IVF and Fertility Specialists Clinic
PCOS Treatment for Pregnancy - Fertility Success Rates
Page author Richard Sherbahn MD
What is the treatment for PCOS and infertility?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a common cause of female infertility. The ovaries in these women contain multiple small cystic structures, or antral follicles, that are 2-9 mm in diameter.
For a more detailed general explanation of PCOS, see: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, PCOS
What is induction of ovulation?
Ovulation induction involves the use of medication to stimulate development of one or more mature follicles (where eggs develop) in the ovaries of women who have ovulation problems and infertility.
PCOS Fertility Treatment - Inducing Ovulation
There are several possible ways to attempt ovulation induction in women with polycystic ovaries, including:
PCOS Pregnancy Statistics
Pregnancy success rates with induction of ovulation vary considerably and depend on:
In general, successful treatment resulting in pregnancy is more likely to occur in the first 3 to 4 months of treatment. After that, the monthly success rate drops off considerably.
The approximate average monthly pregnancy success rate (female age under 35, normal sperm) for the major types of treatment used for PCOS are:
A brief overview of each PCOS treatment option is below
Femara (generic name is letrozole) is an oral drug which can be effective in stimulating ovulation in some women with polycystic ovaries and anovulation.
Some women that do not respond and ovulate with Clomid will respond well to letrozole. Other women that do ovulate with Clomid may never get pregnant on it, and could do better with letrozole.
Injectable Gonadotropins (FSH Hormones)
For women that do not ovulate with clomiphene, the "traditional" next step has been to use injectable gonadotropins. The woman takes daily shots of FSH hormone for about 7 to 15 days in order to stimulate mature follicle development.
Risks and Side Effects
IVF - In Vitro Fertilization
The large majority of women with PCOS that have not gotten pregnant with other treatments will be able to have success with IVF if they are under 40 years of age and have their IVF performed at a high quality clinic.
IVF clinics are not all the same - learn more about IVF pregnancy success rates
We specialize in treating women with PCOS and have many IVF PCOS success stories
Oral medications such as metformin (brand name Glucophage) can be used to try to stimulate ovulation with PCOS. It can be used with or without Clomid.