Lifestyle changes, maintaining diet, exercise, weight loss, metformin treatment, clomid, letrozole, gonadotropins, ovarian drilling, ivf or ivm, myo-inositol and egg donor are some of the magical tips to get pregnant with pcos.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have delayed, absent, irregular or prolonged menstrual cycle with other symptoms such as weight gain, facial hair, acne and oily skin.
PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility, affecting an estimated 5 million women every year. But getting pregnant with PCOS is not impossible at all. Lifestyle changes, light medication or other fertility treatments greatly increase the chance for pregnancy even in women with PCOS. Here are 11 magical tips that will tell you how to get pregnant with PCOS!
11 Tips to Get Pregnant with PCOS
Lifestyle changes: diet
Many gynaecologists and fertility doctors say that getting pregnant with PCOS is not possible without fertility treatments. This could not be further from the truth. PCOS is a lifestyle disorder and its symptoms can be easily reduced with lifestyle changes. Never underestimate the importance of diet and exercise. Many women have been able to naturally get pregnant with PCOS by implementing lifestyle changes after unsuccessful fertility treatments.
Eating a healthy diet is extremely important for women with PCOS. Cutting down on high processed foods rich in sugar, and adding nutritious, protein-rich items to your diet is the most important thing. Including more protein and green leafy vegetables in your diet while excluding sugary, fatty food is also equally important.
While diet alone may not always help you get pregnant, a healthy lifestyle definitely aids fertility treatments and makes you feel better overall.
Lifestyle changes: exercise
Regular exercise is also proven to regulate menstrual cycles. Just like diet, exercise is another powerful way to get pregnant with PCOS without having to take any medication. Something as simple as regular brisk walking shows regular menstrual cycles in overweight women. Progressive resistance training can regulate insulin resistance in women with PCOS, as well as reduce testosterone levels. Aerobic exercise can also have a strong effect on insulin resistance and inflammation- which is one of the major causes of PCOS symptoms. By reducing androgen and testosterone levels, ovarian function is directly improved.
Several women with PCOS struggle with weight because PCOS negatively effects regulation of insulin in our body, which leads to weight gain. Irregular ovulation is the main reason that women with PCOS are not able to conceive. Obese or overweight women are more likely to experience extreme irregular menstrual cycles. Losing some of the extra weight may bring back regular ovulation.
Losing weight alone has not been proven to aid conceiving but weight loss greatly increases the chances of success of the fertility treatments.
Metformin, also known as Glucophage, is a diabetes treatment used to treat insulin resistance. It is occasionally prescribed to women with PCOS even if they are not insulin resistant. According to research, metformin can help you lose weight, restart regular menstrual cycles, improve the effectiveness of fertility treatments, and reduce the rate of miscarriages.
Metformin, in combination with fertility drugs, may prove to be a good choice because it reduces the risk for Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome which is common while taking fertility drugs. Clomid is a popular fertility treatment but some women are Clomid-resistant, and taking Metformin may help in getting pregnant with PCOS.
An ovulatory stimulating drug, Clomid is the most commonly used fertility medicine. It is prescribed to women who have problems with ovulation. It is usually taken as an oral pill and is less strong than the injection-based fertility drugs, making it the first medicine prescribed to women with PCOS.
Many women with PCOS conceive with the help of Clomid. However, Clomid should not be administered if you have blocked fallopian tubes, or other uterine abnormalities. It should not be used in the case of ovarian cysts (different from tiny cysts that accompany PCOS.)
Letrozole is a cancer medication, but is frequently given to women with PCOS who are trying to conceive. Studies have found that Letrozole may be more effective than Clomid in regulating ovulation. The fact that it is a cancer medicine shouldn’t worry you – it barely has any side effects and its use for PCOS has been heavily researched. Talk to a doctor and find out if this may be the right treatment for you to try getting pregnant with PCOS.
Injectable fertility drugs, or gonadotropins are the next step if oral medication does not seem to work. They are made of the hormones FSH, LH or a combination of two. Doctors may prescribe gonadotropins along with oral medicines. Some doctors suggest gonadotropins with intrauterine insemination.
One of the possible risks of gonadotropins is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, which can develop in women with PCOS. Lower dosages of gonadotropins are used to avoid this.
IVF or IVM
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or In Vitro Maturation (IVM) are often prescribed when gonadotropins are ineffective. IVF involves using injected fertility medicine to stimulate the ovaries. The eggs are then retrieved from the ovaries and placed together with sperm, which fertilizes them. After a few days, the eggs are transferred back to the uterus.
One of the risks of IVF is overstimulation of ovaries. This is where IVM comes in, in which the immature eggs mature in the lab. However, IVM is not offered at all fertility clinics which is something to keep in mind.
Ovarian Drilling is a minor surgical procedure that is minimally invasive. This type of laparoscopic surgery involves puncturing the ovary with a needle that carries some current. This reduces the level of male hormone and induces ovulation.
However, the effects of this surgery may only last for a few months. The procedure also brings with itself the risk of developing scar tissue between the ovary and fallopian tubes.
Myo-inositol has been proven to be more effective than birth control at regulating ovarian function. It is a safe and affordable supplement that increases egg quality and reduces the risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome while doing IVF.
Myo-inositol has been shown to be more effective than Metformin at increasing pregnancy rates in women with PCOS.
It is unlikely that women with PCOS will require an egg donor unless there are already deeper fertility issues like old age. However, surgeries like ovarian drilling may cause lower ovarian reserves. In this case, the woman may require an egg donor.
Women with PCOS can get pregnant just like any other woman. It may require some time and effort but it is certainly not impossible. With lifestyle changes, medication and good medical advice, it is as easy as anything else. Always remember to consult your doctor/gynaecologist before trying anything at all when it comes to getting pregnant with PCOS.