PCOS and Donor Eggs: What You Need to Know

February 25th, 2020
PCOS and egg donation

While there are several different reasons someone may be struggling with infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common. In fact, studies have shown 1-in-10 women of childbearing age might be affected by this problem.

Although PCOS can be difficult to treat, solutions are possible. For those who have exhausted all other options, donor egg IVF is an ideal way of combating PCOS-related infertility. Donor eggs from reputable companies, like Donor Egg Bank USA, have helped many individuals and couples achieve their dream of having a baby. 

However, before you begin the donor egg IVF process, it’s crucial to understand your PCOS and what other treatment options are available.

What is PCOS?

Due to an imbalance of reproductive hormones, someone with PCOS will ovulate irregularly or not at all. With a lack of ovulation, increased levels of hormones like testosterone can negatively impact egg quality. 

What are the Most Common Signs of PCOS?

If you suspect you might be struggling with PCOS, you should speak with your doctor. While some individuals might not experience any signs at all, most feel a variety of different side effects. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Irregular or nonexistent periods
  • Difficulty conceiving
  • Weight gain
  • Problematic skin, i.e., acne
  • Excessive hair growth or thinning hair

Can I Get Pregnant Naturally with PCOS?

While it’s not impossible for someone to get pregnant naturally with PCOS, it’s highly unlikely. Since eggs aren’t regularly released, it’s difficult to track ovulation and know when or if you’re able to get pregnant on your own.

If you’ve been trying to conceive for more than one year, it’s crucial for you to find a qualified fertility specialist to help you determine the next best steps in getting pregnant.

What Are Common Treatment Options for PCOS?

Couple consult IVF

If someone isn’t interested in getting pregnant, many doctors will prescribe birth control pills as a means of managing the symptoms of PCOS. For couples and individuals hoping to get pregnant, however, there are other treatment options available.

For those struggling with PCOS, one of the most popular fertility treatments can be found in various medications that can better control reproductive cycles. These medications include:

Metformin

While Metformin hasn’t been officially approved as a treatment option for PCOS by the FDA, it’s still a preferred choice by many doctors. Not only will this medication help to lower increased glucose and insulin levels brought on by PCOS, but it can also assist with weight loss.

One of the greatest benefits of Metformin as a treatment option is its ability to regulate menstrual cycles.

Clomiphene (Clomid)

Whether someone has PCOS or not, Clomid is a common choice among gynecologists and fertility specialists as a treatment for infertility.

For PCOS patients specifically, this oral medication can help induce and regulate ovulation cycles which are irregular or nonexistent. Many doctors will often prescribe Clomid and Metformin together. While studies haven’t proven this regimen to increase someone’s odds of successfully getting pregnant, it can be beneficial. Adding in Metformin has been known to help reduce the likelihood of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) from occurring during assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments, such as IVF or IUI.

Are Traditional IUI or IVF Beneficial in PCOS Patients?

While many fertility doctors will often suggest taking Clomid on its own as an initial treatment option for PCOS-related infertility, additional methods are often needed.

Traditional IVF and IUI have shown themselves to be highly successful in helping PCOS patients get pregnant. The one drawback, however, is an increased chance of contracting OHSS during the stimulation phase of a cycle. OHSS involves a dangerous swelling of someone’s ovaries that can lead to fluid leaking into their body. Patients should be closely monitored while taking their stimulation drugs to prevent this from happening. Fortunately, using medications like Lupron can considerably reduce the probability of hyperstimulation, and are becoming more commonly used throughout the U.S.

Sadly, in some cases, traditional IUI and IVF aren’t viable options in helping a PCOS patient conceive. For these individuals, egg donation is a beneficial alternative.

Treating PCOS with Donor Egg IVF

Young couple in office

Donor eggs aren’t often the first choice for those hoping to get pregnant, but when other treatment solutions have failed to result in a successful pregnancy, egg donation is a worthy option to explore.

As PCOS can negatively impact the quality of a someone’s eggs, donor egg IVF will allow them to still experience the unforgettable experiences of pregnancy and delivery.

While there are often concerns of donor backgrounds and egg quality, reputable donor egg banks will go to great lengths to ensure prospective parents receive only high-grade eggs from women who have been thoroughly screened before retrieval.

The screening process includes a variety of testing and analysis to ensure they meet a rigid checklist of requirements and expectations. For instance, potential donors will go through background checks, drug screenings, psychological evaluations, and physical examinations.

If a frozen egg donor is selected, her lot of eggs will be safely shipped to a fertility clinic of the intended parent(s) choosing.

One significant advantage of treating your PCOS-related infertility with donor eggs is the absence of stimulation drugs. While patients will still need to take medications such as progesterone and estrogen to enhance their uterine health, they will avoid OHSS-causing regimens, which can be dangerous for a PCOS patient.

Upon completing a donor egg IVF cycle, the rate of a successful clinical pregnancy nearly mimics that of a patient without PCOS. You will have approximately a 60% chance of delivering a baby.

Learn More About Overcoming PCOS-Related Infertility with Egg Donation

As if the everyday side effects of PCOS weren’t challenging enough, struggling to conceive can be devastating. If your weeks and months are filled with ovulation charts and negative pregnancy tests, you can find comfort in knowing there are effective treatment options available.

Donor egg IVF is an excellent way of overcoming your infertility and becoming the parent you hope to be.

To best treat PCOS-related infertility, it’s vitally important to have strong support. If you still have questions about whether egg donation can help you conceive, feel free to contact the industry-leading team at Donor Egg Bank USA today.



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