Getting Pregnant With PCOS
If you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), you may be wondering what that means for you when it's time to try to get pregnant.
Unfortunately, PCOS is one of the most common problems that women who are trying to conceive encounter. But what does PCOS mean for women who are hoping to get pregnant? Is it possible to become pregnant with PCOS?
Here's what you need to know getting pregnant with PCOS, with information from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The symptoms of PCOS: If you have been trying to get pregnant and have been unsuccessful and have any of the following symptoms, you may want to ask your doctor if you could have PCOS. There is no one test that can determine if you have PCOS, but instead, your doctor will look at all your symptoms together. Some of the symptoms include:
- Irregular periods
- Heavy periods
- Excessive hair growth
- Weight gain
- Severe acne/oily skin
What it means for you: Although PCOS will vary for every woman, most commonly PCOS will cause cysts on the ovaries and interfere with your ovulation. In many cases, your body will be trying hard to ovulate, but ovulation will not happen. This causes a build-up of hormones in your body, as well as potential painful cysts.
What treatment is available: Most women who have PCOS will try to manage their symptoms in different ways, especially if they are trying to get pregnant. Some women have found that lifestyle changes, such as exercising more or trying different types of food choices (some say eating a higher protein, lower grain diet may help), while others incorporate medication that can help as well. Many women who aren't trying to get pregnant use hormonal birth control to try to help alleviate the symptoms of PCOS. (But the birth control does not fix the PCOS, it simply helps reduce the levels of male hormones that are produced in the body.)
What you can do to get pregnant: One of the easiest and most effective treatments for women with PCOS who are trying to get pregnant is to ask their doctor to test for insulin resistance. Many women who have insulin resistance respond well to taking an oral blood sugar medication called metformin, the same type of medication that diabetics take. This medication helps their body process sugar better and in turn, helps improve the likelihood of ovulating.
Do you have PCOS? What treatment methods have helped you?