Getting Pregnant with PCOS
On receiving a diagnosis of PCOS, lots of women worry they won't be able to conceive and bear a child--at least not without lots of medical intervention. The fact is that there doesn't seem to be any existing statistics on how many women with this condition go on to bear children without fertility treatments. Some experts suggest that as many as 80-90% of all women with PCOS have babies and it does seem that most women with this condition do go on to carry successful pregnancies.
Let's look at the facts. 5-10% of all women of childbearing age have PCOS. Now, as in all medical conditions, there are those who have milder symptoms. Some women with PCOS may be going undiagnosed. The main symptom of PCOS is the inability to ovulate with regularity, but that doesn't mean there is no ovulation at all. Some women simply have very long cycles. A woman with a cycle of 35 days could very well have PCOS, but if that same woman has borne a child, her doctor may decide she doesn't have the condition. That may mean that some women with PCOS get left without treatment, and that the statistics on how many women have the condition may not reflect the reality of the situation.
Women with PCOS may find they have frequent miscarriages because of poor egg health. This may be due to the fact that menstrual periods are occurring too far apart. Or, women may have thyroid symptoms. Many women recognize such symptoms without realizing they have a syndrome, and often, treating these symptoms is enough to bring on a healthy pregnancy. Some women find that losing weight and reducing stress levels do the trick, while others learn to chart their cervical mucus or basal body temperature. Lots of these women go on to conceive without any special fertility treatments.
Even when a woman is diagnosed, sometimes a drug such as metformin that helps control insulin sensitivity is enough to correct a woman's metabolism so that she can manage to get pregnant and have a baby. In other words, lots of times, women find out they have PCOS only when they begin to explore why they're not conceiving. It could be that many women fall under the barometer for the condition since they manage to bear children without having been diagnosed.
For those who are diagnosed with the disease due to their lack of success in getting pregnant, the prognosis is still pretty good. Only a small number of women with the disease make it to the point where they will be treated with infertility drugs. Even if you should need treatment, Clomid works to get women with PCOS pregnant 70% of the time.
The bottom line is that women with PCOS may struggle with conception, but in the end, most do have children.