Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Explained

Expert Q&A: Dr Femi Olarogun

Dr. Femi Olarogun

It is PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) Awareness Month, so we sat down with our expert Fertility Specialist, Dr. Femi Olarogun of HART Fertility Clinic, to find out more about this devastating disorder:

What is PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)?

PCOS is a heterogeneous and complex endocrine condition that causes menstrual irregularity, infertility, excessive androgens, and sometimes metabolic abnormalities. All the manifestations do not occur in every woman with the condition, making diagnosis and treatment occasionally tricky.

What are the causes of PCOS?

 It has a genetic background that is unclear and poorly understood and occurs in up to 7% of women. Weight gain makes the manifestations worse.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

Symptoms include excessive hair growth, acne, irregular or skipped periods, abnormal bleeding, difficulty in conceiving, and a tendency to develop diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

How severe can PCOS be in terms of fertility?

It is one of the recognized causes of infertility, but most women with PCOS will usually conceive with or without intervention. Obesity makes the infertility problem much worse.

Is PCOS curable?

 There is no definitive cure, but symptoms are treated and controlled with lifestyle changes and medication as needed.

Does PCOS cause pain?

PCOS itself doesn’t cause pain, but some of the symptoms emanating from it, like excessive bleeding, may be painful.

If diagnosed with PCOS, how likely am I to fall pregnant?

As explained above, intervention may be needed, but the chances are good, provided everything else like Fallopian tubes and sperm is in good working order.

Does if PCOS affects African women disproportionately or not?

There is no evidence to suggest black women are more likely to get PCOS. 

What is the treatment for PCOS?

Treatment depends on the presenting symptoms, but weight loss and lifestyle change play a role across the board and form the basis for most PCOS cases.

If you have any concerns regarding Infertility and PCOS, please get in touch.