Did you know?
PCOS and women wishing to conceive
PCOS can disrupt the normal menstrual cycle, causing ovulation to occur less frequently. In some cases, this may lead to a complete absence of periods. If this is the case, this may have a detrimental effect on your chances of getting pregnant spontaneously. We offer several care pathways.
There are three treatment tracks. Depending on the severity of the PCOS symptoms, one of three options will be chosen:
- A first option is to monitor your cycle and induce or trigger ovulation by administering hormones. Find out more about this in the section on ‘ovulation induction’. Once we know when your ovulation will take place, you can try to get pregnant at the right time through sexual intercourse (timed intercourse) or artificial insemination.
- Another option is IVF or ICSI where we aim to mature several follicles at once with hormonal stimulation. During an outpatient procedure, the oocytes are punctured or collected and subsequently fertilised in the lab.
- A third option is In Vitro Maturation (IVM) during which we puncture or collect immature oocytes. These mature or maturate in the lab before fertilisation in the lab.
In vitro maturation of oocytes (IVM)
In vitro maturation (IVM) means the maturing of oocytes in a petri dish in the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) laboratory. In other words, IVM is an assisted reproductive technology. We perform oocyte retrieval during an ultrasound scan and puncture or collect immature follicles in the ovaries, administering hormonal stimulation for a short period of time. In some cases, we even choose to administer no hormones at all before oocyte retrieval.
We collect immature oocytes, which are then given a chance to mature in defined culture media in a petri dish in the laboratory. The mature oocytes can then be fertilised with sperm from your partner or donor. Learn more about ‘IVM’.
PCOS and other care needs
Please contact the PCOS clinic at UZ Brussel for assistance and support with all PCOS symptoms. Here you can visit:
- the gynaecologist: for irregular periods and pregnancy counselling
- the fertility doctor: if you want to have children
- the nutritionist: in case of excess weight or questions about a healthy lifestyle
- the endocrinologist: screening for and treatment of insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome (diabetes) and controlling male hormones to reduce acne and excess hair growth
- the dermatologist: your reference for treating excess hair growth and acne
In order to respond efficiently to the wide range of symptoms and to coordinate this diverse range of care, UZ Brussel has established a specialised, multidisciplinary PCOS clinic for women with PCOS. For more information or an appointment at the PCOS clinic, please contact Linde Mostinckx at PCOSclinic@uzbrussel.be.
We know that the range of PCOS symptoms can have a detrimental effect on a woman’s quality of life. It may also increase the risk of anxiety and depression. We recommend that you definitely get support from a specialised psychologist as the team at our PCOS clinic currently does not include one. Your GP can also offer guidance or suggestions or a referral.
Five common questions about PCOS answered:
How do I know if I have PCOS?
Dr. Liese Boudry
Does everyone with PCOS have fertility problems?
Prof. dr. Michel De Vos
Good to know
How do you get PCOS?
Can my PCOS be cured?
Midwife Linde Mostinckx
PCOS impacts various aspects of a woman's life.