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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition affecting 1 in 10 women, and in some estimates, 1 in 8 women. And if you are one of these women, conception can feel like an uphill battle. The first hurdle is to get an official PCOS diagnosis. Technically, you must meet two of the three following criteria for an official diagnosis from your OB:
So what does PCOS have to do with your fertility potential? Lots actually. PCOS is responsible for up to 90% of ovulatory disorders and 75% of anovulatory infertility. In other words, if you are a woman diagnosed with PCOS, you may struggle getting pregnant since you may not be able to ovulate.
The science behind the lack of ovulation due to PCOS is complex. It stems from insulin resistance causing a disruption in normal signaling between the pituitaries (which typically produce testosterone and estrogen) and the ovaries. The ovaries produce follicles—typically lots of them—but the eggs are never released.
But there are ways to boost fertility if you have PCOS.