Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Explained

Expert Q&A: Dr Olarogun

Dr Femi Olarogun

Dr Olarogun is well-known in Cape Town for his years of work and commitment to reproductive medicine in both the private and public health sectors and is currently based at our sister clinic, HART Fertility Clinic.

He retains a keen interest in endoscopic surgery as well as academic medicine. After studying medicine in Nigeria, Dr Olarogun qualified as an obstetrician/gynaecologist at the University of Cape Town in 2000.

He continued his sub-specialisation at the university, working at Groote Schuur Hospital until 2007 when he left to enter full-time private practice.

His work has also taken him further afield, to New Zealand and Namibia. In South Africa, he ran his own private IVF unit at the UCT Private Hospital. He continues to head one of the gynaecologists’ firms at Groote Schuur Hospital, which he has done since 2010.

We sat down with Dr Olarogun to ask him some serious questions about PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and how it affects women in general, but more importantly, how it can eventually affect your fertility:

What is PCOS?

PCOS is a complex endocrine condition that causes menstrual abnormality, infertility, extreme androgens, and sometimes metabolic irregularities. All the indications do not occur in every woman with the condition, making diagnosis and treatment somewhat complicated.

 What are the causes of PCOS?

 It has a genetic background that is unclear and inadequately understood which occurs in up to 7% of women. Weight-gain makes the signs worse.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

Symptoms include excessive hair growth, acne, irregular or skipped periods, unusual bleeding, difficulty conceiving, and can assist in the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

How severe can PCOS be when it comes to fertility?

It is one of the leading causes of infertility, but most women with PCOS will usually conceive with or without intervention. Obesity makes infertility issues worse.

Is PCOS curable?

There is no definite cure, but symptoms are treated and managed with lifestyle changes and medication.

Does PCOS cause pain?

PCOS itself doesn’t cause pain, but some of the symptoms originating from it, like excessive bleeding, can be painful.

If diagnosed with PCOS, how likely am I to fall pregnant?

Intervention may be required, but the chances are good, provided that the fallopian tubes and sperm are in good working order.

 What is the treatment for PCOS?

Treatment depends on the presenting symptoms, but weight-loss and lifestyle changes play a major role and form the basis for most PCOS cases.

Get in touch to find out more about PCOS, and steps to take should you require treatment.