Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a gynecological disorder that affects an estimated 5 million women in the United States. Some of the symptoms of PCOS are ovarian cysts and highly irregular periods, which lead to infertility in a lot of the women who deal with this disorder.
Women who take advantage of advanced fertility treatments, like IVF, often still struggle to conceive — a heartbreaking side effect of PCOS.
But a study published yesterday in The New England Journal of Medicine has revealed some potentially exciting information for women with PCOS who dream of having children biologically.
Researchers looked at 1,500 women who suffer from infertility and PCOS, and found that those who received IVF treatment were more likely to conceive if frozen embryos were implanted, instead of fresh embryos. 49 percent of women who used frozen embryos were able to conceive on the first try, compared to 42 percent of women who used fresh embryos. Findings also showed that those who used frozen embryos had less miscarriages.
Despite these optimistic findings, the researchers still warn us about specific complications related to frozen embryos.
Preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication that leads to high blood pressure, was more common in women who used frozen embryos. And tragically, five newborns from the frozen embryo group died, while all newborns from the fresh embryo group survived.
Dr. Christos Coutifaris of University of Pennsylvania wrote an editorial in the research, and mentioned that this research alone may not be “significant enough” to encourage women to only use frozen embryos. Dr. Coutifaris mentioned that a 42 percent pregnancy rate is still great news, and that “In selected cases, especially for women who [have Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome as a result of PCOS], the approach to freeze all the embryos is prudent.”