Motherhood is a beautiful phase of a woman’s life and is also believed by elders that it completes her. Every lady wants to be a mother as it is a special feeling in its own, a very different and unique experience. But not all women are not so lucky. Some are infertile, some go through a syndrome with complications that can make it difficult for the woman to conceive also known as PCOS. Getting pregnant with PCOS is not impossible but a difficult one indeed.
Let us now understand if there is the best age to get pregnant with PCOS. Does age help with the syndrome? For this, we first need to clearly understand the concept and find out if there is a cure to it naturally or through medical help.
What Is PCOS?
PCOS or “Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome” is a condition where there is metabolic dysfunction, and no ovulation takes place or gets delayed in the woman’s body. Typically, every female ovulates monthly or near the 14th day, once the menstrual cycle begins. It is important to ovulate in order to conceive and one must be aware of a few signs of ovulation to know their most fertile time. But due to the formation of cysts in the ovaries resulting from hormonal imbalances, it becomes a difficult process.
PCOS affects one out of every ten women in India, whereas the global average is five to seven1. This syndrome can affect fertility, hormone functions, and ovulation as well. The majority of women only learn about this condition when they are unable to conceive naturally. In PCOS, the ovaries do not produce hormones and make eggs.
Since no ovulation takes place, the progesterone levels or female hormones are very low while the androgen or male hormones are very high. This may disrupt the menstruation, resulting in a fewer number of periods cycle. In some cases, this problem can be resolved with certain fertility drugs, diet changes, and lifestyle changes.
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Signs Of PCOS
Some features of PCOS that a woman needs to watch for are:
- Cysts in the ovaries
- Irregular or no periods
- High levels of male hormones
- Heavy bleeding
- Hair growth
- Skin darkening
Now the question is what are the odds of getting pregnant with PCOS? Or are there some ways by which one gets help getting pregnant with PCOS? If I can get pregnant with PCOS and irregular periods?
Let us try and find answers and relevant information for the same.
Can I Get Pregnant With PCOS Naturally?
Since PCOS is a syndrome that can be treated naturally as well as through medical help, people prefer to go the natural way as it is much safer with no side effects. PCOS is one of the most common reasons that cause infertility. Treating it may increase the chances of getting pregnant with PCOS naturally.
The following steps can help you get pregnant with PCOS.
1. Follow a healthy diet
It is better to make healthy choices and be more fit2. The diet should include:
- Whole grains like barley, oats, and brown rice
- Fresh and cooked vegetables and fruits
- Chicken, fish, tofu
- Lentil and beans.
- Broccoli and Brussels sprouts
- Anti-inflammatory foods like tomatoes, turmeric, and spices
- Almonds, pumpkin, berries, red lettuce, green pepper, sweet potatoes
A diet rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats also helps. High fiber foods help in slowing down the digestion process
Foods to be avoided during PCOS are:
- High-refined foods like white bread, muffins, or anything made from white flour
- Carbonated drinks and sugary snacks like pastries and desserts
- Inflammatory foods like red meats, frozen, processed, or canned food
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2. Monitor the weight
It is important to keep the weight in control as being overweight can lead to many complications. It is advisable to go for daily walks and exercise to be fit. Moving around rather than sitting down for a prolonged period, light weightlifting, etc., may help to reduce PCOS symptoms. Exercise helps the body to use insulin in a better fashion.
3. Balance blood sugar level
PCOS can lead to high blood sugar levels due to hormonal dysfunction, the insulin is used differently by the body. PCOS makes the body insulin resistant and makes it tougher to conceive3. Thus, it is advisable to test the blood sugar levels.
Doing yoga helps PCOS patients as it improves the immune system and helps to reduce inflammation, reduce stress, relax the inner self thus helping in conceiving naturally4.
5. Fertility vitamins and supplements
The doctor also recommends certain vitamins and mineral supplements that help with a healthy pregnancy and growing baby as well. Just eating the prescribed diet does not help always as the body might not get all nutrients required to reduce PCOS symptoms5. Thus, prescribed supplements should always be taken on time.
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What Are The Chances Of Getting Pregnant With PCOS?
PCOS is found to affect around 1 in 15 women of reproductive age. There are no set figures that have been released of women getting pregnant with PCOS, but data states that 70% of women do struggle to get pregnant6.
This also happens due to the absence of ovulation and also not having progesterone or women hormones to be able to support the pregnancy in earlier stages. It is a tough process but if all steps are followed well and doctors’ recommendation is taken under consideration with proper diet, lifestyle changes the chances can be increased as well.
13 Tips To Get Pregnant With PCOS
The myth that is associated with PCOS is that it is impossible to get pregnant, but it is not impossible though slightly tricky and difficult. It is seen that many women with PCOS have had healthy babies. A few tips that can help one to get pregnant with PCOS are as below:
It is believed that obesity has some link with not being able to conceive but recent research states that if 5% of the body’s total fat is lost, it becomes easier for the woman to conceive. Also seen that women only come to know of this problem when they turn close to 30 years or are trying to conceive. Losing weight with PCOS is not an easy game. So, one should keep them fit and exercise well7.
2. Lifestyle changes can help to get pregnant with PCOS
Living a sedentary lifestyle and taking stress at work front or at home also makes it difficult to conceive. Stress can make things tougher and result in depression, anxiety, and many other medical issues. So, it is advisable to de-stress, have a healthy lifestyle, eat healthy and nutritious food and have a proper routine to stay healthy8.
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3. Stop taking alcohol
One should not resort to smoking and drinking in order to boost the chances of conceiving. Alcohol as well as smoking are not good for the health and can even lessen the chances of fertility. Even in normal cases, for women without PCOS, caffeine, and alcohol are a strict no since they can result in miscarriages9.
Women with PCOS should have fresh fruits and vegetables in abundance for their daily diet. This helps to increase the chances of conceiving since the body is healthy and well prepared. Foods that are known to increase fertility must be a part of their diet and they should be well aware of the foods that should be avoided while trying to conceive. It is not advisable to have canned fruits or vegetables or to have packed juices due to the presence of harmful chemicals and preservatives.
5. Preparing the body to get pregnant with PCOS
Since the body has some complications, it is important to keep getting it checked for supplements and other deficiencies as well. It is important to take vitamins and mineral supplements for balancing the hormones. A well prepared body is half the battle won so one should be vigilant about the same10.
6. Hormonal imbalance check
Since women with PCOS, have a hormonal imbalance, the doctors start treating it. The hormonal imbalance is also a cause for reduced fertility. Due to increased male hormones, it is difficult for women to conceive so the doctor advises medicines and even replacement therapy if the need be.
7. Regular medical visits can help to get pregnant with PCOS
If medical help is mandatory for curing infertility due to PCOS, then it is important to keep visiting the doctor on a regular basis and follow all the treatments. This is an important step towards conceiving in a successful manner.
Related Reading: 12 Relevant Things To Know Before Choosing A Gynaecologist
A medicine that is given to deal with PCOS is Clomid. This should be taken in accordance with the doctor as it helps in regularizing the ovulation pattern which is a major cause for not being able to conceive. In a few cases, injections are prescribed as well11.
9. Checking the body temperature
If planning to conceive, it is even important to check the body temperature as basic body temperature helps to determine ovulation. The doctor will also advise on the right days for conceiving. Ideally, it is the fourth day close to ovulation which is considered ideal12.
The absence of periods is a major cause for not being able to conceive. Therefore, once the periods are regularized, the doctor can advise for intrauterine insemination to boost the chances of fertilization.
Related Reading: How To Know If Your Period Is Coming Or You Are Pregnant
11. IVF can help to get pregnant with PCOS
Since PCOS is complicated, if all other methods fail, In-Vitro- Fertilization is an option to be considered. According to sources this method of conception has the maximum success rates as compared to other methods.
12. Doctor’s advice can help to get pregnant with PCOS
Women with PCOS should always have a talk with the doctor and check all the possible alternatives that they can try. It is important as the doctor understands the way in which the body functions and can offer better advice.
It is important to be relaxed when trying to conceive. Stress can often hinder this process. So, one should try to be calm and relaxed. Yoga also helps in detoxifying the body and mind and it is also seen that a happy state of mind and body has a positive impact and helps in conceiving quickly than women who are under stress13.
Related Reading: Fertility Tests To Take Before Trying To Get Pregnant
Thus, it is important to understand that PCOS is not a disease but a syndrome that often takes time and is not a cause of infertility. It is not impossible to conceive in this condition, yet it is challenging indeed. But with a few precautions of diet, lifestyle, exercise, and fertility treatments, the success rate is surely higher. Remember not to stress and go slow.
In case one is struggling with infertility or not being able to conceive for over a year, the underlying cause could be PCOS.
If having irregular periods, acne, problems in losing weight, excess facial hair, it is advisable to visit the doctor.
Many effective treatments are available for PCOS. It starts from Clomid to IVF. It is seen that most women can conceive by combining the treatments with lifestyle changes and some medications.
Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes for covering the symptoms. This is a gradual process and takes time so one has to be patient and co-operate in the best possible manner by changing lifestyle patterns, diet, and being fit, positive and stress-free.