Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance in women that in most cases causes enlarged ovaries and the development of small cysts on the outer edge of the ovaries. Girls as young as 11 years old may get PCOS, but it primarily affects women of child-bearing age. Women with PCOS may have difficulty getting pregnant, experience changes to their menstrual cycles, and see increased hair growth, acne, and weight gain. If left untreated, polycystic ovarian syndrome can lead to more serious health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. The cause is unknown, but genetics is thought to play a role.

UAB Medicine’s nationally recognized physicians have years of experience in diagnosing and treating both male and female infertility. We treat infertility with a team approach that includes a urologist, a reproductive endocrinologist, specialized nurses, and laboratory scientists. A variety of conventional treatments are available, including corrective microsurgery. For those who do not have a condition that can be treated, procedures such as intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be used to help a couple get pregnant. Our fertility experts will determine a treatment plan that is best suited for each individual man and his partner. As a major center for research, UAB Medicine continues to investigate new advances in fertility treatment aimed at increasing the chances of conceiving healthy babies.

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