Friday, 5 July 2013

Never let the hopes of baby get ruined because of PCOS

Never let the hopes of baby get ruined because of PCOS

The couple sat in front of me with a saddened face after spending a few years of traumatic waiting time for a successful pregnancy. Initial diagnosis indicated some other problem and I was suspecting the nasty disease that is the root cause of infertility problem in a large number of cases. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS contributes more than 10% cases of infertility across the globe and it is perhaps the most challenging problem in front of us as infertility experts.

My initial suspicion got confirmed subsequently and there was a series of investigations and treatment continued for a long time. The efforts of the patient and our team got a big success with a full-term pregnancy and cute baby to fulfill dreams of the deprived couple!

Symptoms of PCOS

Strangely, PCOS has multiple symptoms and a few of them are really very confusing. It is not possible for me to conclude the disease as PCOS on the basis of symptoms, unless I go through a series of detailed investigation. Patients come with a wide variety of symptoms including

• Irregular or infrequent menstrual cycle with an interval of more than 35 days
• Irregular bleeding
• Highly increased weight or obesity
• Increased levels of male hormones in the body
• Acne, dandruff and oily skin
• Patching of skin

We use precise diagnostic methods to conclude the problem of PCOS before starting the treatment. Irregular menses give a clear indication of PCOS and I check precisely for the interval of 35 days and the count starts from the first day of the bleeding to the day just before the bleeding of next month. The other method of calculating number of cycles in one year is also equally effective. It is little bit alarming if the number of cycles is less than eight in a year.
The treatment

Once I narrow down to the problem of PCOS, the next challenging part starts to treat it. PCOS is a multi-faceted problem and the treatment also needs to be quite comprehensive.

While I prefer oral contraceptive to regulate the menses because they are safe, easy and very effective, many experts go for the other tests like TSH to measure the Thyroid hormone level and also prolactin level first. There are cases where drugs are given to induce menstrual cycle as well, if they are missing at all.

It is further important for me to conclude that the problem is due to PCOS and not because of any other thing line ovarian failure. There are clear symptoms of these problems like very low level of estrogen and no bleeding. PCOS would typically raise the estrogen level.

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