getting pregnant with PCOS

Getting pregnant with PCOS: Is it possible, or should I start coming to terms with the fact that I won’t be able to be a mother?

 

That may be a question that all women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome ask themselves at some point in their life. Well, if you are one of the many women who have to deal with PCOS, pay attention to the following frequently asked questions.

First of all: What exactly is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that makes women who suffer it to produce too much androgens, which are commonly considered as “male hormones”. And why do women have them too? Well, they are necessary so we can produce oestrogen as well. In this other article by CaptainMums, you can get some more general information on what is polycystic ovary symptom and what it means to us women.

What happens with PCOS and fertility?

Suffering from PCOS has a number of consequences, like excessive hair growth and resistance to insulin, but let’s cut to the one that interests us now: Yes, suffering from PCOS affects a woman’s fertility. The excess of androgens causes irregularities in ovulation or even the absence of it, which translates in suffering from irregular periods and, ultimately, problems to get pregnant.  Besides this, due to the previous lack of ovulation and irregular periods, the endometrium of a woman who suffers from PCOS may be little prepared to accept a pregnancy, which can be an extra problem in order to get pregnant. 

Is getting pregnant with PCOS possible?

We have good news for you here: Yes! It will be another bump in the road, but getting pregnant with PCOS is indeed possible.

 

What are my chances of getting pregnant with PCOS?

Getting pregnant with PCOS is possible, but the infertility rate among those who suffer it is pretty high, depending on the severity of the disease itself. Some women with PCOS ovulate, even if occasionally and in an irregular way, whereas others never do. However, the great majority of those women will be able to ovulate and thus to get pregnant if they undergo a fertility treatment.

What are the treatments for getting pregnant with PCOS?

Usually, the fertility treatment that makes getting pregnant with PCOS possible is the induction of ovulation. To do so, the doctor will prescribe an ovulation drug therapy, which can be done with five different types of medication:

  • Clomiphene citrate
  • Letrozole or femara
  • Bromocriptine
  • Injectable gonadotropin or FSH
  • GnRH pump

The fertility doctor will explain the difference among these medications and recommend the one that adapts best with to your particular case. During the last few years, some doctors have also used a metformin treatment.

Is it possible to do it naturally, without medication?

There are some things that you can do, but none of them have success rates as high as a fertility treatment. You can:

  • Be healthy: Being overweight and sedentary are enemies of fertility. Suffering from PCOS already causes having excess weight, so start practicing a sport you like and follow a healthy diet.

  • Follow a low-glycaemic diet: To do so, you will have to limit the amount of carbs you eat, and eat lots of fibre, protein and healthy fats. If you manage to reduce your insulin resistance, you may manage to limit also the number of androgens you produce, and this increases your chances of getting pregnant with PCOS.

  • Natural vitamins and herbs: Talk to your doctor about this option, and he or she may prescribe some natural multivitamins that will help you restore your balance.

What if I can’t get pregnant after the treatment? 

The success rates after treatment are pretty high, but it is possible that it doesn’t happen. If that’s your case, you have other options, such as ivf treatment, which also has high success rates for getting pregnant with PCOS. Finally, you have adoption: you won’t grow your baby in your womb, but you will be giving a home to a child in need, which will be equally rewarding.  

As you can see, getting pregnant with PCOS is possible, even if harder than for those who don’t suffer any problem regarding fertility.