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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Does Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) impact fertility?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

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    Jean Hailes for Women’s Health is a leader in women’s health, supported by funding from the Australian Government. We provide trusted and easy-to-understand information to … View Profile

    Not all women with PCOS will have fertility problems, but high levels of androgens (male hormones) and insulin can affect the menstrual cycle. Ovulation (the release of a mature egg from the ovary) can stop completely, or can occur irregularly. This can make it more difficult for women with PCOS to conceive naturally, and some women may also have a greater risk of miscarriage.
    However, this does not mean that all women with PCOS are infertile. Many women with PCOS have children naturally without any extra medical infertility treatment. Other women with PCOS can fall pregnant and have children with medical assistance.
    As being overweight exacerbates infertility in PCOS, one of the most important approaches to improve fertility is to prevent weight gain, exercise regularly and lose weight if overweight. See Managing PCOS on our website for more tips on improving fertility.

  • 1


    Jean Hailes for Women’s Health is a leader in women’s health, supported by funding from the Australian Government. We provide trusted and easy-to-understand information to … View Profile

    Due to high levels of androgens (male hormones) and insulin, the monthly cycle of ovulation and menstruation is often disrupted in women with PCOS. Although some women with PCOS will still have regular periods, most will experience some changes to their cycle. The periods may be irregular (cycles defined as eight or less menstrual cycles per year or menstrual cycles longer than 35 days) or may stop altogether. As menstrual cycles lengthen, ovulation may stop entirely or only occur occasionally. Some women with PCOS may also experience heavier or lighter bleeding during their menstrual cycle.

  • Women's Health Queensland Wide provides free health information for Queensland women. View Profile

    Besides the excellent answers that other contributors have provided, you may find some helpful information and support from this organization. Just click on the link
    Women’s Health Educator
    Health Information Line, Women’s Health Queensland Wide
    Women living in Queensland can also call our Health Information Line - a free information and referral service for Queensland women - on 3839 9988 or 1800 017 676 (toll free outside Brisbane).
    Please note that all health information provided by Women’s Health Queensland Wide is subject to this disclaimer

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    Dr Carolyn Ee

    Acupuncturist, GP (General Practitioner)

    I'm a Sydney GP with a special interest in women's health especially menopause and TTC ( trying to conceive). I specialise in acupuncture, and am … View Profile

    Yes it can, as failure to ovulate can be a problem. However, as pointed out by other posters, this does not mean that women with PCOS cannot conceive. Additionally, chances of conceiving and having a normal pregnancy are greater with the lifestyle changes mentioned below - exercising, achieving a healthy weight, and paying attention to a healthy diet in particular a low GI diet. These will not only increase the chance of normalising the hormonal imbalance (and therefore making ovulation happen regularly) but decrease the chance of complications during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes.

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