This is Infertility is a bi-weekly podcast where we fuse narrative storytelling with experience and science to give you a new perspective on what it’s really like to go through a family building journey. Each episode dives into the emotional, physical, and financial burdens carried by those who experience infertility on their path to parenthood. Be it IVF, IUI, egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption, etc., the path is never the same and it can be long, painful, and lonely. It’s our mission to give those struggling a platform to be heard, a community connection, and an opportunity to raise awareness of the 1 in 8 who, for many reasons, struggle with infertility.

Episode 114: Fertility 101: PCOS

September is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) awareness month, and we are here to do exactly that: spread awareness about PCOS and break down some common misconceptions about it.  

PCOS can be a confusing health condition that is difficult to diagnose and complicated to manage. However, with the help of Dr. Todd Deutch, we are here to deliver as much as we can to help educate about the challenges of PCOS, such as infertility, treatment options, causes, and the general taboo surrounding it.  

Guest: Dr. Todd Deutch, Advanced Reproductive Center 

Host: Dan Bulger 

For more information, visit Progyny’s Podcast pageand Progyny’s Education page for more resources.  

For more episodes around PCOS, check out series: 

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Have a question, comment, or want to share your story? Email us at thisisinfertility@progyny.com. 

Here are some highlights from this episode: 

The two biggest misconceptions with PCOS
15:40 – 16:46 

Dr. Todd Deutch: One is that everyone who has irregular cycles has PCOS. Obviously, that’s not true. It’s the most common cause of irregular menstrual cycles but it doesn’t mean that it’s the cause because anybody can have irregular menstrual cycles. So, anyone who has irregular menstrual cycles, really needs a workup to understand why their cycles are irregular, and make sure that we’re treating the right underlying etiology. The other thing that I would say is that with PCOS, it comes in many different forms. There’s not one specific package that people fall into, from a phenotypic situation. There are women from all different body types that can fall into the PCOS category. So just because someone has a normal BMI or an elevated BMI, that doesn’t mean that they do or do not have PCOS; we have to look at these other factors. 

Normalizing the diagnosis
16:56 – 17:49 

Dr. Todd Deutch: People with PCOS are not alone. I think with any medical condition, it’s tempting to feel like you’re the only one experiencing those symptoms and sometimes people can get ashamed or upset by the fact that they’re dealing with these issues. But obviously, we all have different medical conditions, no one’s perfect. I think it’s important to keep in mind that not only does everyone have things that they’re dealing with, but that this is a fairly common disorder. So, there are really good ways to get help that are out there, whether it’s someone who’s trying to get pregnant or whether it’s someone who’s not getting pregnant. We also need to be aware of the psychological aspects, such as depression and anxiety that come along with this and that we have resources to treat that as well. 

Host

Dan Bulger, Producer at Progyny

Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the last six years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he as interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children. 

Guests

Dr. Todd Deutch, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Advanced Reproductive Center 

Dr. Todd Deutch is board-certified in Reproductive Endocrinology, Infertility, Obstetrics, and Gynecology. He completed his residency training at the University of Chicago, where he was recognized for his excellence in laparoscopic surgery. Following residency, Dr. Deutch completed fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the Jones Institute of Reproductive Medicine. There, Dr. Deutch worked with pioneers in the field like Dr. Howard Jones, the physician responsible for the birth of the first IVF baby in the United States. During his fellowship, Dr. Deutch also received the highly competitive National Institute of Health medical school repayment grant.

Dr. Deutch is well published and has presented at both national and international forums. He is frequently asked to speak at major national medical conferences and national courses aimed at educating other fertility specialists.

Dr. Deutch’s research has attracted international attention, and he has been quoted in newspapers from as far away as England and Australia. He is an ambassador for the NIH loan repayment program and sits on the Medical Advisory Council of The Jones Foundation and acts as a Grant Reviewer. The Jones Foundation awards some of the largest private grants in the field of reproductive medicine.

Dr. Deutch and his wife are proud parents to three children: a set of boy/girl twins and a baby girl. He truly enjoys working with patients to help them achieve their dream of becoming parents.