What is Bilateral Polycystic Ovaries?

Many women who are not able to conceive are told that they have Bilateral Polycystic Ovaries. While Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) are very familiar terms, when they hear of Bilateral Polycystic Ovaries many patients are confounded. They have no clue as to what this is and if it is even curable.

A 28 year old woman with irregular periods was unable to conceive. Her gynaecologist told her that she had Bilateral Polycystic Ovaries. Upon asking for clarification, the doctor told her it was a condition that affected her ovaries and would prevent her from being able to conceive naturally. The doctor also suggested that if she wanted to conceive she would have to have an IVF baby.

As with any educated curious person she wanted to know more about her condition. What are bilateral polycystic ovaries? What causes this condition and is there any cure? Surprisingly there is very little information available on bilateral polycystic ovaries even on the internet.

PCOS and PCOD are just two slightly different names for the same condition. They refer to the development of cysts in the ovaries which in turn affects ovulation. Every cycle a few follicles begin to mature. Some of these follicles begin to disintegrate before maturity. Only one follicle matures and is released into the fallopian tube. This is called ovulation. When a woman has cysts in her ovaries it does not allow the follicles to mature. It hampers the way the hormones stimulate the follicles. The cyst formation usually leads to an enlarged ovary.

An ovarian check-up using ultrasound reveals the number of cysts in the ovaries.  Some patients are diagnosed with polycystic ovaries. After the test results the doctor tells them that they have bilateral polycystic ovaries. This can be quite frightening especially when one is not sure what it means. A woman with bilateral polycystic ovaries need not be scared; it is not a fatal disease. However, one should be clear that it is not usually curable either. It can be controlled through medication.

PCOD means that the ovaries are not functioning correctly as they should. For most women the PCOD meaning is no very clear. It affects hormones, menstrual cycle and eve fertility.

Polycystic ovaries are a condition where a woman has cysts in her ovaries which prevent the normal functioning of the ovaries and regular ovulation. Some women have cysts in only one ovary and in some cases both the ovaries are affected. However there is no need to fear, the term bilateral means ‘both’ and the term bilateral polycystic ovarian disease has been broken down for simpler understanding:

Bilateral – both ovaries

Polycyst – many cysts

Ovarian – related to the ovaries

Disease – a condition that should not be happening

Women who have cysts in their ovaries are usually not able to conceive naturally and need to use Assisted Reproductive Technology to have a baby. A woman who has bilateral PCOD is generally diagnosed as infertile since she does not ovulate. The bilateral polycystic ovaries treatment for conception is through supplementing the hormones that the body is not producing,

IVF is the most common solution advised by doctors for pregnancy with bilateral polycystic ovaries. The induced stimulation using hormone injections causes the eggs to mature. These mature eggs are fertilised in the lab and then transferred to the uterus for a normal pregnancy. Women who have been diagnosed with bilateral polycystic ovaries can have a baby easily through the IVF treatment.

Though bilateral PCOD may sound like something very rare, it is actually very common and today many young women who are diagnosed with PCOD usually have bilateral PCOD.

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