Women choose surrogacy in California for many reasons. No matter what brings an intended mother down this path, it’s always a very personal decision. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) happens to be one of those reasons, and with September being PCOS Awareness Month, it’s a good opportunity to shed some light on the condition and what it means for the millions of women who suffer from it.
What is PCOS?
Even though somewhere between 5-10% of all women of childbearing age have polycystic ovarian syndrome, many don’t realize they have it until they try to conceive and struggle. Although experts know it’s a hormonal condition and have identified links between excess androgens (male hormones) and high insulin levels with it, it’s unclear what really causes it. It also tends to run in families, so those with a mother, aunt, or sister who has PCOS are at greater risk.
What are the Symptoms of PCOS?
Irregular Periods: It’s common for women with PCOS to have fewer periods or stop having them altogether. Although some have them more often, they’re the exception.
Pain: Pelvic pain, often confused with PMS or period pain is common.
Hirsutism: Excess hair growth in places men usually have hair (face, chin, body) affects as much as 70% of women with PCOS.
Weight Issues: Weight gain and difficulty losing weight are common.
Thinning Hair: Women with PCOS often have thinning hair on their heads and it may become so severe that they go bald, much like an aging man will.
Skin Troubles: Acne on the face, upper back, and chest can occur. Some women also notice a darkening of the skin, particularly in the groin area or where there are skin folds, such as at the breasts or neck. Skin tags may appear on the neck and armpits too.
How Does PCOS Impact Fertility?
PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility. The hormone imbalances prevent eggs from developing normally. Instead, they become small cysts, resulting in the production of even more male hormones. The ovaries don’t release eggs (or the cysts), so there’s no ovulation, which is why periods reduce or stop. Many women don’t initially realize they have a problem and live with the symptoms for years. It’s not until their lifestyle is severely impacted or they can’t conceive that they tell their physician about the issues. This adds to the challenges because they’re often struggling with things like their weight and diabetes by the time they finally get a diagnosis.
While PCOS can often be helped with hormone therapy, it’s much easier to correct when it’s caught early. Women who do conceive have higher risk for things like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, miscarriage, and premature delivery. Their babies are more likely to need time in the neonatal intensive care unit as well. Because of these risks, some women feel safer working with a surrogate, while others do become pregnant, but have poor outcomes. That’s not to say women cannot become pregnant despite a PCOS diagnosis—many do. However, it’s not safe or a possibility for all women, and as such, they must explore alternate routes to motherhood.
SPS: Your Resource for Surrogacy in California
If you’re exploring the idea of surrogacy in California for any reason, Surrogate Parenting Services is here to help. We’ll walk you through the process, help you find your ideal surrogate match, and stand beside you every step of the way. We’ve helped bring hundreds of babies into the loving arms of their parents and would be honored to be a part of your special journey. Call us at (949) 397-6855 for more information today.