woman at the doctor's office

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome is caused by a hormonal imbalance, which can affect your menstrual cycle and make it difficult to conceive.

Though it can't be cured, Dr. Sonja Kristiansen can evaluate your condition and develop a plan to improve your reproductive health.

Learn more about what polycystic ovary syndrome might mean ​for you at our Houston, TX, clinic...

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Explained

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is caused by a hormonal imbalance that results in cyst growth in and on the ovaries. This condition can result in irregular menstrual cycles, such as missed periods or more frequent periods, and lead to female factor infertility.

During a healthy menstrual cycle, the egg is released from the ovary and travels down the fallopian tubes to the uterus. For many women trying to conceive, polycystic ovaries can cause egg damage or inconsistent ovulation. When the egg is damaged or not released properly, sperm are unable to fertilize it, preventing women from naturally conceiving.

Diagram of uterus affected by PCOS
Women suffering from PCOS often have cysts on their ovaries, which can contribute to hormone imbalance.

Am I at Risk?

PCOS affects roughly one in 10 women in their childbearing years. It can develop at any age once you go through puberty, but has a strong impact on women in their 20s and 30s who are trying to conceive. Women who are obese or have a family member with PCOS have a greater chance of developing the condition themselves.

What Causes Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

Although the exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is unknown, doctors have linked it to high levels of androgen and insulin. To determine how these are factoring into your health, our team in Houston, TX, can evaluate you for the following health problems during your consultation: 

Androgens

All women have a small amount of androgens (male hormones) in their body. However, women with PCOS produce higher levels than normal, which can cause acne, male-pattern baldness, excess hair growth, and irregular menstrual periods.

Insulin

Insulin is the hormone that assists with the digestion of food. When functioning normally, it turns sugar into energy. If your body is insulin resistant, your blood sugar levels can rise. Insulin resistance frequently leads to type 2 diabetes, especially in obese patients. However, insulin resistance can also cause an increase in androgens, which in turn can lead to PCOS.

"I Truly Felt like They Cared about Me"

"We had such a great experience with Houston Fertility Center! After trying to grow our family for 2.5 years without any luck we finally decided to try a fertility treatment. I had so much anxiety going into this whole process but everyone there was so great to work with...We can’t thank them enough for everything! I truly felt like they cared about me each time I went in! I will miss seeing these sweet ladies as my visits are now with my OBGYN. I would highly recommend them for your fertility needs!" Chelsea Jowers

Did You Know?

PCOS can also lead to serious long-term health problems including high blood pressure and diabetes, so it is important that you seek a professional diagnosis right away if you think you might suffer from this condition.

The Diagnostic Process 

If Dr. Kristiansen suspects you may have polycystic ovaries, she will perform a full physical examination and fertility evaluation. This may include a pelvic exam and transvaginal ultrasound. Using this technology, we can determine the health of your uterine lining and identify any cysts on your ovaries. If necessary, we may take additional blood tests to review your hormone levels.

a doctor and her patient

Treating Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Dr. Kristiansen is ​board-certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI). She is dedicated to helping women improve their fertility at her clinic serving Houston, TX, and Sugar Land. After diagnosing PCOS, we can establish a treatment plan. Although PCOS is incurable, you can manage symptoms with:
To determine the cause of PCOS, our team can perform a thorough evaluation using the latest techniques. 
To determine the cause of PCOS, our team can perform a thorough evaluation using the latest techniques. 

Lifestyle Adjustments and Medications

These include weight loss, oral contraceptives, anti-androgen medication, Metformin (a medication to control type 2 diabetes), or fertility medications such as Clomid to help you ovulate regularly.

Holistic Treatments

We also offer holistic treatments should you desire a more natural approach. Weight loss and a healthy diet can also help.

Fertility Treatments

If more conservative treatments have failed, we may recommend in vitro fertilization (IVF). During this process, we can retrieve eggs from the female partner and sperm from the male partner. We can then combine the eggs and sperm in our laboratory and carefully supervise their growth. Once the embryos have developed, we can transfer them to the uterus.
Dr. Sonja Kristiansen

Houston Fertility Center

Dr. Sonja Kristiansen is the founder and Medical Director of Houston Fertility Center. She is a board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist Infertility (REI) specialist who is proud to help hopeful parents fulfill their dreams of having children. Our center is affiliated with the:

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine
  • Texas Medical Association

We provide convenient care for patients from greater Houston and visitors from out of town. For more information about our services, contact our office online or call (713) 225-5375 today.

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