Getting Pregnant with PCOS
Women with PCOS will, undoubtedly, want to know if they can become pregnant with this condition. Since the condition is not one that can be cured, but only one that can be managed, it’s very important to understand the ramifications for pregnancy.
Statistics on PCOS and Pregnancy
Women with PCOS are able to get pregnant, but it is often harder to do so and there are more complications than there are for women without PCOS. Some researchers say that the rate of miscarriage for those with PCOS is as high as 45%, although others dispute these figures. Researchers aren’t sure why women with PCOS have these pregnancy issues, but they have many theories. Fertility problems may be related to the elevated hormone levels, insulin levels or glucose levels of women with PCOS. These issues can all interfere with implantation and development of the embryo. Abnormal insulin levels may also be a contributing factor and may create poor egg quality.
Medical Intervention to Help Fertility
Some doctors will use medicine to help a woman with PCOS to stabilize her hormone levels. Sometimes this can help promote ovulation and fertility. Some doctors may prescribe ovulation medications, but not all medications that might be prescribed are safe to use during a pregnancy, so it’s important to discuss these issues with your physician. Taking medications that are designed to treat insulin resistance is also very helpful for PCOS.
Lifestyle Changes to Help Fertility
Many women with PCOS will notice an increase in fertility if they change their diet and their exercise. Even a 5% loss of body weight can make a big difference in a woman’s fertility and decrease her risk for gestational diabetes when she does become pregnant. A diet that is low in fat and carbohydrates can regulate insulin levels and help a woman with PCOS with her fertility.
Other Techniques to Help with Fertility
When you’re trying to conceive and have PCOS, you need to time your conception well. You should be taking your basal body temperature and charting your cycle. This will help you to time your optimum time for conception. Your fertility doctor can help you to understand this method and to indicate when the most important time to try to conceive is in your cycle. It’s possible, once your doctor has indicated that you’ve ovulated correctly, to order intrauterine inseminations (IUI’s). These will make it easier for your partner’s sperm to get to your egg and to increase the chance that conception will occur.
Having PCOS does not mean that you’ll never have children. It might mean that you have to do more work, and have more intervention than another woman might. However, there are many ways to help you to conceive, including medical intervention, dietary changes and other techniques. Find out more about using these methods and speak with your doctor about ways to help you to increase your chances of conception.