Can You Conceive Naturally With PCOS/PCOD?

June 15, 2021 3 min read

Can You Conceive Naturally With PCOS/PCOD?

While having a regular menstrual cycle is a normal affair for most women, some might complain of irregular or fewer periods in a year. This may indicate what is referred to as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS or PCOD), a common hormonal disorder in women. About 5-10% of women in the world have PCOS, but most of them get to know only when they visit their doctors for pregnancy issues.

Women with PCOS often struggle to conceive naturally and have higher chances of developing complications during pregnancy.

What is PCOD or PCOS?

PCOS is a condition that results from an imbalance in the sex hormone in women between 15 and 45, irrespective of race and ethnicities. In PCOS, your body produces more male hormones (androgen) than normal. Women with PCOS show the following symptoms:

  • Irregular periods
  • Several small cysts in ovaries (seen in ultrasound)
  • Excessive facial hair
  • Weight gain
  • Acne
  • Development of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes
  • High cholesterol level (may result in BP or heart problems)

The causes of PCOS are not known clearly. However, stress, obesity, and family history are some of the common observations.

PCOS and Infertility - Is it hard to get pregnant with PCOS?

PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility. Wondering how? Pregnancy results from the fusion of sperm (from male) and an egg (from female). Excess production of the male hormone during PCOS interferes with menstruation (periods) and prevents ovulation (release of an egg from the ovaries).

Diabetes and weight gain, commonly seen in women with PCOS, also interfere in natural conception. So, if you have been trying for a long time to conceive naturally and are still unable to do it, you probably need to get yourself checked for PCOS.

PCOS and Pregnancy

PCOS increases the risk of pregnancy- and delivery-related complications. Women with PCOS are at three times higher risk of miscarriage than those without PCOS. PCOS is also associated with gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy), preeclampsia (sudden increase in BP), preterm birth, and Cesarean delivery or C-section.

Gestational diabetes has its set of problems. Preeclampsia during pregnancy may affect your liver, kidneys, and brain.

Can you conceive naturally with PCOS?

The good news is, even with PCOD, you stand a fair chance of conceiving naturally. The first thing you need to do is change your lifestyle and manage your stress levels. A stressful and sedentary lifestyle is the main contributing factor to PCOS. The following activities may help improve your chances of conceiving naturally:

  • Losing weight is the first thing that even doctors suggest. So exercise regularly to stay active and lose weight. You may go for brisk walks, running, yoga, dancing, or swimming daily. To manage your stress, you may try meditation or pursue a hobby.
  • Eat foods that naturally boost fertility. Studies suggest that a diet low in carbohydrates and high in proteins can boost fertility. Also, including nuts, legumes, fish, vegetables, and food rich in iron, folate, vitamins (especially D and B12), and omega-3 fat enhances fertility. You may consult a nutritionist to help you plan your diet.
  • Control your blood sugar level.
  • Say no to alcohol and smoking until you have a baby.
  • Make an appointment with your gynecologist and seek her advice. She may put you on pills to regularize your periods and enhance your chances of conceiving.

And last but not least, have frequent intercourse and be optimistic. For a safe pregnancy with PCOS, you need to monitor your blood glucose level and BP regularly and manage stress.

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