Ovulation induction with PCOS to achieve pregnancy
Between 5% and 10% of women have polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, but many don’t realize it until they try to get pregnant and discover they’re facing infertility. Many women with PCOS have irregular or absent menstrual cycles or may not ovulate normally, making natural conception more difficult. Ovulation induction with PCOS is an effective treatment that can help many women with this common disorder have a baby.
Joel Batzofin MD our PCOS fertility specialist in NYC, leads our NYFS PCOS clinic, which provides comprehensive, personalized care for women struggling with PCOS, whether they’re trying to have a baby or simply want to take control of their health.
Types of ovulation induction with PCOS
The process of ovulation induction with PCOS begins with a thorough fertility evaluation to verify the diagnosis and learn more about how the disorder is affecting a woman’s body and fertility.
- Physical exam
- Pelvic ultrasound
- Blood work
- Medical history
Based on these results, women with PCOS who would like to have a baby will receive a customized treatment plan designed to achieve optimal results in minimal time, while managing their symptoms and the overall impact on their health.
Because PCOS can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate a woman’s reproductive cycle, the natural process of ovulation is often disrupted. Many women with PCOS have elevated levels of male hormones, or androgens. Balanced production of the right hormones is the key to ensuring that eggs mature and are released from the ovaries, allowing conception to take place.
For many women, ovulation induction can overcome this common cause of infertility. Medication can be used to induce ovulation, and pregnancy can often be achieved through timed intercourse or intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Depending on the results of a woman’s and her partner’s fertility testing, ovulation induction with PCOS may begin with the woman taking clomiphene citrate, or Clomid, for five days starting on the third day of her menstrual cycle, followed by timed intercourse on the day of ovulation.
While the woman is taking this oral medication, our PCOS fertility specialist in NYC will monitor her ovaries’ response with frequent in-office ultrasound exams. If Clomid does not induce ovulation, other medications may be tried, either in conjunction with timed intercourse or with IUI.
The next step may be another medication called letrozole, or Femara, an oral medication. If pregnancy is not achieved with oral medications, injectable gonadotropins may be recommended. With any ovulation induction medication, Dr. Batzofin will monitor the woman’s response closely to ensure that she is not at risk for a high-risk multiple pregnancy or ovarian hyperstimulation.
Hope for women with PCOS
If pregnancy cannot be achieved through ovulation induction with PCOS, Dr. Batzofin may recommend moving on to in vitro fertilization, or IVF, which is a highly effective fertility treatment for many women.
To learn more about ovulation induction with PCOS, contact us to schedule a consultation with our PCOS fertility specialist in NYC.