Clinical Associate Prof. Einat Shalom-Paz
The IVF Unit of Hillel Yaffe Medical Center's Obstetrics and Gyncecology Department opened a clinic dedicated to providing a multidisciplinary response to women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This is a unique service, offered at very few other places in Israel. Its purpose is to provide a comprehensive and multidisciplinary response that will benefit the women's health.
What is polycystic ovary syndrome?
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder characterized by irregular or no menstrual periods, excess hair, acne and sometimes balding. Furthermore, these women experience fertility issues and are at risk of developing endometrial cancer and various metabolic problems such as obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression, body image disorders and eating disorders.
It is worth noting the PCOS is one of the most common disorders in women of childbearing age (approximately 10%), and they generally seek medical attention because of irregular or infrequent menstrual periods, and sometimes excess hair and acne.
Why open a separate clinic?
Despite the prevalence of the disorder, there are currently no specialized community clinics for this issue. As a result, the woman will general receive treatment for the specific problem that made her go to the doctor (such as birth control pills to regulate her menstrual cycle), but without a comprehensive and far-reaching response that covers all implications of the disorder, including a review of the risks due to the disorder itself, guidelines for treatment or long-term follow up.
"At the IVF Unit, we see women with PCOS all the time, because one of the main issues they face is infertility," said Clinical Associate Prof. Einat Shalom-Paz, Director of the unit at Hillel Yaffe. "We also know that there are always additional problems aside from infertility, and if early and comprehensive treatment were available, perhaps the women wouldn't need fertility treatment or if they do, they would be in better condition. This led to the idea to open a clinic that would provide preliminary treatment for women with symptoms of the disorder. In other words, the goal of the clinic is to provide optimal and multidisciplinary treatment for all of the problems associated with the disorder, under a single roof, for the benefit of the woman's health. As noted above, this is one of the few clinics of its kind in Israel.
How? When? Who to contact?
"Our target audience is women who have been diagnosed with PCOS or women and adolescent girls with irregular menstrual periods and/or hyperandrogenism (excessive production of male hormones) such as excessive hair and acne," said Dr. Guy Schrem, a senior physician in the IVF Unit and the director of the clinic. "In other words, women who are not coming to the unit for fertility treatments."
The clinic operates under the IVF Unit and as one of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department's outpatient clinics. The clinic is staffed by a multidisciplinary medical and nursing team, and provides consultation on nutrition and other clinical issues, as needed, such as endocrinology, cardiology and others, and if necessary, psychological treatment.
To make an appointment, women need a referral from their attending gynecologist in the community and a financial commitment form from their HMO. To schedule an appointment and receive additional information, call 04-6304750.