I Have PCOS, What Do I Need To Know Before Trying To Conceive?

I Have PCOS, What Do I Need To Know Before Trying To Conceive?

Contents

1. A Brief Background On PCOS

2. What Role Does PCOS Play In Fertility

3. Boosting Your Chances of Pregnancy with PCOS

    • Achieve a Healthy Lifestyle
    • Return Your Body to Balance
    • Talk With Your Doctor About Medications

If you have polycystic ovarian syndrome, you may have concerns about your ability to conceive a child. You might have heard from your doctor or fellow PCOS sufferers that it can be challenging to become pregnant, sometimes resulting in the need for fertility treatments. The good news is that most women with PCOS can get pregnant, even if it does take them longer to conceive.

If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant and you have PCOS, here’s what you need to know.

A Brief Background On PCOS

PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is one of the most common causes of infertility. It affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age, though some believe it may be closer to 1 in 5. It is a hormonal disorder characterized by enlarged ovaries often containing small cysts. Symptoms include menstrual irregularity, pelvic pain, acne, weight fluctuations, and, unfortunately, infertility.

What Role Does PCOS Play In Fertility?

Because PCOS is directly related to your reproductive hormones being unbalanced, it can play a big part in how quickly and easily you can conceive.

For many PCOS sufferers, their levels of luteinizing hormone are elevated. Luteinizing hormone is responsible for ovulation and producing androgens or male hormones like testosterone. Additionally, women with PCOS commonly have low levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), the hormone responsible for egg growth within your ovaries. 

Irregular periods due to infrequent ovulation coupled with poor egg development can make it difficult for a woman with PCOS to become pregnant. You may not ovulate every month, and you might have trouble predicting your cycle, making planning for conception stressful. 

However, in most cases, women with PCOS can get pregnant with a few adjustments to their routine. Often this consists of lifestyle changes and occasionally fertility drugs. You’ll be relieved to know that not all PCOS sufferers require IVF to become pregnant. Usually, they are successful with more low-tech fertility treatments.

Boosting Your Chances of Pregnancy with PCOS

It’s normal for women with PCOS to worry about whether they will be able to get pregnant. As soon as you plan for a baby, you should voice your concerns to your doctor. They’ll provide you with information and discuss your options with you. Some suggestions they may have include:

Achieve a Healthy Lifestyle

For all women, not just those with PCOS, it’s essential to adopt a healthy lifestyle prior to conception. Paying attention to your health will make sure your body is in the best shape to carry a pregnancy while boosting your nutrient stores for both pregnancy and postpartum.  

Healthy lifestyle adjustments include:

  • Eating a well-rounded diet
  • Including physical activity in your routine
  • Getting proper sleep
  • Working your way to a healthy weight range
  • Be mindful of your emotional and mental wellbeing
Of course, quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, and reducing your caffeine intake are all recommended. Ayurveda also recommends reducing refined sugars and processed foods. Ayurvedic dietary additions to support fertility include nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables (especially greens), and protein. A focus on warm, heavy, sticky, and oily foods (like ghee) is thought to prepare the womb for conception.

PCOS Healthy lifestyle

Return Your Body to Balance

Hormone balance is essential for pregnancy. Some women may be able to regulate their hormones with less invasive medications and treatments. Natural methods include making lifestyle changes and adding natural supplements to your routine.  

Lowering insulin might help with hormone levels, mainly because those with PCOS often have insulin resistance, directly affecting ovulation. One study reported that caloric intake timing could help to lower insulin levels. A diet that includes most of your calorie intake at breakfast might decrease your testosterone levels and improve insulin levels, said researchers. 

Natural substances can also help balance your body’s hormones. Shatavari is a traditional menstrual regulator and uterine tonic. Chasteberry extract helps to extend a woman’s luteal phase and supports progesterone production. Gokshura is effective in boosting FSH as well as libido. Of course, minerals like Chromium and Magnesium are beneficial too, helping to regulate insulin levels. 

Adding a supplement to your diet can be an effective way to support your fertility.

Natural Fertility Support With Shatavari

A fertility support developed by experts. This supplement contains a blend of Ayurvedic herbs and vitamins including Gokshura, Shatavari, and Chasteberry extract.

Learn more

Talk With Your Doctor About Medications

Some women, but not all, may require fertility treatments. Frequently, your doctor will want to start with medication.

Common fertility medications for PCOS include:

  • Metformin. Assists with insulin resistance, restarting menstrual cycles, weight loss, and supports regular ovulation. 
  • Clomid. Stimulates FSH and luteinizing hormone, assisting with ovulation and egg production. 
  • Letrozole. Also known as Femara, this cancer drug has been found to be almost as effective as Clomid as it lowers estrogen production, stimulating ovulation.
  • Gonadotropins. These drugs are injected and contain FSH, luteinizing hormone, or a combination. Instead of fooling your body to produce more FSH and LH, like oral medications, the injected hormones quickly and effectively trigger egg development and ovulation.
Should the medications be unsuccessful, your doctor may want to discuss IUI (intrauterine insemination), IVF (in vitro fertilization), or IVM (in vitro maturation). There are fertility procedures. However, most women with PCOS can get pregnant without IVF.

PCOS and Pregnancy

Though PCOS can be a common cause of infertility, it is usually treatable. After discussing your concerns with your doctor, you can plan to improve your fertility naturally through lifestyle adjustments, dietary changes, and holistic supplements. If you don’t become pregnant within six to eight months, you may want to reconvene with your doctor to explore other fertility medications and procedures.


Posted by Shruti Mishra

Shruti is the founder of Freshly Moms. She is a profesional plant based chef from Natural Gourmet Institute, NY and a certified IIN health coach. She has been working with Ayurveda, food & nutrition since over 10 years and is also a fresh mom herself.


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