How to Get Pregnant with PCOS

image001 Polycystic ovary is a pathological condition where cyst (solitary or multiple) can develop in either one or both of the ovaries in a female, due to excessive androgen secretion. In this condition, cystic ovaries and hormonal imbalance may disturb the ovulatory cycle of a woman, consequently affecting the fertility. In some cases, a women may even have complete absence of ovulation, thereby preventing her from ever becoming pregnant.

Then how to get pregnant with PCOS? As dreadful as it may sounds, you should know many women with PCOS today are having babies because of advancements in treatment and drug therapy. Many fertility clinics have been setup to assist women in getting pregnant by devising plans as for their condition.

What Is Polycystic Ovary?

PCOS is a condition where hormonal imbalance results in oligo-ovulation, that is, the irregular production of ova or an-ovulation, which is the complete absence of ovulation during menstrual phase. During every menstrual cycle, one of the ovaries will release an egg, also known as an ovum, but if the woman has cystic ovaries, the ovarian follicles may mature too quickly, and due to hormonal incoordination, the ovarian follicles are not released at the appropriate time or are not released at all.

The prevalence of PCOS is greater in Asian women, and approximately one in three women may suffer from PCOS at some point of her life.

How to Get Pregnant with PCOS

Upon visiting your doctor, you will be prescribed clomiphene, a fertility drug that exerts its action by increasing the chances of ovulation, thereby improving the fertility rate. In some cases, clomiphene is coupled with metformin, an anti-diabetic drug that enhances the therapeutic effect. It works by reducing levels of testosterone and insulin that helps in ovulation. It is important that women maintain their weight before seeking treatment. Overweight women are advised to achieve a certain weight range before initiating therapy. This is mainly because being obese or underweight can also disturb the hormonal pool that may manifest as ovulation alterations in the reproductive cycle.

Some doctors may also suggest gonadotropins, if clomiphene does not work, but the issue with gonadotropins is that it is more likely to over-stimulate the ovaries, resulting in over production of eggs that may increase the risk of multiple pregnancies.

There are some cases, where drug therapy is not very effective. For such patients, doctors may advise surgical intervention. One of the procedures used for treating PCOS is LOD (laparoscopic ovarian drilling), this procedure involves removing ovarian tissue that is responsible for overproduction of testosterones, but for many this treatment does not provide a life-long solution, as the tissues can regenerate later.

Here is a video to help you understand more about how to get pregnant with PCOS.

Some Helpful Tips on How to Get Pregnant with PCOS

1. Control Your Weight

Unless the reason is genetic, it is very hard to diagnose PCOS. Most women find out about it when they decide to get pregnant, or if they observe severe symptoms such as appearance of facial hair, substantial weight gain without any changes in diet and disturbance in menstrual cycle. There are a few tips women must follow to help their pregnancy, while they suffer from PCOS. The most important tip is to control your weight, if you are overweight or obese. It is best to lose some weight before getting pregnant. Maintaining weight can help in preventing other disorders that are related to obesity.

2. Schedule Clear for Appointments

Since you will be visiting your doctor very frequently, try and keep your schedule clear for all appointments. Missing any appointment is not encouraged.

3. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Since your doctor will conduct blood tests and physical examinations regularly, it is best to maintain a healthy diet, for it is not just necessary for the pregnancy but also important for your health.

Here is a link to guide you on the food women with PCOs can have during pregnancy.

What Are the Associated Complications with PCOS on Pregnancy?

PCOs can have serious effect on pregnancy, especially if left untreated. Here is a list of some complications related to polycystic ovaries.

Complications

Descriptions

Preeclampsia

It is a condition where sudden increase in blood pressure results in damage to maternal brain, kidney and other vital organs. Hypertension directly affect the blood vessels and fetal circulation. If left untreated, the chances of complications increase in both mother and the baby. Often premature birth is the only option to save the mother’s life in severe cases. There is always a risk of worsening of preeclampsia to eclampsia, a condition characterized by organ failure, convulsion and death.

Hypertension during pregnancy

It is more likely that women with PCOs will develop hypertension during the second half of their pregnancy. This is because as the pregnancy proceeds, so does the hormonal flush in body, and with imbalance already present due to PCOs, results could be devastating.

Miscarriages

Women with PCOs are three times more likely to have a miscarriage than a normal pregnant woman. Some research studies indicate that metformin combined with clomiphene can help reduce chances of miscarriage, but this fact has not been proven as yet.

Gestational diabetes

This is a temporary form of diabetic, where pregnant women develop insulin resistance during the course of pregnancy. The risk of abortion or preeclampsia is highly associated with poorly managed gestational diabetes. C-section may have to be carried out if such a situation arises in order to save the baby from any potential damage.

Premature birth

Childbirth before the 37th week of pregnancy is considered premature. Women with PCOS are more likely to have premature birth because of hormonal imbalance. This imbalance sends the wrong signals to the body resulting in preterm childbirth. Since the baby is immature, he is more likely to develop infections and diseases than babies born with normal birth weight.

Caesarian birth

Mothers with PCOs are at much higher risk of giving birth by C-section, because they are exposed to all sorts of threats that can affect the baby such as diabetic, hypertension and organ damage.

Important Notes:

It is important to keep up with periodic antenatal visits to your doctor and to follow instructions given over the course of pregnancy to avoid any harm to self and the baby.