Fertility / PCO

PCO

PCO stands for polycystic ovaries, which means that there are many small follicles in the ovaries, and these follicles – instead of being located evenly throughout the ovary – are located at the periphery, giving the appearance of a string of pearls. Women with PCO do not necessarily have noticeable symptoms, and many women live their entire lives without knowing they have this condition. Typically with PCO, the follicles start to grow but then stop growing at an early stage in the menstrual cycle, so ovulation does not occur. Some women with PCO do sometimes ovulate normally, and then there is a possibility of natural conception.

PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome and means that as well as having the characteristic polycystic ovaries, the sufferer also has signs of:

 

  • Elevated levels of the male sex hormone and/or
  • A tendency towards increased hair growth (hirsutism), i.e. facial hair and/or more hair on the body, while the hair on the head may thin slightly and acne is also likely.
  • Infrequent or no ovulation leading to irregular and often long cycles > 35 days

 

The extent of the hair and skin problems depend on the individual woman’s sensitivity to the male sex hormones.

 

 

Genetic factors, i.e. there is a hereditary component, where some women will be more predisposed to developing PCOS than others.

Women with PCO have an increased tendency to gain weight, where the extra weight settles around the stomach, – also referred to as being “apple shaped”.

Half of all women with PCOS are overweight, and being overweight can make all PCOS symptoms worse.When someone has PCOS and is also overweight, sensitivity to insulin is reduced (insulin resistance). Insulin is produced in the pancreas, and if your sensitivity to it is decreased, the pancreas produces even more insulin to compensate. This "over production" of insulin affects the sex hormones leading to irregular menstruation, anovulation and increased production of the male sex hormone.

Therefore, it is important to strengthen your insulin resistance by maintaining a normal weight (BMI < 25) and exercising. This can increase insulin resistance, which is the optimal way of achieving a better hormone balance and also preventing or reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

At StorkKlinik we can offer you a consultation with our own dietician, who can expand on the above and motivate you to change your lifestyle with a healthier diet and more exercise (at least 30 minutes per day).

If you have developed insulin resistance as a result of your PCOS (regardless of whether you are thin, normal weight or overweight) you can take a drug (metformin) to treat type 2 diabetes. This medicine increases sensitivity to insulin. However, not everyone benefits from metformin.

You can take the contraceptive pill to regulate your menstrual cycle.

We recommend that you consult us or your doctor about these treatments.

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Stork IVF Klinik | St. Kongensgade 40 H, 1. sal | DK-1264 Copenhagen K
Tel. +45 3257 3316 | Fax +45 3257 3346 | info@storkklinik.dk | CVR. No. 33 03 49 11

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