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Can you get pregnant with PCOS?

Yes. This word would have brought relief to a lot of you who were worried about being able to conceive due to PCOS. PCOS is one of the most common yet treatable causes of infertility in women. It is a hormonal imbalance present in lots of women but is often brought to the forefront when women trying to conceive have issues in doing so.

What is PCOS?

Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is a hormonal imbalance in which women tend to have higher male hormones than the normal. There are insufficient female hormones making ovulation rare and irregular. This needs to be treated at the right time in order to prevent infertility, heart disease and diabetes.

As a result of excessive male hormones present in the body, the egg is prevented from maturing and being released. Due to the inability of the release, the egg stays inside a cyst on the ovary; someone with PCOS would normally have oversized ovaries containing these multiple small cysts. Since the ovulation is not taking place as it should be, there is a constant imbalance in the hormones, thereby repeating this cycle and increasing the number of cysts.

If you feel you are pregnant, do take a pregnancy test to confirm pregnancy such as the Clearblue Rapid Detection Test or the First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test.

Common symptoms of PCOS

The exact reason for developing PCOS has not yet been diagnosed. The good thing about PCOS is that it is highly symptomatic and thus, easily detectable and curable. The most common indicators of PCOS are:

  • Increased body and facial hair
  • Irregular menstrual cycle, though having a regulated period does not guarantee that you are free of PCOS
  • Acne
  • Weigh Gain and obesity
  • Insulin resistance leading to inability of processing glucose by the body, can cause weight gain and pre-diabetes
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Difficulty in conception which is when most women discover that they have PCOS
  • Male-pattern baldness or faint hair on the scalp

Yes, you can get pregnant if you receive the right treatment and make the right health choices. In some cases you can do it on your own, but for the more severe cases you may require medical assistance.

Treatment and Care

Most doctors prescribe birth control pills and metformin accompanied by a healthy shift in lifestyle to bring this under control. Metformin inhibits the absorption of sugar in the blood, thereby maintaining insulin levels and keeping the weight under control by bringing down the appetite.

Birth control pills contain progestin and estrogen to balance the hormones in the body. The pill regulates your menstrual cycle, reduces acne and other skin problems and limits the excessive hair growth. These changes only take place for as long as you are on the pill.

Overweight women, need to focus on bringing their weight down. This helps to bring down cholesterol, regulating periods, clearing up acne and better processing of insulin by the body.

Regular pelvic exams should be conducted to notice the change in size of the ovaries and uterus. Hormonal blood tests periodically will also help bring anything out of the ordinary to light.

So can you get pregnant with PCOS?

Yes, you can get pregnant if you receive the right treatment and make the right health choices. In some cases you can do it on your own, but for the more severe cases you may require medical assistance.

Can you get pregnant by bringing it under control naturally?

The only way to bring PCOS under control is by losing weight. Just by regular exercise and weight control, you will notice your periods getting regular.

Basic lifestyle changes like inclusion of exercise to remain active and healthy foods can play a great deal in controlling this. You may further keep record your ovulation cycle and keep a check on your blood sugar levels. These will help you track any increase or changes from the regular and in turn be treated in time.

Can you get pregnant with PCOS using medication?

If you are unable to bring natural changes to your body as explained above there are medical ways to treat

A diabetes medication, Metformin is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for someone with PCOS. This is used to balance insulin levels.

An anti-estrogen drug, Clomiphene citrate popularly known as Clomid is a common fertility treatment. This medicine helps with the process of ovulation and at times is prescribed along with metformin to help women with PCOS conceive.

When the above-mentioned drugs are unable to help, Letrozole (Femara) is prescribed to treat issues with ovulation. This induces ovulation and works favourably for women with PCOS who are trying to conceive.

If oral medication accompanied with metformin does not help, then fertility drugs may need to be injected as the next solution for women with PCOS.

Can you get pregnant with PCOS if you undergo treatment or surgery?

If taking medicines isn’t helping you conceive the doctors will recommend IVF (in Vitro Fertilization). This process involves the fertilization of mature eggs using sperm outside a woman’s body. The embryo is then taken from the lab and placed in the woman’s body. Women with PCOS have the same success rate of getting pregnant with IVF as any other woman with fertility problems.

If you choose not to get any of these treatments, you may choose the one time option of ovarian drilling. It is a surgery which involves creating tiny holes in the ovaries through an incision in the abdomen. The effects of this are temporary but while they last they improve ovulation by bringing down the male hormones.

Keep an eye out for these early pregnancy signs if you feel you are pregnant.

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Though it is yet to be determined how one gets PCOS or how it can be prevented, the good thing is that PCOS is treatable with the right care and medication. Women have received treatment, brought it under control and gone on to have healthy pregnancies.

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