Is the IVF process harder if I have PCOS?

Here at the Zita West Clinic, up to 15% of the women we see have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and it can be an upsetting condition to face.

Women with PCOS produce imbalanced levels of hormonal secretions in their ovaries, so instead of stimulating one follicle to produce one mature egg during their cycle, numerous follicles are inappropriately stimulated but can’t mature, so form tiny cysts. This then further disrupts any hormonal secretions, and without the right hormonal environment, the possibility of fertilisation and implantation are reduced.

As there is no real clear-cut reason for PCOS, it is easy to feel like you have no control over your own body or hormones if you are diagnosed. But it is important to remember that it is manageable, and it does not at all mean that you have no chance of getting pregnant.

Normally we have the same good results with PCOS patients that we have with all patients, however one of the additional risks is an increased risk of hyperstimulation as a result of the IVF process. In order to assess this risk, we always monitor the ovarian reserve of the patient by assessing the number of follicles the patient has before starting the IVF process. This is very important as this will dictate the tailored and specific dose regimen for the patient, which is helpful to prevent and to control the risk of developing hyperstimulation during IVF.

If you have PCOS and would like to speak to someone about your IVF options, please call us on 0808 1964060.