Is pregnancy possible when suffering from PCOS? The answer is …Yes.
However unlikely this may sound, the possibility of a natural pregnancy exists for the women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome provided the condition is discovered early in life and the right treatment is applied.
Since ovulation is absent or very irregular (anovulation) in many women with PCOS, those women are usually unable to get pregnant when suffering from the condition.
However, not all women with PCOS suffer from infertility. Such women can take ovulation stimulation treatment which can include diet and lifestyle modification and weight loss as well as fertile treatment in order to become mothers.
What does PCOS imply?
Polycystic ovaries are the ovaries developing more follicles than normal every month, most of which enlarge and ripen but do not release an egg.
However, not all women with polycystic ovaries have the polycystic ovarian syndrome, which develops when the hormonal balance is severely disrupted and in many cases the process of ovulation either does not occur or happens very irregularly.
In this case, the number of periods also decreases and once the polycystic ovary syndrome starts to manifest, a woman can experience less than 10 periods in a year.
Treating PCOS the right way
In the view of a future pregnancy, the polycystic ovary syndrome can be treated by restoring the hormonal balance of the female body. The treatment consists of a regular hormonal therapy with estrogen and progesterone administered as pills, patches or vaginal rings.
Reducing androgen hormones
PCOS usually comes with excessive hair growth which is a result of the abnormal level of androgen hormones. This can be fixed with the appropriate progestin treatment which causes the shedding of the endometrium restoring an ovulation course close to the natural one.
The use of spironolactone is also common in the treatment of polycystic ovary since this drug is able to reduce male pattern hairloss and the hirsutism specific to this health issue.
Insulin resistance therapy
PCOS is usually associated with insulin resistance and also diabetes and heart disease. This is why it comes as no surprise that metformin – a type 2 diabetes drug – is very successful in treating PCOS.
This drug works on reducing insulin resistance, lowering blood sugar and also contributing to the reduction of androgen hormones.
Ovulation trigger therapy
Normally, women ovulate post menstruation which implies the shedding of the uterine lining. The lack of menstruation in polycystic ovary syndrome can be fixed with the help of clomiphene that in relation with metformin can result in stimulating ovulation and regulating the menstrual cycle.
PCOS and IVF – How effective is it?
In vitro fertilization treatment is known to be both exhausting and expensive and it comes as a last resort for women suffering from severe forms of PCOS.
However hard it may be, you must be aware that the odds of getting pregnant with IVF when suffering from PCOS are increased 4% compared to the chances of a naturally occurred pregnancy when suffering from this health issue.
Also, in the case you opt for an IVF procedure you must be aware that your age is a very important factor. The recent studies have concluded that over the age of 40 the risk of miscarriage post an IVF increases 70% for women suffering from PCOS.
Do lifestyle changes help?
Normally a change in lifestyle is decisive on the evolution of any health problem. In the case of PCOS, the women undergoing fertility treatment are encouraged to change their lifestyle too.
These changes refer to diet modifications and exercising meant to help with weight loss but also with psychological therapy for emotional support.
You are pregnant with PCOS. Now what?
Pregnancy issues may appear even if the mother is perfectly healthy. Even more so, in the case of a PCOS pregnancy, these issues have increased chances to appear.
The mother to be must be very careful during the pregnancy because the odds of developing gestational diabetes and pregnancy induced high blood pressure are very high.
Other problems that might become a danger to your difficultly earned pregnancy are preeclampsia and macrosomia, but also miscarriage or premature birth.
You may get scared knowing this but you have to remember that you achieved something you really dreamed off and if you are a responsible mother to be you will be wise to remain under medical care during your pregnancy.
Maintain a positive attitude and ask about the things that worry you and you will experience the joy of motherhood.
Some helpful links to know more about PCOS and Pregnancy: