A woman with PCOS tends to produce excess androgens or male hormones. As a result, a woman’s menstrual cycle and ovulation can be affected. Her cycles may be irregular, longer than normal, or may not occur at all. She may or may not ovulate in a given cycle.
Most women with PCOS have elevated levels of a type of hormone called luteinizing hormone, which brings about ovulation, and reduced levels of a hormone called “follicle stimulating hormone”.
Having regular periods is one sign of ovulation. Here are a few other ways that you can determine if and when you are ovulating: Ovulation Prediction Kits, Basal Body Temperature, checking Your Cervical Mucus and Checking Cervical Position.
If you don’t seem to be getting clear signals that you are ovulating, you should see a doctor and get an evaluation.
There’s no test to definitively diagnose PCOS. Your doctor is likely to start with a discussion of your medical history, including your menstrual periods and weight changes. A physical exam will include checking for signs of excess hair growth, insulin resistance, and acne.
Due to these hormonal imbalances, women with PCOS often have irregular menstrual cycles because they don’t ovulate or ovulate only occasionally. So women with PCOS are more likely to have trouble conceiving than other women.
While most women who have PCOS successfully manage their symptoms and long-term health risks without medical intervention. They do this by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, some women need treatment.
If you have a diagnosis of PCOS, your doctor might recommend additional tests can include:
– Periodic checks of blood pressure, glucose tolerance, and cholesterol and triglyceride levels
– Screening for depression and anxiety
– Screening for obstructive sleep apnea.
– Pelvic exam.
What are your options?
If you have tried for a baby for 12 months without success (or six months if you are aged 35 or over) it’s time to seek medical advice.
If you have very irregular or only sporadic periods, this is an indication you are not ovulating and need medical help to have a baby. The first line of medical treatment is ovulation induction. This involves a course of tablets or injections to stimulate the ovaries to release an egg that can be fertilized, either during intercourse or through intra-uterine insemination (IUI). If this doesn’t work, there may be other reasons why pregnancy can’t be achieved and more invasive treatments such as IVF may be needed.