Monday, July, 22,2024

Latest News

PCOS and Pregnancy Planning: Preparing for Parenthood

Introduction

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder characterised by hormonal imbalance and reproductive irregularities. It begins during the teenage years and the symptoms continue to affect women throughout their reproductive life. Navigating the path to parenthood with PCOS requires an understanding of its impact on fertility and proactive strategies to optimise reproductive health.

Understanding PCOS and Fertility

Irregular periods are often linked with problems in ovulation. Since PCOS affects ovulation patterns, it can prevent ovarian follicles from developing and releasing an egg, so your ovaries may not release an egg every month. The underdevelopment of eggs can make a pregnancy challenging.

How Does PCOS Affect Pregnancy?

PCOS is not only the leading cause of infertility, but it can also increase the risk of the following complications during pregnancy:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Early miscarriage
  • Premature delivery
  • C-section birth
  • Early miscarriage

Women with PCOS have a three times higher risk of miscarriage in the early months of pregnancy. Research shows that seeking treatment can reduce the risk of miscarriage.

Pregnancy Planning in PCOS

If you have PCOS, planning a pregnancy becomes essential as fertility may be affected by many factors. Women with PCOS may require extra care before, during, and after pregnancy.

How Can I Become Pregnant With PCOS?

Navigating a pregnancy with PCOS can be challenging, but it's certainly possible with the right approach and support. Consult a doctor to seek the right guidance for improving your fertility. Here are some strategies to increase your chances of becoming pregnant with PCOS:

Enhancing Fertility Naturally

  • Manage your weight

A healthy body weight can improve your chances of pregnancy. Losing 5-10% of your body weight puts you on the path to restoring your ovulation process. In addition, the combined approach of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and healthy weight can reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy.

  • Track your menstrual cycle

Tracking your menstrual cycle can help you monitor your ovulation pattern. Having sexual intercourse around the time of ovulation can increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Some signs that are suggestive of ovulation are premenstrual symptoms like moodiness, bloating, soreness of breasts, abdominal pain, and mucosal changes in the vagina.

  • Have children at an early age

Being diagnosed with PCOS can affect your pregnancy planning. To increase your likelihood of pregnancy, plan for a baby as soon as possible after getting diagnosed with PCOS. This helps prevent age-related fertility issues. Moreover, it gives you the opportunity to try various treatment options for fertility.

  • Medications

About 70% of women have problems with ovulation during pregnancy, making it important to address it medically. After making lifestyle modifications, if the problem persists, you may need hormonal medications to stimulate the growth and release of eggs. You should consult a doctor to help you with medicines to correct your ovulation pattern, hormonal imbalances, and insulin-related problems for improved fertility.

Surgery

For some women with PCOS, surgery may be considered as a means to improve fertility, typically after other treatment options have been exhausted. Laparoscopic surgery of the ovary is a type of surgery that can enhance ovarian function and restore ovulation. Additionally, when other weight loss methods fail, bariatric surgery may be suggested. However, this may not be a quick fix as the women are required to be at a stable weight for more than a year before they can try for pregnancy.

Assisted Reproductive Technology

Assisted reproductive technologies play a crucial role in addressing infertility associated with PCOS. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a popular method recommended for PCOS-related infertility. It is a promising technology that allows the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. The embryos resulting from fertilising these eggs are transferred into the uterus, thus achieving pregnancy. IVF can help overcome the challenges related to irregular ovulation and hormone imbalances associated with PCOS, offering hope to couples struggling with infertility.

Lifestyle Changes Can Take You to Healthy Conception!

Adopting a healthy lifestyle can significantly improve your chances of a healthy conception, especially if you're navigating the challenges of PCOS. Here are some lifestyle modifications that can positively affect your fertility:

  • Strive for a healthy body weight
  • Adopt a balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Manage stress
  • Get quality sleep
  • Do not consume alcohol
  • Limit caffeine use
  • Quit smoking

Conclusion

By understanding the unique challenges posed by PCOS, you can implement proactive strategies such as comprehensive and regular PCOD testing to reduce the impact of PCOS on pregnancy. Additionally, you are exploring various treatment strategies to increase your chances of achieving a healthy conception. It's essential to remember that the pregnancy journey may not always be straightforward, and there may be bumps along the road. However, with the right support from healthcare professionals, loved ones, and support groups, individuals affected by PCOS can overcome obstacles and experience successful parenthood.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can women with PCOS get pregnant naturally?

Ans. Women with PCOS can conceive naturally, but they may face challenges due to irregular ovulation. Women with PCOS should track their menstrual cycles and optimise their overall health through lifestyle changes to improve their chances of conception.

  1. What are the risks of pregnancy complications for women with PCOS?

Ans. Women with PCOS have a higher risk of pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, premature birth, and miscarriage. Women with PCOS should receive regular prenatal care and monitor their health closely throughout pregnancy.

  1. How can women with PCOS improve the possibility of conceiving?

Ans. Women with PCOS can improve their chances of conception by maintaining a healthy weight, following a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, managing stress, prioritising sleep, limiting alcohol and caffeine intake, and quitting smoking.

References

Polycystic ovary syndrome. World Health Organization. [Internet]. 2023.

PCOS Fertility & pregnancy. Jean Hailes.

Does PCOS affect pregnancy? National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. [Internet].

Cunha A, Póvoa AM. Infertility management in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a review. Porto Biomedical Journal. 2021 Jan;6(1):e116.

Lifestyle Changes for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. NYU Langone Health.

  Share on

Related News