Polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS, is a hormonal disorder in which there are many cysts in a woman's ovaries. The cysts or follicles, as they are called, stop developing so early that they do not mature enough to form ovulation.

If you as a woman are diagnosed with PCOS, you are far from alone. The National Board of Health has previously calculated that 5-10 percent of all women of childbearing age have PCOS. 

More symptoms and disorders

The word syndrome in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome means that women with PCOS have quite a few symptoms present at the same time. Women with PCOS have hormonal disorders where the body produces too much male sex hormone, which means that many experience having unclean skin, while more than half, namely about 70% of all women with PCOS have unwanted hair growth on the face and body. About half of the women with PCOS do not menstruate at all, while 30% have irregular periods.

To be diagnosed with PCOS, you need to meet two out of three of the following criteria:

- That an ultrasound scan at the doctor/gynecologist has shown that there are more than 20 follicles on one or both ovaries. Typically, the doctor will also measure the woman's concentration of AMH (Anti Müllerian Hormone) with a blood test. A high AMH value is a sign of many follicles in the ovary.

- That the woman has elevated male sex hormones in the blood (shown by a blood test) or visible increased hair growth on the face or body as well as impure skin.

- That the woman has a lack of ovulation, which is shown by the fact that more than 35 days pass between menstruations or less than 8 menstruations a year.

Therefore, if you recognize the above symptoms, it may be a good idea to consult your doctor 

Difficulties getting pregnant

When you have PCOS, you have a hormonal disorder. It creates an imbalance in the hormonal system, where there is too much LH hormone, which is what creates ovulation, and too little FSH hormone, which is the hormone that matures the eggs before ovulation. The missing or irregular ovulation can make it difficult to get pregnant without help. 

What are the treatment options for pregnancy?

65% of all women who have PCOS are overweight, and it has been shown that weight loss can mean that menstruation returns, and ovulation starts again. Both weight loss and exercise increase the muscles' sensitivity to insulin, and it is seen that the amount of male sex hormone is reduced, the increased hair growth becomes less pronounced, and finally you get a more regular ovulation. As mentioned before, exercise is also an important part of trying to achieve pregnancy - even if you are not overweight. Studies have shown that exercise - preferably with high intensity - at least 30 minutes a day - improves insulin sensitivity. This can also contribute to the stabilization of ovulation.

But regardless of all the experiments with the above, there are still a lot of women with PCOS who cannot get pregnant naturally, and here fertility treatment is necessary. Therefore, if you have been trying to get pregnant for half to a whole year without success, you should consult your doctor to get a referral to a gynecologist or fertility clinic to be examined and treated. Read more about it here: How does the study of female fertility in the public system take place – Gravidtid

As part of the treatment, many women with PCOS will be offered treatment with the drug Metformin, which corrects the woman's hormone balance and helps her get menstruation and ovulation again. Some PCOS women in fertility treatment will also receive stimulation treatment, which is a hormone treatment that forces the growth of egg follicles and ovulation.

If you want to check if you have ovulation, you can buy ovulation tests here: Ægløsningstests – Gravidtid

Sources: Sundhed.dk, Netdoktor.dk, Aalborg University Hospital