Understanding PCOD and How it Poses Threat to Fertility in Women

Motherhood completes every woman. However, not every woman is blessed with motherhood. The dark clouds of infertility can steal away happiness from their lives making life miserable and literally, unbearable. Infertility doesn’t occur in a single day. It creeps in slowly. Women can suffer from fertility related issues from a very early age which if left undetected and untreated can lead to infertility during their adult age. One such, slow ‘fertility killer’ is Polycystic Ovary Disease, commonly referred to as PCOD/ PCOS.

Understanding PCOD and How it Poses Threat to Fertility in Women

What causes PCOD?
During the menstrual cycle, even a little higher than normal levels of androgen in women can restrict the ovaries from releasing eggs. This can cause additional hair growth and acne which are the two most common physical signs of PCOD. Insulin is the hormone that regulates the process of converting food into energy. High levels of insulin can also result in polycystic ovary disease in females.

Is PCOD Genetic?
Although the actual cause of PCOD is yet to be known according to some medical evidence there is a definite genetic connection to this disorder. Not all women having ‘polycystic appearing ovaries’ will have PCOD.

What ‘Lifestyle-Changes’ Can Prevent PCOD?
  • Stay away from processed and refined food
  • Drink at least 2-3 liters of purified water daily
  • Always follow a combination diet plan by including lean protein and complex            carbohydrates in your meals
  • Eat every 3 to 4 hours
  • Avoid taking refined sugar
  • Avoid alcohol consumptions
Are PCOD and AMH Correlated? – Notes From The Scientific Community
AMH expanded as the anti-mullerian hormone is a sensitive producer of ovarian reserve. The hormone gets released by the cells across the follicles present in the ovary. AMH is said to decrease with age and may be considered as the significant reason behind the aging of ovaries. According to researches, it has been found that AMH level starts decreasing earlier in life even before other markers of ovarian aging such as FSH or Follicle Stimulating Hormone starts to decrease.
AMH levels are not influenced by pregnancy or the timings of the menstrual cycle. The level of this hormone is connected with the number of antral follicles (presence of small dark circles generally 2-8 mm in diameter) in the ovary.  AMH levels are taken into consideration in order to predict the number of eggs released during IVF or In Vitro Fertilization. The measurement of AMH can also be used to predict the pregnancy rates during IVF.

PCOD or Polycystic Ovary Disease is one of the most common causes behind infertility that includes syndromes like irregular or absent periods, Hyperandrogenism (a condition of abnormal hair growth) and a presence of 12 or more antral follicles on ovaries detected through ultrasound. As per the Rotterdam Criteria, the presence of two of the three symptoms during diagnosis confirms PCOD. Polycystic ovaries are associated with higher levels of AMH and contain a larger number of antral follicles in comparison to normal ovaries. In fact, many infertility specialists also believe that an increased level of AMH indicates greater chances of PCOD.

PCOD & IVF- What Are the Success Rates?
While there are certain myths that women having PCOD cannot get pregnant at all, the truth is that this disease is greatly treatable. In fact, many cases of women with PCOD are happy mothers today. However, the condition solely depends upon early diagnosis followed by prognosis and prophylaxis. While just a few changes in lifestyle and a modest weight loss can help in pregnancy for certain PCOD patients, others may need Assisted Reproductive Technologies like IVF, which is an excellent form of treatment in such cases.

What Kinds Of Fertility Treatment Options Are Suitable For PCOD?
Based on the test reports done at the initial levels, a reproductive specialist may recommend you with IUI i.e. Intrauterine Insemination along with required medications to improve ovulation that can be taken during the development of the follicles (provided that the sperm count is normal and the fallopian tubes are open). Generally, the success rates with women undergoing IUI are around 15 to 25 percent per cycle. However, the success rate with IUI greatly depends upon the individual’s age. In case if the patient is diagnosed with other complications such as blocked fallopian tubes, IVF or In Vitro Fertilization can be of greater help. PCOD may pose a steep challenge in front of thousands of aspiring mothers, yet with the aid of latest technologies in assisted reproduction, more and more women are experiencing the divine blessing of being a happy mother.
For more information on PCOD and related infertility issues keep following The Genome Blog.

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