Thursday, 12 July 2018

Beware! PCOS Raises the Risk of Infertility

Infertility can be a serious problem for the couples who want to have a child. Common cause of infertility includes polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a set of symptoms that result from a hormonal imbalance.

PCOS causes about 50-70% of the infertility cases due to the failure of ovulation or insemination (alternately, an-ovulatory infertility) Up until now, the exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Researchers and health care providers explain that PCOS is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Daughters of women with PCOS have a higher risk of suffering from this syndrome.

Recent development in medicine, particularly in endocrinology, suggests several factors that contribute to the development of PCOS. These include the interaction between the ovaries, the endocrine system in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, and the disorder of the insulin activities.

Generally, the female reproductive system includes the endocrine system in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis and reproductive organs consisting of the ovaries (in the ovaries, one follicle contains one immature egg), fallopian tubes (the tubes that transport the egg from the ovary to the uterus), uterus, and vagina.

The hypothalamus and pituitary glands are part of the brain. The hypothalamus commands the pituitary gland to release follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Both of these hormones help mature the egg (ovulation) in the ovaries.

The mature egg triggers the ovaries to produce estrogen. Then, the hormone estrogen level will increase to a certain level and trigger the pituitary gland to amplify the amount of LH. This condition is called 'LH surge' , LH stimulates the release of the mature egg from the follicle to the uterus through the fallopian tubes. Thus, the mature egg is waiting to be fertilized by a sperm. If the egg is not fertilized, it will be shed through the menstrual process.

Patients suffering from PCOS also have a higher level of insulin. The higher level of insulin and LH will trigger the ovary to produce the hormone testosterone. Thus, the patients will tend to have more acne and excess body hair or androgenic alopecia (hair loss).

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