Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal problem that every 1 in 5 women of childbearing age faces. PCOS not only affects the physical well-being of a woman and her capacity to bear a child but has negative implications for her mental well-being too. The ways in which PCOS is tackled usually differ depending on whether one wants to conceive in the future or not. If you are suffering from PCOS, you must have wondered how to get pregnant with PCOS or if it is possible, at all? Of course, it is possible! Well, here are some of the effective tips to get pregnant fast and easy.
What is PCOS?
PCOS is a hormonal condition wherein androgens (Male sex hormone) are produced by the ovaries in an abnormal amount. As the name suggests, numerous but small fluid-filled cysts form in the ovaries that are responsible for the secretion of androgens in the female body. However, not every woman suffering from PCOS develops cysts.
The absolute cause behind this disorder is unknown. However, insulin resistance has been a common occurrence observed in females suffering from PCOS. The high levels of androgens can also result from the build-up of insulin levels in the body that, consequently, interferes with the natural functioning of ovaries and the menstrual cycle. This is the reason why getting pregnant with PCOS is deemed very challenging.
Tips on how to get pregnant with PCOS
Several steps can be considered to control and minimize the effects of PCOS. It is generally advised to keep a close watch on the symptoms so that preventive measures can be immediately taken. The symptoms of PCOS may vary from person to person, such as irregular periods, excess hair growth on stomach, chest, and back, weight gain near the abdomen, thinning of the hair, oily skin or acne, skin tags on necks and armpits, darkening of the skin on the neck, under breasts and in armpits, to name a few. By just being mindful, much of the damage can be prevented. Following are some of the most effective yet simple tips on how to get pregnant with PCOS quickly.
- Diet, PCOS, and Pregnancy
The common tendency associated with PCOS is weight gain which is due to the issue faced by the body in insulin regulation. Therefore, it is imperative for women to follow a healthy diet. However, obesity is not the case with all the women who suffer from this disorder.
Diet can play a key role in managing PCOS symptoms. Inappropriate eating habits and the wrong choice of food can cause inflammation in the body. A balanced diet can help you balance your hormones as well as your blood sugar levels that will also keep your weight in control. Here’s the to-do list for you.
- Say no to sugar/high-sugar food.
- Add proteins and greens to your meals
- Limit or avoid red meat
- Eat omega-3 rich food (tuna, salmon, etc)
- Consume unsaturated fats such as seeds, nuts, etc.
- Avoid high-carb food and even if you consume carbohydrates, make sure that they are complex carbs.
- Always consume a heavy breakfast and a comparatively lighter dinner.
Certain food items are considered as ‘Fertility Food’ such as citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit), sunflower seeds, mature cheeses (parmesan, cheddar, manchego), beans and lentils, walnuts, pomegranate, full-fat dairy, cinnamon, etc. Well, this is the easiest step on our journey to get pregnant with PCOS.
- Exercise and Weight Loss
It is observed among women suffering from PCOS that their bodies undergo the vicious cycle of production of high levels of androgens and insulin as well as obesity as these three triggers one another. A healthy diet when compared with a good exercise routine will allow you to keep your weight in check as well as control your insulin levels. It can, in fact, assist your fertility treatment to work effectively.
Women with PCOS face difficulty to conceive as their ovulation cycle gets irregular or they stop ovulating regularly. Obese women are more likely to experience anovulation, missed periods, or delays in menstruation ranging between weeks to months. Recent studies have accentuated the fact that weight loss can help women to kick-start their menstrual cycles, thus improving their chances of conception by ensuring a higher success rate of their fertility treatments.
- De-stress yourself
Fertility depends on various factors, especially on the balance of the hormones. Therefore, it is important for you to remain stress-free as the stress hormone (cortisol) secreted by the adrenal gland has negative effects on other hormones, causing hormonal imbalance. This imbalance can obstruct the process of ovulation and hinder the regularity of the menstrual cycle.
The high levels of cortisol can also amplify the risk of insulin resistance and thereby, cause depression. So, it is advised to keep yourself relaxed and indulge in activities that make you happy! Here is the list of things that you can try to eliminate the stressor from your life:
- Practice meditation
- Perform Yoga and stretch your body to relieve the pressure on your muscles.
- Socialize with your kith and kin
- Engage in outdoor activities like gardening, swimming, etc.
- Keep Insulin level under control
Women suffering from PCOS are more prone to the risk of cardiac arrest and Type 2 diabetes due to their bodies’ resistance to insulin. As compared to the normal conditions, the pancreas produces large amounts of insulin that are responsible for inflammation and weight gain.
The insulin levels can be controlled through a healthy diet, exercises as well as medications, most of the doctors recommend metformin. Following are a few suggestions that can help you keep a check on your insulin levels.
- Consume more fruits as the low-dose fructose from them is effective for insulin sensitivity.
- Avoid eating desserts and drinking soft drinks as the high-dose fructose in them can increase your insulin resistance, resulting in inflammation.
- Nutritional supplements can also improve insulin resistance in your body.
- Inositol has proved effective in regulating menstrual cycles by inducing metabolic changes and improving ovulation in women.
- Magnesium can also help in controlling the levels of insulin. A study has shown that magnesium when combined with calcium, vitamin D, and zinc has led to improvement in the insulin metabolism of women suffering from PCOS.
- Medication and Fertility procedures
There are medicines available that can help you control and minimize the symptoms of PCOS. Oral medication like Clomid has been used by many women and it is believed that it stimulates ovulation. The other options for ovulation induction include metformin, Injectable gonadotropins, Femara, letrozole, etc. If you are wondering how to get pregnant with PCOS quickly, the most effective method is IVF – In Vitro Fertilization.
Often we come across the query about what is the best age to get pregnant with PCOS? Well, IVF procedure has a higher success rate with women under the age of 40 years. However, this does not imply that IVF is only restricted to a particular age group. There are numerous instances in the recent past where women who are considerably older have successfully conceived and gave birth to a healthy child.
How to detect pregnancy with PCOS?
Given that an irregular menstrual cycle is a common symptom of PCOS, it is difficult to distinguish between the symptoms of PCOS and signs of pregnancy. It is often hard to tell whether one is pregnant or has just missed the periods due to this disorder. However, there are certain ways that can help you detect pregnancy with PCOS.
- Pay attention to the early signs of pregnancy like breast tenderness. The swelling or tenderness is one of the early signs of pregnancy that occurs in the first few weeks and lasts for two weeks.
- During pregnancy, the body secretes progesterone in large amounts which causes drowsiness. Therefore, if you feel fatigued and lazy throughout the day, it could be an early sign of pregnancy.
- If you notice any food aversions without any apparent reasons, it may be possible that you are pregnant as the early pregnancy phase (first trimester) is characterized by nausea or morning sickness.
- Take note of the number of times you urinate. If suddenly you feel that you visit the washroom more than usual, take a pregnancy test. The urge to urinate frequently is due to hormonal changes that the body undergoes during early pregnancy.
- Try to keep track of your menstruation as well as ovulation. You can track ovulation through your basal body temperature.
- Pay attention to the color of the blood if you experience any bleeding. If the blood is lighter in color or is a brownish discharge, it may be implantation blood and there are greater chances that you are pregnant. Implantation bleeding occurs at the same time as that of your periods. If you experience bleeding that appears different from your normal periods, you must take a pregnancy test.
- If you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is highly likely that you are pregnant. Home pregnancy kits are very handy to test if you are pregnant or not. If you have missed the periods, you must take the test. In the case of a negative result, retake the test after two weeks.
To conclude, the reason behind PCOS remains unclear, however, its negative consequences can be easily controlled and minimized to safer levels. If you are wondering ‘How to cure PCOS naturally and get pregnant, the above-mentioned tips that include exercising to stimulate ovulation, eating a clean and healthy diet, de-stressing, etc can go a long way in helping you fight this disorder. A sheer determination and a disciplined living style can help you tackle PCOS in a very effective manner.Dr. Reubina Singh
In case you have queries that are left unanswered, worry not! Book an appointment at Grace Fertility and let the experts guide you. Feel free to get in touch with us and kiss your worries goodbye!