Author: Dr. Kathyani V S
Qualification : MBBS, DGO, Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine
Can a PCOS Female Get Pregnant?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is a condition in which the ovaries produce excessive amounts of androgens. Androgens are male sex hormones which are usually present in women in small amounts. The literal meaning of the term Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is multiple small cysts formation in the ovaries. However, there are cases where women with this disorder do not have cysts, and some who develop the cyst without the disorder.
What causes PCOS?
When a woman doesn’t make enough hormones needed to ovulate, her ovaries can develop numerous small cysts. These cysts result in the formation of androgens and cause problems to the woman’s menstrual cycle, resulting in the symptoms of PCOS. However, the direct cause of PCOS is not clear.
Studies show that many women with the condition have insulin resistance. Higher androgen levels can be directly linked to the insulin build up in the body. Even obesity is known to increase the insulin levels in the body, which results in worsening the symptoms of PCOS. Besides, it may also run in families as it is common for mother and daughter to have PCOS.
Some of the symptoms of PCOS include missed/irregular periods, large ovaries/polycystic, excess body hair, increased weight, acne, excess skin on the neck/armpits, infertility, hair thinning, dark patches on the back of the neck, armpits and under the breast.
How does it affect fertility?
Typically, women with PCOS symptoms may take longer to get pregnant compared to other women. This could be as a result of irregular periods, which means they don’t ovulate every month. Moreover, being overweight is known to reduce fertility and can contribute to women with PCOS taking longer to conceive. Through their lifetime however, women with PCOS can have as many children as other women.
Can a woman with PCOS get pregnant?
To put it simply, a woman with PCOS can definitely get pregnant. Yes, it might be a little trickier and may need extra help, but having PCOS surely doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant. Along with the medical treatments like IVF and IUI, there’s a lot you can do at home to minimise PCOS symptoms and increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy. Here’s a list of some of those things:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat healthy.
- Exercise regularly.
- Balance blood sugar levels.
Having PCOS may result in the body producing higher levels of both male and female hormones. Your fertility doctor may recommend prescription medications to help balance your hormones as too much or too little of these hormones can make pregnancy tricky.
Women with PCOS may need IVF or In vitro fertilisation treatment to help them get pregnant. This treatment can sometimes take months or even years, whether you have PCOS or not. However, a wealth of medical research suggests that women with PCOS have higher chances of getting pregnant with IVF treatment.
Chances are that you may only need medications in order to get pregnant with PCOS. Studies show that almost 80% of women treated with medications were able to successfully ovulate and half of these women got pregnant within six period cycles. But if the medications don’t help, you can go for IVF treatments on your doctor’s recommendation.
In any case, regardless of what treatment you might want to explore, it’s important to not lose hope and be optimistic. Success rates are high, and soon you might find your story to be among the many other PCOS pregnancy success stories.
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