By Alvern Bullard
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Not being able to get pregnant when you are ready can be an emotional, frustrating experience. Unless there is prior knowledge of a possible problem, most women assume they'll have no trouble conceiving. When the home pregnancy test keeps turning up negative month after month, anger and hopelessness can set in. It's not time to give up though. Taking the time to do some research about infertility can give you an outlet for some of that frustration, and learning about PCOs and infertility in particular can help set your mind at ease. Help is available and you're certainly not alone.
After months or years of trying, you've decided it's time to find out the cause for why you're not getting pregnant. As with any medical problem, finding a cause can seem as daunting as the actual problem. Something to keep in mind though -beyond all the poking, prodding and embarrassing tests, is an answer to the problem, and once it is identified it can be attacked with an appropriate treatment. And, with appropriate treatment, the odds are very good that you'll end up with a beautiful, bouncy, bundle of baby!
One of the most common problems preventing pregnancy is PCO or Polycystic Ovarian syndrome or polycystic ovaries. Roughly 8% - 10% of women suffer from this and 25% are unaware of it until they try to get pregnant. Women with PCO usually have a high level of male hormones that prevent the ovarian follicles inside the ovaries from maturing into eggs. Since no eggs are released into the uterus, no menstruation takes place. Some of the signs of PCO are oligomenorrhea, irregular menstrual cycles: amenorrhea, total lack of periods: hirsutism, excess facial and body hair: obesity: elevated insulin levels.
It has been learned that many women suffering from PCO have high sugar levels. High sugar levels create high insulin levels and in turn, the body responds by producing more male hormones. An elevated level of male hormones prevents the production of adequate female hormones to produce ovulation. With treatment of PCOs and infertility there is a high success rate of pregnancy. It often is not a question of if a woman will get pregnant with treatment, but which treatment will be most effective.
PCOs and infertility can be caused by several things and often there is more than one factor at work. Treatment of more than one type may be necessary. Your doctor will check for a number of things and along with the usual blood screening, the tests for PCO will probably include the following:
LH:FSH ratio - Luteinizing Hormone and Follicle Stimulating Hormones lead to ovulation. Free and Total testosterone - elevated levels may indicate PCO Prolactin - elevated levels interfere with ovulation and may indicate pituitary problems. TSH - Thyroid Stimulating Hormone affects fertility. DHEAS - dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, is created by the adrenal glands and is used by the body to make either testosterone or estrogen
Along with these blood tests, your doctor will probably order an ultrasound of your ovaries. This may be the most telling of all the tests you'll have. If you have PCO the ovaries will have a collection of small cysts, sometimes referred to as a "string of pearls". While this alone is not enough for a diagnosis, these results along with the blood tests, will give your doctor a good picture of what is causing you not to get pregnant.
The next step, of course, will be a plan of treatment. The main idea is to induce ovulation - get your body to create mature eggs. Most doctors will start out with the simplest method which will be medication or injections to help your body create more female hormones. With mature eggs dropping, pregnancy can occur naturally. If medication alone does not work there is always in-vitro fertilization.
Although the struggle to get pregnant will continue to be a difficult one, you will now have a plan of attack and the chances of success are high. Whatever method proves successful for you, once you hold that tiny bundle of joy in your arms, you'll know without doubt that it was all well worth it.
Get the ultimate low down on infertility with our complete pcos and infertility info overview exclusively on http://www.symptomsofinfertility.com/pcos-and-infertility/
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