Early diagnosis, treatment key to tackling infertility, PCOS – Ajayi
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as group II ovulation disorder, is one of the most common health problems in women of reproductive age.
Accompanied by chronic anovulation, a consultant gynecologist/obstetrician, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi said PCOS has that early diagnosis and treatment alongside weight loss may lower the risk of long-term complications.
He said this at a webinar while speaking on the theme, ‘How To Tackle Infertility In 2023 Is Also Good.’ He stressed that for a diagnosis of PCOS, history of irregular menstruation and other clinical examinations are required to ascertain a woman has PCOS.
Ajayi, who doubles as Managing Director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos, noted that women with polycystic ovaries are at the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. “You can’t cure it but you can manage it. You have to ensure you don’t gain unnecessary weight. Those conditions would make you gain weight, so this is the fight that you have to fight.
“For a woman with such condition to be able make babies, you have to check her and because she doesn’t ovulate, the medical professional will make her ovulate, using birth control pills to balance estrogen and testosterone levels before beginning fertility treatment among others. There may be fertility medications to jump-start the ovaries to send out more eggs.
“You may require In-Vitro Fertilisation treatment to help you get pregnant with PCOS in a satiation that the pregnancy didn’t happen naturally. There may be also other checkup that may include more blood tests, ultrasounds scans and a physical examination to help the situation.”
With about 10 percent of women with high levels of a form of testosterone called ‘free’ testosterone also battling polycystic ovary syndrome, it is characterised by irregular or absent menstrual periods, infertility, blood sugar disorders, acne and excess hair growth.
“Most women with PCOS are overweight or obese, though a small percentage have a normal body weight. Left untreated, high levels of androgens, regardless of whether a woman has PCOS or not, are associated with serious health consequences, such as insulin resistance and diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease,” he said.
However, medical research shows that women with PCOS have a high success rate of getting pregnant with IVF treatment.
Commenting on untreated Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) as it affects fertility in 2023, Ajayi said it is one of the major causes of infertility, especially when poorly treated. He advised that no form of STDs should be treated at random, rather a culture test before empirical treatment.
While lamenting the dependency of Nigerian youths on drugs to achieve and sustain erection, he said, that all manner of drugs and concoctions being consumed by men to gain and sustain erection, is detrimental to their health and affect fertility.
According to him, STDs can directly or indirectly cause infertility in both women and men, if left untreated as infections can develop and cause infertility by moving up the reproductive system and spreading to the woman’s uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes causing damage, scarring or inflammation.
Speaking on male factor, he said, “There is no doubt that drugs are damaging people system now. There are people that cannot have erection without drugs. Men are taking all manner of drugs to achieve erections just to prove that he is a man and not one-minute noddle man.
“It’s women that put some men on pressure because they call them two minutes noddle and the men in their part would want to prove to them that they are not two minutes noodles and would be using all manner of drugs to get erected which in some cases affect their fertility.”