PCOS and Pregnancy is one of the biggest mysteries and fear for majority of the women struggling with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Often women with PCOS are made to believe that she won’t be able to grow her family due to PCOS.
Or perhaps she would need to resort to expensive fertility treatments (which also do not always bring success) to hold her baby in her hands. But, is it true?
If you have received a PCOS Diagnosis and are trying to get pregnant, then this post is for you. And if you haven’t yet explored the truth behind PCOS and Pregnancy, then you need to know this first!
- While PCOS does challenge your fertility, it doesn’t make you infertile. So! Yes, you can get pregnant with PCOS.
- As I just said, PCOS and Pregnancy is not impossible but, challenging! This means that you will have to put in some extra effort to get pregnant with PCOS. This doesn’t mean, it has to be expensive fertility treatments. Let’s see how!
- You will find details on step-by-step plan in this post. However, the most important points are:
- Give some love to your body and your mind. That means, Self-Care and Self-Love is really important when you are trying to get pregnant with PCOS. You will get to know what it means later in this post.
- Plan and Act diligently. That means, Focus and Sincerity to fix your health and make your body ready to bring a new life in this world.
That’s all! So, let’s get started. Shall we?
PCOS and Pregnancy – The Struggle in which you are not alone!
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the leading causes of infertility. It affects about 6 – 15% of women of reproductive age.
Of these women, 73% have anovulation due to PCOS. That is to say, they do not produce eggs.
PCOS greatly affects fertility. For majority of the women with PCOS, it is usually quite a struggle to conceive.
And even after conception, having PCOS makes the journey through pregnancy and afterwards slightly complicated. This is due to the risks of pregnancy complications, challenges in breastfeeding, and postpartum hormone imbalances that often arise.
You can learn more about how PCOS affects your fertility and pregnancy in this post.
PCOS Symptoms that you should know
PCOS is not a disease. It is a cluster of symptoms that arise due to metabolic and hormone imbalance in our body.
It impacts natural production and release of egg from female reproductive system. This significantly reduces the fertility of a woman.
If you are struggling with fertility issues, but are not quite sure about the reason. Then perhaps you should check for the other symptoms of PCOS such as:
- Weight problems: weight gain and difficulty losing weight.
- Hirsutism: hair growing in places where they have no business growing, and in excessive or abnormal quantities. For example, hair has grown on your face, arms, legs, etc.
- Skin problems like extensive acne breakouts (reaching neck, chest, and back), acanthosis nigricans (dark patches on the skin).
- Male pattern hair loss.
You can also take this 2 mins PCOS quiz to check the risk of having PCOS.
It is noteworthy that PCOS also comes with long-term problems like heart complications, diabetes, cancer, etc.
But you need a medical practitioner to confirm a PCOS diagnosis
Now, if you suspect that you have PCOS. Then, I would suggest that you get a PCOS Diagnosis from a medical professional.
This will help you to know the real reason of infertility and hence work towards them to improve your chances of getting pregnant.
The doctors will check for:
- Menstrual irregularities
- Polycystic ovaries
Here is why it seems you can’t get pregnant with PCOS
So, how do these diagnostic criteria affect your chances of getting pregnant while suffering from PCOS? Let us check out!
This is when you have excess male hormones in your body. These will suppress the ovaries, your egg making factories. The male hormones will also suppress the normal functioning of your female sex hormones such as Estrogen and Progesterone.
There will also be a disturbance of the other hormones that should normally have controlled your menstrual cycles.
It could be that you don’t even produce eggs at all. This is a condition known as anovulation.
Your menstrual cycle can be distorted by the irregularity in hormone levels brought about by polycystic ovarian syndrome. This was stated earlier.
One of such menstrual irregularities is oligomenorrhea. Oligomenorrhea is a condition in which menstrual cycles are longer than usual.
The length of an average menstrual cycle is about 28 days, with normal being anywhere from 21 days to 35 days.
But not with oligomenorrhea! A menstrual cycle can be longer than 35 days, meaning your periods do not show up as often as they should.
Oligomenorrhea’s sister can also show up. She is amenorrhea. She’s meaner than her sister. In amenorrhea, there is no menstruation at all.
If you’re going six months without seeing your period at all, and in the absence of pregnancy? Well, that could be oligomenorrhea. It is another one of PCOS symptoms.
Come to think of it. How do you get pregnant without producing eggs, or without menstruation?
PCOS menstrual irregularities can also show up as variable length of menstrual cycles, or cycles that skip. You can get it this month and not get it the next two. It is completely unpredictable.
It becomes difficult to plan conception when you don’t even know when next your period is going to be.
3. Polycystic ovaries
What’s the cyst in polycystic ovarian syndrome?
Cysts are formed due to numerous immature eggs in the ovary that are never released. They accumulate there like a string of beads.
However, the appearance of cysts is not definitive. Someone might have cysts and not have the syndromes that make up the polycystic ovarian syndrome.
On the other hand, another woman might not have cysts on their ovaries, but the hormonal imbalances and the attendant complications are present.
But here’s the point: if those cysts are there, it means your eggs are not maturing. If your eggs are not maturing, then they can’t get fertilized. That goes on to mean that you can’t get pregnant.
So, you can now see why you can’t seem to get pregnant with PCOS. Notice that the sentence says, ‘seems’.
Here’s the newsflash:
It is not impossible to conceive despite having PCOS.
PCOS and Pregnancy – How to get pregnant with PCOS Naturally?
You can hold your baby in your hands, even if PCOS seems to be telling you a big N-O!
How? That is what we are about to discuss.
Note that it doesn’t have to be some fancy pills that will put you at risk of some other undesirable side effects in the future.
Learn here about the side effects of common PCOS Treatment options such as birth control pills, Metformin, and Keto Diet.
Neither is it some high-tech procedures that will cost you lots and lots of money and yet you’re not sure if it will work.
And the secret key is YOU!
You read that right: it’s YOU. See what Dr. Randine Lewis, author of The Infertility Cure, has to say:
“Take control of your own health, and trust yourself.
No one is in tune with your body like you are. You have to learn to trust your instincts until your individual solution emerges.
Above all, know that you are not broken…You can conceive.” You don’t need pills or fancy machines to fix you up.
So, what can YOU do about it, and eventually get pregnant with PCOS?
1. If you’re on birth control pills, get off!
That’s what you just thought right now, isn’t it?
Well, let’s throw another in the mix: if you’re not on birth control pills, then stay away from them.
Why? Well, the thing with birth control pills is that they can turn back and bite you.
They only mask symptoms
Many women are prescribed birth control pills, even from as early as adolescence, either to make menstruation easier, to cure acne, or for some other reason.
Here is the problem: when you begin to take birth control pills as a prescription for some medical problem, they do not cure the condition.
What they do is act as artificial regulators. They just release hormones into the body system, and those take over from the body’s natural hormonal processes.
If you’ve been following Ayurveda, you’ll understand that the body takes care of itself naturally and artificial hormones are not necessary for health. Besides, those man-made hormones can’t be exactly like the natural ones.
A quick bonus point: Ayurveda can show you how to get pregnant with PCOS naturally. We’re getting there.
Back to our talk on pills masking symptoms. The problem is still there, but pills only mask the symptoms. Also, if there is a worse problem there, there would be no way to know.
Take PCOS for instance. It is a hormonal imbalance. But if you’re taking pills, they will successfully trick you into believing that your hormones are doing well.
Have you heard of the Post-Birth Control Syndrome (PBCS)?
This is what happens when you get off birth control pills. All those masked symptoms will gleefully make themselves known and taunt you, worse than ever.
Your body would have lost its own natural hormonal rhythm, and it will be hard to restore it.
Unsurprisingly (or is it?), one symptom of PBCS is infertility. The loss of the hormonal cycle (infradian rhythm) results in problems with menstruation. Sadly, some women never get back their period after getting off the pill.
That’s even sadder if they got off the pill for the sole purpose of holding a little bundle of joy in their hands.
Your body will need time to recover from the pills
If you’re lucky and you can get back your natural hormonal control, then you’ll need to give your body some time to attain that optimal state. Your period has to be regular again, without the interference of pills.
So, you see that if you want to get pregnant with PCOS, then taking birth control pills will only mess up your chances even more.
If you’re not in a hurry, but you know you want to have babies sometime in the future, then you need to step off that train now. Your body will have ample time to adjust. If you use it for contraceptive purposes, then try non-hormonal means.
70% of millennials have gotten off or are considering getting off the pills. Don’t be the last one to be left behind!
Here’s how to get off the birth control pills safely and avoid the health symptoms.
2. You have to eat right
The importance of eating good food is so underrated these days. So underrated.
Most people think you’re alright as long as you’ve stuffed your stomach full of something. They believe if it has just the right texture and is the right temperature and all that, then they have ‘eaten food.’
But food is more than that. Food is the fuel the body runs on, and the body includes the reproductive system.
The body extracts what it needs from the food you eat and discards the waste. If it does not get the right type of fuel in the right proportions and at the right time, then there could be a problem. There will certainly be problems. Including the reproductive system.
This is not to say that you should not enjoy your meals, nor is it saying you should not eat what you like. Rather, it is to remind you that the primary purpose of food is nutrition.
A Diet for PCOS and Pregnancy
Multiple research studies and our own client testimonials indicate that your diet is one of the most powerful tools to your fight against PCOS and infertility.
Diet and exercise are the two best recommendations for managing PCOS. Sticking to them improves symptoms considerably. Your chances of conception are also increased.
Adopt a diet that includes:
- Foods with low glycemic index;
- Lots of fruits and vegetables;
- Healthy fats;
- Natural, unprocessed foods.
If you’re trying to manage PCOS with diet and conceive eventually, then you should stay away from:
- Alcoholic beverages;
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Ayurveda recommends following foods to boost your fertility
Ayurveda is that medical science that certainly knows about keeping your body systems balanced. Here are some recommendations:
- Ghee and Sesame Seeds – they contain the right kind of fats that promote ovulation and improve quality of eggs.
- Turmeric – improves circulation to all organs, including womb and ovaries (your egg making factories).
- Mung Beans – a good source of protein packaged along with fiber and antioxidants
- Cinnamon – makes your stomach feel fuller for longer, so you don’t have to eat so much so often. It also regulates ovulation.
- Leafy greens – they are rich in magnesium, which helps to improve fertility.
You should get to understand the PCOS diet and how it works. It will definitely help in your quest to get pregnant with PCOS.
Remember, it is about you trusting your instincts and taking charge of your own body.
3. Do you exercise?
Now you’re wondering, “What does exercise have to do with my chances of getting pregnant with PCOS? Has another study linked exercise with PCOS pregnancy success rate?”
Not just another research, but plenty of research.
As earlier stated, when a good PCOS exercise routine is combined with the appropriate PCOS diet plan, then you can greatly improve your PCOS symptoms.
Exercise helps in many different ways. For example, if you understand how PCOS works, you would have heard about insulin resistance.
Now, if you carry out exercises that build muscles, the new muscle cells help to improve blood sugar metabolism.
That way, you have some control over insulin resistance. The liver also begins to produce less insulin if it senses that your cells now use insulin better.
When you have less insulin in you, then you will also produce fewer male hormones. All in all, your PCOS symptoms begin to improve.
Exercise at least 30 minutes daily if you can help it. Focus your efforts on strength training and muscle building, and less on cardio exercises like running, etc.
In any case, ensure you are losing weight.
A few other things
It is worth the try. Remember the end-goal. It is not just conception. It is to hold your own baby in your hands.
You do not want to leave any stone unturned. If you get off the pills and optimize your lifestyle and diet, that is great. If you find out, however, that you’ve left something out and it ruined the results you expected to achieve, then it would be unfortunate.
Here are some other things to do since you strongly desire to get pregnant with PCOS quickly.
4. PCOS and Pregnancy: Ayurvedic Herbs that promote Ovulation and Hormone Balance
There are many Ayurvedic herbs and wisdom for fertility.
- Shatavari: This a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It has antioxidant properties so that it can protect the reproductive system. It increases insulin sensitivity and boosts fertility as a whole.
- Guduchi: This herb helps to reduce blood sugar levels. Aside this, it helps boost immunity and sex drive in females, and also treats liver conditions and cancers as well.
- Lodhra: It is rich in flavonol glycosides. These compounds help regulate hormones, improve fertility and reduce uterine disorders generally.
- Shilajit: This helps rejuvenate the female reproductive system. It also helps to manage iron deficiency, which is a common problem seen in women with PCOS who bleed heavily and lose a lot of iron through blood loss.
- Bibhitaki: Bibhitaki helps to improve sugar metabolism. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that work well for digestive problems.
- Basti (Herbal Enema): This helps to regulate imbalanced vata dosha, in order to ‘get things moving’.
- Vaman: This is a therapy that uses herbs to induce vomiting. It is intended to get rid of excess kapha dosha.
- Yoga therapy.
5. Improve your Lifestyle – Manage Stress, Sleep Well, and a Little Self Love!
PCOS puts you in a delicate situation. Your hormones will be further thrown into a state of imbalance if you’re stressed up.
This is because, excess stress releases much higher amount of hormone Cortisol, which further disturbs your natural hormone balance.
Excess Cortisol also suppresses your immune system and triggers high level inflammation in the body.
Your PCOS symptoms often arise due to a toxic combination of high stress and chronic inflammation in the body. Hence, it is vital that you treat the root cause and manage your stress levels.
- Say “no” to any additional commitments, which are outside of your comfort zone.
- Shift your work schedule to suit your natural circadian rhythm.
- Get sufficient hours of quality sleep.
- Schedule in time for rest and recovery.
6. Be wary of the hormone disrupting chemicals or Endocrine Disruptors
With modern lifestyle, we are exposed to a lot of chemicals. The chemicals on food preservatives and pesticides that make their way into your body can cause problems with hormones and fertility, and even general health problems.
Cosmetic products, plastic wrappers, etc, can also be detrimental to reproductive health.
If you need cosmetics, why not explore natural options, as Ayurveda would recommend.
A little take-away bonus: Learn to track your period
Understand your menstrual cycle and know your fertile period. This will help you avoid the frustrating ‘trial and error’ method.
Understand your infradian rhythm. You are only fertile for a few days during each menstrual cycle.
If you don’t know that, you’ll just keep blaming PCOS, even though it was just a game of chance playing out.
PCOS and Pregnancy: Is there any such thing as infertility?
Dr. Lewis also said something interesting, and here it is: “If you have been told you are infertile, I have one message for you: There is no such thing as infertility; it is a myth.
Rarely have I met a woman of childbearing age with all her reproductive organs intact who isn’t capable of bearing children.
As long as the anatomical structures are present, a medical diagnosis of ‘infertility’ is often a fallacy.”
Even for women without PCOS, it will surprise you to know that 85% of couples don’t conceive till after a year of trying. Not to talk of someone trying to get pregnant with PCOS.
Remember that pcos and pregnancy is not impossible! And you can conceive! Here’s to life, to future, and to good health!
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