Trying to get pregnant with PCOS can be quite a challenging experience for wannabe moms. This article aims to shed light on this condition and confirm that pregnancy is actually possible.
By way of introduction, here is a great video from the Center for Human Reproduction.
PCOS – What is it ?
Briefly, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a mess of hormonal imbalances. These imbalances can create numerous diverse symptoms, usually the ovarian cysts hence its name. PCOS occurs in about 5 to 10 % of wannabe moms, and though treating it is tricky, it is ultimately a manageable situation.
Can it stop me getting pregnant ?
Unfortunately, PCOS is the paramount reason behind infertility amongst wannabe mothers. The hormonal imbalances that result in the condition also lead to an inability to ovulate, unpredictable periods, and other issues that decrease fertility.
As an example, one of the most common symptoms is a resistance to insulin. Insulin helps regularise levels of sugar in your system. With increased insulin resistance, the hormone is less effective, so when sugar levels increase, our bodies produce more insulin to make up for this inefficiency.
Whenever our bodies produce additional insulin, it also produces more androgens, which in turn immobilize ovulation. PCOS can also lead to increases in weight, among other symptoms which, ultimately, reduces fertility greatly.
Unfortunately, there are also risks associated with PCOS, including :
- Premature birth
- Gestational Diabeties (associated condition)
- Other pregnancy problems
Thankfully, despite your fertility taking a huge hit from PCOS, it is still possible to get pregnant in spite of the condition. With lifestyle changes, fertility drugs, and even more advanced medical procedures, your fertility can be improved enough to allow wannabe mothers to conceive.
So what should I be doing ?
If you’ve got PCOS and are trying to get pregnant, the 1st and most important thing you should do is adjust your life-style around it. A number of PCOS symptoms can be managed by a few amendments in what you eat and the way you treat yourself.
E.g., in order to overcome insulin resistance, wannabe moms can try going on a reduced glucose index or reduced-carbohydrate diet. By moderating the amount of sugar that goes into your system, you also moderate the amount of insulin your body makes, which might just be enough to allow for conception.
Regular exercise is crucial if you want to get pregnant. Another common symptom of PCOS is weight gain, and this can result to unpredictable periods. By undertaking some light work-outs on a regular basis, you can shed the surplus kilos whilst keeping your stress levels in-check. This will encourage regular periods & make ovulation cycles more regular.
Since taking care of your body is a major factor of getting beyond PCOS, it only follows suit that you stop smoking and drinking alcohol. These two things add to the effects of PCOS in multiple ways, so it is best to cut them out of your system totally. You can also have natural supplements that detoxify your system and increase the number of vitamins and minerals you may be lacking.
Of course, the very first thing you’ll want to do is speak to your doctor or fertility expert concerning these changes. Trained professionals will be your best source of help in this department, and they will be able to ascertain which treatment will be the best for you to take. As always, try to get a second opinion elsewhere.
Are there any specialist drugs that could help ?
If simple life-style changes are not enough, then there are several medications on the market that can assist in increasing your chances of conceiving.
For example, metformin can assist in shrinking the effects of insulin resistance, resulting in increased probability of ovulating. You can also get drugs that make up for hormonal deficiencies in you similar to Follicle Stimulating Hormone & Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, both of which play vital roles in your cycles.
That doctor visit will be all the more essential here, as he or she will be aware of which prescriptions are ideally suited towards your case. You will also want to ask your doctor about the probable complications which might come with the drugs.
What about PCOS Treatments ?
If the previously mentioned drugs do not work there are PCOS treatments. You can try Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling. This surgical procedure removes sections of your ovary in an attempt to promote regular periods. Given the drastic nature of this procedure, however, it should really only be used as a last resort.
The case may be that you can ovulate okay, but extra complications from PCOS might be preventing the fertilization of the egg. For this form of concern, there are 2 common treatments: in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI).
IVF is the removal of a good egg from your system, to be fertilized outside of your body. IUI, on the other hand, involves the direct injection of semen into your uterus to help fertilization. Both procedures have varying degrees of success, but can achieve good results. I will be producing further details on each of these treatments shortly and will provide links when they are ready for publication.
So, whilst getting pregnant with PCOS might need a few life-style changes, or some medical assistance, it is certainly not impossible. The Pregnancy Success Program (click on link to read lots of success stories). This is an excellent resource to guide you through any life-style changes that may be required (see my review link below).
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Author : Maria Anderson is a researcher of women’s health issues. This article has been produced for informational purposes only and should not be seen as a substitute for professional medical advice.
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Ultrasound And Belly Image by Petr Kratochvil