A Guide To Understanding Infertility And The Role Of Follicle Stimulating Hormones When You Have PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is a common disorder that is a leading cause of infertility and manifests with symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, obesity, and insulin resistance. Unfortunately, it is thought to impact up to one out of every ten women and since sporadic or absent menstrual cycles are usually associated with not ovulating regularly, some  women with PCOS have trouble conceiving without medical intervention. If you have been diagnosed with PCOS and would like to get pregnant soon, you need to be aware of the facts shared below.

Diagnosing The Reason For Your Infertility, Since It Might Not Be Just PCOS

Both follicle stimulating hormones, which are often referred to as  FSH, and lutenizing hormones, which may be known as LH, must be present within certain amounts for ovulation to occur, your physician is likely to order a series of tests and procedures when determining what needs to be done in order for you to ovulate and hopefully conceive. Therefore, checking your levels of both those hormones and providing ultrasounds of your uterus and ovaries are common procedures when creating a plan for assisted conception.

In addition, it may also be necessary to rule out secondary issues that could make it even tougher to get pregnant, so a procedure known as a hysterosalpingogram, which is also known as an HSG, could be recommended. An HSG works by releasing a dye into the uterus that then moves through the uterus to check for blockages or abnormalities.

Understanding LH and FSH

In the healthy reproductive system of an adult woman, LH and FSH work together to permit ovulation to occur. Both are released by the brain in small, similar amounts at the beginning of the menstrual cycle, the FSH remains at a lower level throughout the month while the LH amount dramatically increases just before ovulation. The LH drops again when the egg has been released. However, many women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome have a higher level of lutenizing hormones throughout the cycle, which means that ovulation is much less likely to occur. 

The discrepancy between the two hormones is often significant, with LH levels consistently three times the FSH level for many PCOS patients. In that instance, your physician may recommend the use of oral and/or injectable medications to increase your FSH levels and encourage the ovulation process. In some cases, both types of medications could be prescribed and over-the-counter ovulation predictors might be recommended to watch for the increase of lutenizing hormones that indicate your medication regime has been working. . You will usually need regular appointments throughout your cycle to determine the precise timing of your ovulation and to assess how well you are responding to the medications.          

In conclusion, many women with PCOS experience infertility and require professional help that may include oral and injectable medication to encourage ovulation. Since you need to have healthy levels of both follicle stimulating hormones and lutenizing hormones in order to produce healthy, viable eggs, the facts shared above will be quite helpful if you have not been able to conceive without professional assistance.

For more information or assistance, contact establishments like Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine.