When I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, in early adolescence, no one mentioned fertility concerns. Even if they had, I’d still have been more worried about the many other so-called “women’s issues” that PCOS often messes with: body hair, weight, and mood. As an adult, no doctor ever counseled me to freeze my eggs or prepare for pregnancy complications — even when I asked outright if I should. Yet, if you believe the message boards, PCOS is often touted as a (if not the) leading cause of infertility. Why the disconnect?
The truth is, there are far fewer solid facts out there about PCOS — and specifically, its role in fertility — than there are opinions, beliefs, and outright myths. And because we live in the age of Dr. Google, many of us with this diagnosis (*raises hand*) have encountered these murky not-quite-truths on the internet, leading to a lot of needless panic.
Consider this your antidote to all that. What we do know for sure about PCOS is that it manifests differently in everyone, so beware of anecdotes scoured from the message boards. We turned to four doctors who regularly treat patients with this syndrome, to create a basic, no-BS guide to PCOS and fertility. We don’t have all the answers because no one does. But for the common, most important questions on this issue, we’ll give you the real-deal rundown on everything we do know.