (Hirsutism),weight gain and trouble conceiving.
PCOD disrupts ovulation (monthly release of egg) as women with this condition have irregular or missed periods. Periods are often heavy and painful. Other problems associated with PCOD include acne, skin pigmentation, dandruff, and male pattern baldness.
Can PCOD be treated?
As there is presently no cure for polycystic ovaries, treatment revolves around helping patients manage the condition so that symptoms can be checked.
Women with PCOD are at a higher risk of developing serious health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Therefore timely treatment must be sought to minimisethese health risks with medication and lifestyle modifications.
I Have PCOD. Can I Still Conceive?
Advances in assisted reproductive technologies and years of research into understanding PCOD have helped millions of women with PCOD conceive and deliver healthy babies.
Fertility superspecialist and founder at Gaudium Infertility Clinics, Dr. Manika Khanna has treated hundreds of women with PCOD and assisted them in having a child through IVF and other ART therapies.
Says Dr. Khanna,
“Today PCOS is not as big a roadblock in a woman’s fertility, as it was, say, a decade ago. The key is to view the problem in its entirety, and how it affects a woman’s overall health, and not just her ability to conceive. It is all interlinked – if you have PCOD, you would put on weight, which in itself is a hindrance in conceiving. You may have high insulin levels and/or high blood pressure which needs to be managed before you can consider becoming pregnant. You need to make lifestyle changes to manage your body weight. At Gaudium we have treated several patients with severe infertility where PCOD was an underlying factor. The case of Safia Rani is only one such example.”
How is a woman with PCOD treated for infertility?
Your fertility doctor would first assess your condition with a detailed medical history, followed by a physical examination. An ultrasound scan and blood tests may be ordered to gain further insight into the problem. If you are not already taking them, your doctor would prescribe medicines to control the excessive hair growth, skin problems and menstrual discomfort.
Equipped with the information from your blood tests and ultrasound reports, your doctor would advise the fertility treatment alternatives available to you. You would be guided to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and provided weight loss support if needed.
You may be prescribed fertility medication to induce ovulation to help you achieve pregnancy naturally. In cases where only PCOD treatment does not produce desired results, IVF or ICSI may be recommended.
Do pregnant women who have PCOD require special care?
Yes. A pregnant woman who has PCOD needs careful monitoring throughout gestation, as there is an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes and preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and diabetes).
There is also a greater risk of miscarriage and preterm birth, therefore a dedicated team is assigned to consistently monitor the patient through pregnancy and thereafter through the perinatal period.
Gaudium Infertility Clinic specialises in treatment of PCOD/PCOS, helping childless couples conceive through specialised treatment protocols and patient-centric care.
If you have more questions about PCOD or would like a free second opinion about your infertility treatment, feel free to consult Dr. Manika Khanna for further advice.