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PCOS and IVF: A Comprehensive Guide to Fertility Treatment

How PCOS affects your IVF, PCOS IVF success rates, IUI vs. IVF with PCOS, and other considerations.

September 29, 2023


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects 5-10% of women. One of the significant challenges that women with PCOS face is infertility. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is one of the fertility treatment options that has also been used in some cases for women with PCOS. In this blog, we will explore the relationship between PCOS and IVF, the success rates, protocols, and other important aspects of IVF for women with PCOS.

Understanding PCOS and IVF

PCOS is a condition characterized by irregular menstrual cycles, high levels of androgens (male hormones), and the presence of small cysts on the ovaries. These hormonal imbalances can lead to difficulties in ovulation, making it challenging for women with PCOS to conceive naturally. IVF is a medical procedure that involves fertilizing an egg with sperm outside the body, followed by the transfer of the embryo(s) into the uterus. It is often offered to women with PCOS who struggle to conceive naturally and have unsuccessfully tried ovulation induction.

PCOS IVF Success Rate

The success of IVF for women with PCOS depends on various factors, including the woman's age, the severity of PCOS, and her overall health. Generally, the success rate for IVF in women with PCOS is encouraging. It is important to keep in mind that PCOS is often linked to obesity, and a higher BMI index can negatively affect IVF success rates. It may be recommended to introduce lifestyle changes to increase the chances of IVF. Our fertility advisors can help you find experts to prepare for your IVF cycle. Get help today.

PCOS IVF Success First Time

While some women with PCOS do achieve success with their first IVF cycle, it's essential to understand that the number of cycles required can vary. Success on the first attempt depends on several factors, including the woman's age, the severity of PCOS, and age. Some studies show that women with PCOS with a BMI less than 30 have higher success rates than women without PCOS undergoing IVF for the first time. Many women with PCOS do become pregnant through IVF, but for some, it may take multiple cycles to achieve success and may also require lifestyle changes. Book a consultation with a fertility specialist to assess your individual chances.

Can I Do IVF If I Have PCOS?

Yes, women with PCOS are eligible for IVF treatment. In fact, IVF is often recommended for women with PCOS who have been unable to conceive after ovulation induction. It's crucial to consult with a fertility specialist who can assess your specific situation and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan. Find a fertility specialist near you.

Best IVF Protocol for PCOS

The best IVF protocol for PCOS depends on individual factors and should be determined by a fertility specialist. They will consider your age, the severity of PCOS, and your response to medications when designing the most suitable protocol for you.

Does IVF Work for PCOS?

IVF can be highly effective for women with PCOS who are struggling to conceive and tried multiple other treatments to induce ovulation. While success rates may vary, many women with PCOS have successfully become pregnant through IVF treatment. It offers hope and a viable solution for those facing infertility due to PCOS.

IUI vs. IVF for PCOS

The most common treatment of PCOS is timed intercourse with induced ovulation (clomiphene citrate); sometimes, letrozole or injected gonadotropin can be used. Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is another fertility treatment option that may be considered along with IVF for women with PCOS after unsuccessful ovulation induction. While IUI can be an efficient and more affordable option for treating infertility versus IVF, there is not enough evidence demonstrating the benefit of adding IUI to ovulation induction versus timed intercourse. The success rates for IUI tend to be lower compared to IVF. IVF is generally recommended when other treatments have not yielded positive results.


IVF is commonly used as a secondary treatment for PCOS patients after ovulation induction has been unsuccessful. IVF offers a promising solution for these women. In some cases, to increase the results of your IVF treatment, lifestyle changes should be introduced first. While the journey may involve multiple cycles and various protocols, many women with PCOS have achieved their dream of parenthood through IVF. If you have PCOS and are considering fertility treatment, book a consultation with a fertility specialist who can help you choose the right treatment.

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Second opinion fertility doctor video call NatakiSecond opinion fertility doctor video call Nataki
Second opinion fertility doctor video call Nataki

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