Getting Pregnant with PCOS

Getting Pregnant with PCOS

I was self-diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) myself in 2016. I am the proud mother of two children, and my story is not unique as many of my clients have become pregnant. The goal here is not to tell you that MY clients get pregnant but rather that getting pregnant with PCOS is possible, whether naturally or with the help of assisted reproductive technologies (ART).

PCOS is a complex hormonal condition that affects up to one in seven women of reproductive age. Most women with PCOS have high levels of a hormone that triggers ovulation, called "luteinizing hormone" (LH), and reduced levels of an essential hormone for ovarian function in women called "follicle-stimulating hormone" (FSH).

Why is it so difficult to get pregnant with PCOS?

Because of these hormonal imbalances (excess androgens, elevated LH...). Women with PCOS often have irregular menstrual cycles because they either do not ovulate or only ovulate occasionally. Therefore, they are more likely to have difficulty conceiving a child than other women. The good news is that women with PCOS are not infertile.

Irregular Cycles and Anovulation: Indeed, when cycles are irregular, long, or anovulatory, it is difficult to identify the fertile period and thus time intercourse correctly.

Quality of Cervical Mucus: PCOS can cause hormonal imbalances that alter the quality of your cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to survive. The cells lining the cervical canal secrete mucus called cervical mucus. The consistency of this mucus changes throughout the cycle. During the fertile period, the consistency and structure of the mucus change to allow sperm to reach the egg.

Too Much Stress: We know that PCOS and stress are associated. An Iranian study revealed that just over 90% of women with PCOS experienced some level of stress. Stress, combined with fluctuations in weight (whether gain or loss), can alter the signaling of an important cycle-related hormone called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). The pituitary gland, once stimulated by GnRH, releases two hormones: Luteinizing hormone (LH) and Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).

60% of women with PCOS can achieve spontaneous ovulation by improving their lifestyle, and dietary supplements can help.

My Advice:

  1. Track Your Menstrual Cycle

Whether you have regular periods every month or more unpredictable and irregular bleeding, it is always useful to track your cycle to better understand your body's functioning. A period tracking app can help here even if you have an irregular cycle. Even though it can be emotionally challenging, taking your temperature can be very useful.

  1. Preconception Phase

Whether you want to stop birth control pills or if you are not taking hormonal contraception: The preconception phase is ESSENTIAL. It is defined as the three months before conception - and it is more important than you think. A few lifestyle changes before actively trying can make all the difference. They recommend following a healthy and balanced diet, drinking less alcohol, and exercising regularly to prepare your body. It is advisable to take pre-conception vitamins containing N-Acetyl Cysteine, methylated folic acid, and zinc, as these minerals are essential for supporting pregnancy. All of these vitamins are found in our Olympia supplement.

  1. Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to "ovulatory dysfunction," which is abnormal, irregular, or absent ovulation. About 67 to 85% of people with PCOS have a vitamin D deficiency. A Vitamin D supplement is necessary for at least 6 months.

  1. It Takes Two to Make a Baby

So, do not assume that PCOS is the reason why you cannot conceive. Make an appointment to have your partner's sperm checked as well.

In conclusion, you can get pregnant even if you suffer from PCOS.