Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is a hormonal condition. It is characterized by irregular ovulation or the lack thereof, irregular menstruation, ovarian cysts and insulin resistance.
Close to 20% of women worldwide have PCOS. Often, but not necessarily, they are overweight. These women have increased levels of androgens which get converted into estrogens in the fatty tissue. The more fatty tissue a woman has, the more estrogen she has. When estrogen levels get too high, ovulation is impaired.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Pregnancy
Most women with PCOS conceive naturally shortly after they lose weight and restore their hormonal balance. If weight loss alone does not lead to pregnancy, they can start taking drugs that stimulate ovulation and inhibit androgen conversion. With such medication, these women usually conceive naturally or through intrauterine insemination (IUI).
The belief that the only way for a woman with PCOS to conceive is through IVF is completely wrong. IVF is considered only when the more conservative methods have proven unsuccessful.