Colorado Fertility Doctors-PCOS Awareness Month Highlights Need for Increased Understanding of Disease Affecting 1 in 10 American Women

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Many women are unaware that they have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), physicians at Colorado Reproductive Endocrinology say.

In an effort to bring greater awareness to a disease which the National Institutes of Health says affects as many as one-in-ten American women and in honor of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Awareness Month, doctors at Colorado Reproductive Endocrinology (CRE) are offering free phone consultations to discuss possible PCOS symptoms with women in Denver and the Colorado Front Range.

Dr. Diane Woodford, a fertility specialist at CRE, said that many women are often unaware they even have PCOS until they try to get pregnant and cannot.

“While PCOS is a leading cause of infertility, it is also associated with many other serious, long term health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and endometrial cancer,” Woodford said adding that, “There is no single test to determine if a woman has the condition. The symptoms of PCOS can vary from woman-to-woman but can include menstrual irregularities, weight gain, acne or unwanted facial hair. They also have a higher risk of heart disease, as well as increased rates of pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and miscarriage.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, “Normally, one or more eggs are released during each menstrual cycle. This is called ovulation. In polycystic ovary syndrome, the eggs in these follicles do not mature and are not released from the ovaries. Instead, they can form very small cysts in the ovary.”

These cysts may cause fertility problems due to a lack of ovulation, although other reasons for infertility in both the woman and man should also be ruled out.

“If over the last 12 months, a woman has had six or fewer periods, she should see a physician and be evaluated for PCOS,” Dr. Susan Trout of CRE said. “An earlier diagnosis means complications like diabetes, heart disease, infertility, and hypertension are more easily managed.”

Often women with PCOS are overweight and according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, “weight loss can help lessen many of the health conditions associated with PCOS and can make symptoms be less severe or even disappear.” The NIH also advocates regular exercise and positive lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking for women dealing with PCOS.

Woodford adds that women affected by PCOS should not give up hope.

“Most women with PCOS can still have a child,” she said. “For women with PCOS who are unable to conceive naturally, there are many options from simple treatments such as Clomid to more involved treatment like IVF.” A consultation with a Reproductive Endocrinologist is recommended to determine which treatment is best.

About Colorado Reproductive Endocrinology
Led by doctors Susan Trout (http://coloradofertility.com/about-cre/dr-susan-trout/) and Diane Woodford (http://coloradofertility.com/about-cre/dr-diane-woodford/), along with CRE’s multidisciplinary team, Colorado Reproductive Endocrinology has provided personal, individualized care to thousands of couples in Denver and along the Colorado Front Range. The CRE lab, operated by embryologist Jonathan Van Blerkom PhD, was once named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s top-ten laboratories dealing with advanced reproductive technologies. For more information, contact Colorado Reproductive Endocrinology at 303-321-7115, or visit our website at http://coloradofertility.com.

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