OBJECTIVE: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a relatively common condition associated with infertility, but most women can be treated successfully to achieve pregnancy. This analysis examined the prevalence of PCOS in women seeking to conceive naturally.
DESIGN: Women were invited to complete a screening survey in order to enrol in a large, UK based, seeking to conceive study (NCT03424590). Social media platforms and websites popular with women seeking to conceive were used to recruit women aged 18-40 who were trying to conceive naturally. The adverts allowed women to click through to the screening survey, which collected basic demographics and also asked whether the applicant had been diagnosed with PCOS.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Of 11788 surveys completed between January 2 2018 and May 2 2018, 11487 indicated whether they had PCOS or not.
RESULTS: Overall prevalence of PCOS in a population of women seeking to conceive naturally was 16.4%. There was a slight decline in self-reported PCOS with age; 19.1% for age 18-24, 16.6% for age 25-34, 12.3% for age 35-40, 6.9% for age 41+. There was a striking increase in prevalence with length of time trying to conceive (table).
CONCLUSIONS: Although it is unsurprising that women with PCOS would take longer to conceive, it was saddening to see that many women with PCOS were still trying to conceive naturally after 1, or even 3 years without success. It indicates that these women need more support to understand and manage their condition.
|Length of time trying to conceive||n||% reporting PCOS|