By Iván Ferrer Durbà BSc (biologist & science teacher).
Last Update: 01/12/2015

Polycystic ovaries are a common affection, whose terminology has created great confusion. It refers to the presence in the ovary of more follicles than normal, not cysts. This affection may be discovered by chance during a gynaecological exploration, or may produce several difficulties to achieve pregnancy.

Differences between polycystic and normal ovaries

Many women suffer from it, and nevertheless, they ovulate more or less with regularity, which means that this condition doesn’t necessarily lead to a fertility loss. Pregnancy is perfectly achievable, as long as there’s ovulation. That’s why it’s highly important to control the menstrual cycles, and if any suspicion arises, to visit the gynaecologist.

Polycystic ovaries and sterility

Some women may have small difficulties when ovulating, with delays when it comes to having the period and some other symptoms. This is an easily solvable problem with a simple treatment that induces ovulation: the ovary will restart its cycle and facilitate the achievement of gravidity.

In some less common cases, these kind of ovaries produces bad quality eggs. This is a rare situation and it’s diagnosed after having failed several times when trying to have a child.

Images polycystic ovaries

Treatment for polycystic ovaries

In most of the cases no treatment is needed. If the woman suffers from overweight, a controlled diet and regular exercise usually achieve that these women are able to start having the period again and get pregnant naturally.

Even though in most of the cases there are no severe symptoms, it is convenient to control this situation, so that the polycystic ovaries won’t lead to the polycystic ovary syndrome, which could produce several alterations.

Most of the women treated from it are given pills that induce ovulation. Pregnancy is achieved if all the other requisites of the couple are normal. Some of them will be treated with gonadotropins, be it for programmed sexual relationships, artificial insemination or in vitro fertilisation.

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Authors and contributors

 Iván Ferrer Durbà
Biologist & Science Teacher
Bachelor's Degree in Biology by the University of Valencia (UV). Postgraduate Course in Secondary Education and Teaching by the University of Portsmouth. Teacher of Sciences at multiple British schools and high schools. More information
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