Can You Get Pregnant If You Have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a very common hormonal disorder in women. It is characterized by the formation of cysts in the ovary which blocks the release of an egg, causing irregular or prolonged menstrual periods.
PCOS also contributes to gradual weight gain, development of acne and facial hair growth in women. Incidences of PCOS all over the world are increasing at an alarming rate due to various factors such as a bad lifestyle, improper diet, improper routine and even genetics.
Signs & Symptoms of PCOs
Signs and symptoms of PCOS vary and a diagnosis of PCOS can only be made when a woman experiences at least two of these seven signs regularly -
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Excessive facial hair
- Weight gain
- Increase in body hair growth
- Thinning of head hair
- Gradual balding
Since PCOS is known for causing infrequent, irregular and prolonged menstrual cycles, it means that you can expect to have less than 9 periods a year with more than a gap of 35 days in between your periods.
Along with this, some women might even experience abnormally heavy periods which can be painful as well.
Hirsutism, Acne & Baldness
Elevated levels of male hormones in PCOS like Androgen result in the development of excess facial and body hair. There can be an eruption of severe acne and development of baldness/thinning of hair too, due to hormonal imbalance.
PCOS contributes to faster weight gain.
Signs and symptoms of PCOS get typically more severe if you're obese. Women are usually advised to maintain their weight in the normal BMI range to improve their PCOS symptoms, as gradual weight gain can add on to more complications with this condition
What Are The Probable Causes Of PCOS?
Excess Androgen & Excess Insulin
The cysts which are developed in ovaries produce large amounts of Androgens, which eventually block ovulation, causing the symptoms to reflect in a woman’s body. Along with this, an excess of insulin due to insulin resistance can further increase Androgen production, causing difficulty with ovulation.
Some other factors that might play a role in PCOs include:
- Low-grade inflammation,
- Genetics and,
Complications Related to PCOs
If PCOS isn’t diagnosed or treated properly, it can cause the following complications -
- Premature birth
- Severe liver inflammation
- Fat accumulation in the liver
- Eating disorders
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Endometrial cancer
Diagnosis of PCOs
If you think you might have PCOS, then make it a point to see your doctor. Your doctor will help you identify whether you have PCOS or not. With early diagnosis, the symptoms of PCOS can be treated soon, reducing the risk of complications.
Your doctor might ask you a couple of questions which can be related to -
- Your lifestyle.
- About symptoms, you've been experiencing.
Your doctor might also -
- Examine you.
- Schedule a blood test to check your hormone levels.
- Suggest ultrasound scans to look for cysts in the ovaries.
What Should You Do when you have PCOs?
Don't be hesitant to ask questions or discuss any minute details you have in your mind regarding your condition. Be open to your doctor and ask questions. Take someone along with you to the doctor to understand and memorize better, about what your doctor is telling you. Don't miss any routine check-ups and follow-ups.
PCOS & Syndrome X
Women suffering from PCOS are at a high risk of developing Syndrome X. Syndrome X, also called as Metabolic Syndrome, is a cluster of conditions which include -
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- Abnormal cholesterol
Metabolic syndrome significantly increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
PCOS & Pregnancy
Women with PCOS are often unsure if they can get pregnant or not. It's true that living with PCOS and getting pregnant can be very challenging. However, chances of conceiving can be improved by some natural as well as artificial methods.
Improving PCOS Naturally
You already know how PCOS blocks ovulation, so here are some steps that you can take to balance your hormones and bring about ovulation -
- Maintain normal BMI.
- Try not to gain weight.
- Avoid processed foods.
- Avoid refined sugar.
- Eat a healthy, organic diet.
- Consume green vegetables and fresh fruits.
- Eat a high fiber diet.
- Drink ample amount of water.
A significant improvement in PCOS symptoms has been reported by many women after they changed their eating habits and lifestyle. Remember that obesity can worsen the symptoms of PCOS so weight loss is essential in case if someone is overweight.
Improve Your Dietary Intake
In order to regulate your hormones and improve the symptoms of PCOS, make the following diet changes -
- High fiber foods
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Ample amount of water
- Processed food
- Refined sugar
- Artificial sweeteners
- Soda based drinks
- Artificially sweetened fruit juices.
Improving your diet can help balance your hormone levels. Eating a healthy diet will also improve your chances of losing weight. Keep in mind that weight loss can help regulate the menstrual cycle and improve the frequency of ovulation.
Other Treatments For PCOS
Your doctor might suggest any of these medical procedures if your goal is to get pregnant. Talking to your health care provider regarding all these procedures, discussing them and weighing all your options is very important before you make any decision.
Fertility drugs can help relieve the discomforting symptoms of PCOS. They can also induce ovulation, improving the chances of conceiving. However, these drugs only have a temporary effect. They tend to work only for one cycle.
DO NOT self-medicate or take any drug you read on the internet. Meet a Gynaecologist or your nearest healthcare provider, if you are considering fertility drugs as an option to improve your PCOS symptoms or get pregnant. Taking fertility drugs in wrong dosage amounts can worsen your condition. Take hormonal medications only under your doctor's supervision.
IVF to get pregnant with PCOs
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is another great option for getting pregnant with PCOS. IVF is considered one of the safest treatments. It can be a time-consuming procedure and heavy on the pocket, but many women with PCOS have shown to have great success in conceiving with the help of IVF.
IVF has helped many women with PCOS in getting pregnant and bringing home healthy babies. It has shown to have a better success rate for women who are under 35 years. As the age increases, the effectiveness of IVF gradually drops down.
Pregnancy With PCOS
PCOS affects your pregnancy in many undesirable ways. Women with PCOS are often at a higher risk of developing complications during pregnancy. Having PCOS and getting pregnant increases the risk of miscarriage or premature deliveries. There is also a risk of developing diabetes and hypertension during pregnancy.
However, at the same time, you can get over all these obstacles by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and following what your healthcare provider advises you during your pregnancy. All these measures can assure you a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby as well. So don't lose hope.
Supporting Your Partner With PCOS
If your significant other is struggling from PCOS and you are unsure about how to make things better, this should help you out -
- Listen to your partner.
- Comfort her.
- Accompany your partner in routine checkups.
- Discuss her condition with your doctor.
- Help her change lifestyle.
- Help her shift to a healthier diet.
- Indulge in various activities together.
- Be an emotional support.
However, you should not forget, to take care of your own physical and mental health during this process. Talk to your significant other and be open regarding your feelings.
Don't lose hope. Meet your doctor regularly and continue with the course of treatment.
PCOS isn't the end of your story. It might be a hard road to walk on but with correct changes in lifestyle and diet, PCOS can be very well managed. Remember that it is possible to lead a healthier life and also get pregnant with PCOS.
Meet your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will definitely help you find the most effective treatment options which are suitable for you.
M*****Mam if PCOD is there means we can't able to be pregnant? Or we can
M*****Hi.. i was diagonsed with pcod 7 years n infertility 5 years. I have too much acne, facial hair, irregular periods n also getting weight. 4-5 times IUI had done.. but 😔no result.. what should my next step to conceive
N*****I too was diagnosed with pcod 3 years before at the age of 19 , I have many symptoms like facial and body hairs, and irregular periods , but I have very low level of insulin, I have low blood pressure, no pimples and my weight is just normal even sometimes I face weight loss problem, loss of appetite, loss of interest, hair loss and hair thinning. Doctors are not getting that why am I having some of symptoms exactly opposite.
A*****M diagnosed wid PCO couple f days back bt i dont have any of symptoms described..juz my gyno did USG at 4th day f my periods n found follicules more den two...is it right diagnosis..plz let me knw asap. Thankyou in advance.
N*****I m also suffer... Taking medication of pcod nd for fertility... I have soo mch off mood swings tensions. Frustrated irritated...
R*****I HV pcod....I HV to face many problems
R*****Mujhe pcod hain😥