I am trying to conceive my second but I am having problems. I am 33-years old and was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome a while back. I was able to conceive my first child by a fluke. My OBGYN knew that we wanted to start a family. I happened to be at his office getting my yearly PAP-smear done when he told me, after he examined me, that I was ovulating. He told me that it might be a good time to try and that’s how it happened. I have stopped taking my birth control pills in July 2007 and have not managed to conceive since then. My cycles are unpredictable – they run from one month to five months long, which makes pinpointing my ovulation even harder. I tried using ovulation kits but they were not very helpful. My daughter is 5 1/2 years old and I don’t want the age difference to be any greater than it already is. Can you help? What do you think should be the next step for me?
You are quite fortunate that you conceived so easily with your daughter – congratulations. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a common cause of infertility. We are not exactly sure of its cause and, unfortunately, there is no simple cure. Women with this condition often experience irregular cycles, which is due to the lack of regular ovulations. Forget the ovulation kits at this point and schedule a consult with a reproductive endocrinologist (fertility specialist). You will need to undergo an evaluation that will look for general problems that can cause irregular cycles (i.e. thyroid disorders and other hormonal imbalances).
It would also be a good idea to have your husband undergo a semen analysis. Once the problem is confirmed, then you can start treatment. This will usually involve taking some simple fertility medications and starting to have timed intercourse (relations when you are ovulating) or undergoing artificial inseminations. Your doctor may also make some dietary recommendations and suggest that you loose weight, in the case that you are over weight. (Excess weight can make it more difficult for you to ovulate.) Hopefully, you will be able to conceive with these simpler measures.
Bradford Kolb, MD, a.k.a. Dr Fertility
Dr. Bradford Kolb is an infertility specialist and a managing partner of the Huntington Reproductive Center, in Pasadena, CA. Dr. Kolb is internationally known for his expertise in egg donation, oocyte cyroperservation and the treatment of couples who have failed traditional therapy in other centers. He appears on national television and radio shows regularly, addressing women’s reproductive issues. For more on Dr. Kolb, please go to his website: www.havingbabies.com
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