Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Complications

The earlier your PCOS is diagnosed and treated, the lower your risk of developing Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome complications. Avoiding tobacco products and participating in regular exercise can also reduce your risk of some of these comorbidities. Talk with your doctor about what PCOS means for your overall health and how you can prevent serious complications associated with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Women with PCOS have a higher risk of developing the below complications:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Cholesterol and lipid abnormalities, such as elevated triglycerides or low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol
  • Metabolic syndrome — a cluster of signs and symptoms that indicate a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis — a severe liver inflammation caused by fat accumulation in the liver
  • High cholesterol
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Sleep apnea (when a person stops breathing periodically during sleep)
  • Endometrial cancer (cancer caused by thickening of the lining of the uterus) caused by exposure to continuous high levels of estrogen
  • Breast cancer

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Pregnancy Complications

If you become pregnant, your doctor may refer you to a doctor who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. Women with PCOS have a higher rate of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, and premature delivery. They may need extra monitoring during pregnancy.

Below are some of the most common complications that arise in women with PCOS during Pregnancy

Early & Recurrent pregnancy loss

PCOS women are at risk of EPL, defined clinically as first trimester miscarriage. EPL occurs in 30 to 50% of PCOS women compared with 10 to 15% of normal women. Fertility treatment with ovulation-inducing agents is associated with a higher incidence of spontaneous EPL compared with the prevalence in the normally ovulating, naturally conceiving population.

What causes Early Pregnancy Loss in women with PCOS?

  • Elevated Insulin Levels
  • Androgens and EPL: Elevated free/total testosterone ratios and isolated elevated free and total testosterone levels were found to be predictive of EPL in PCOS women in two different studies.
  • Insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia is associated with Early pregnancy loss in women with PCOS.
  • Endometrial Dysfunction and Early Pregnancy Loss: Endometrial secretory proteins are pivotal for implantation and maintenance of pregnancy. Both these proteins were shown to be significantly lower in women with EPL in first trimester.

Women with PCOS are at increased risk of adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes and may need increased surveillance during pregnancy and parturition.

Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), defined as two or more consecutive pregnancy losses before 20th week of pregnancy is a frequent obstetric complication. The clinical association of RPL in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is more than common.

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