Getting Pregnant with PCOS: 6 Lessons
on Jun 14, 2012
by Tiffany Merritt
Dear Tiffany: My doctor just told me I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Will I be able to get pregnant without medical intervention?
Do you have PCOS and want to get pregnant? There is a condition that is not all that rare, but does cause some women to have some trouble conceiving. It’s called polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS and I want to tell you what it is, what the symptoms are, and what the treatment options are. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
So PCOS as I said is not that rare. It affects between five and ten percent of women. What it basically is, is when your body produces too much of the hormone androgen which causes cycle irregularity. Now, women produce both male and female hormones, but women with PCOS produce too much of the male hormone, again that’s called androgen, and it messes up your cycle and as we’ve talked about before, an irregular cycle leads to more trouble conceiving because you don’t know when you’re ovulating. In some cases women will report that their periods will stop altogether for months at a time when they’re not pregnant. That’s just sort of what PCOS does.
It also tends to produce very small cysts on your ovaries. Now, the cause of PCOS is unknown and unfortunately there’s not a cure for it but there are some treatment options. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms alone, there’s not like a nice neat little blood test you can take. So these are the symptoms that your doctors will be watching for and that you need to be watching for if you think maybe PCOS is part of the problem.
Symptoms. First is the obvious-you’re infrequent, irregular or even absent periods. That’s a big symptom of PCOS. Also increased hair growth, particularly in places like your face, your neck, your stomach, your hands and your feet. Acne, oily skin, dandruff, these are also signs of PCOS. Pelvic pain, weight gain, usually around the waist, the onset of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, thinning hair, and sleep apnea. So, if a couple of those sound pretty familiar to you, you may want to take note to bringing it up to your doctor.
So, for the treatment. Well, first and foremost, if you’re not trying to get pregnant, there’s a great treatment! It’s called birth control pills. These tend to do a great job of regulating your cycle, and also helping with things like acne. If you are trying to get pregnant, obviously birth control pills are not the thing to do. Things like Clomid and injectable hormones, those can also help regulate your cycle. And a regular cycle is one of the major keys to getting pregnant. So there is an option for you. Naturally, you know doing this on your own. One natural way to help regulate your cycle is to make sure that you’re maintaining the healthy weight through proper diet and exercise.
It’s important to just be aware that women with PCOS tend to have higher risk of pregnancy complications. They’re at a higher risk for miscarriage, they’re at a higher risk for pregnancy induced hypertension, and premature delivery.
Now, with all that said, you know, I feel like I’ve sort of been a doom and gloom about PCOS. With all that said, if you have or suspect that you have PCOS, please don’t freak out. I personally have 2 sisters-in-law who both have PCOS. Both of them got pregnant without any medical intervention, both of them had healthy pregnancies, and healthy deliveries. So it’s not a foregone conclusion that because you have PCOS, you can’t get pregnant, you’re going to have the world’s worst time getting pregnant, or you’re going to have a horrible pregnancy. I just want to put that out there for those of you who are feeling pretty nervous about the situation. But it’s good to know what your options are. So, thanks so much everybody! Good luck!
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Tiffany is a mompreneur & editor whose parenting tips and product recommendations can be found at her popular blog, Stuff Parents Need, where she's busy making life a little less hectic for new parents.