A healthy lifestyle is a choice for most these days, and there are so many resources to guide you towards a positive lifestyle. If you read/see or hear any such material, PCOS is often featured. PCOS – Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal condition causing female infertility. But it is a treatable condition, and most of it is in your hands. Center for Disease Control (CDC), based out in the United States, estimates that up to 12 per cent of women experiencing issues with conception is due to untreated PCOS. PCOS is often diagnosed when someone cannot conceive even after 6 months to 1 year of unprotected intercourse. Hence, this number could be much higher.
PCOS does not have to be a blocker for you in realizing your dream of having a baby. There is plenty that can be done right out of your home. We at ZIVA Fertility center pride ourselves on helping many achieve a healthy pregnancy despite PCOS.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition of hormonal imbalance where an abnormal amount of androgens, male sex hormones, are produced. Under normal conditions, these hormones are present in small amounts in women. This condition is named “polycystic ovary syndrome” due to numerous small fluid-filled sacs – cysts formed in the ovaries. Not all women with PCOS develop cysts. Some might only have hormonal imbalances.
PCOS symptoms and complications
PCOS makes conception harder since it majorly affects your menstruation cycle. Symptoms include:
- Irregular and especially too few menstrual periods
- Period duration increases
- Periods stopped
- Very high flow during periods
- More than normal levels of male hormones like testosterone
- Acne breakouts that are not getting cured by any external treatments
- Observing new facial hair and extra hair
- Fluid accumulation in ovaries and small cyst formations on the ovaries
- Lesser number of eggs released from the ovaries
If left untreated, PCOS increases the risk of other health conditions, like:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea (snoring)
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
How to overcome PCOS?
Many steps to getting pregnant with PCOS involve maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Maintain a Fit and Healthy Weight:
Get your BMI measured by a health professional. BMI is an indication of how much of your body composition is fat. If BMI is higher, take measures to lose before getting pregnant. You can start by:-
- It all starts with a healthy diet and exercise plan. Make it a habit to choose healthier food choices and lead an active lifestyle.
- Track your periods and ovulation with proper apps. Many have adopted this method to know the best days of the month you are more likely to get pregnant.
- Regularly keep a tab on your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar plays a crucial role in getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy.
Remember that not all overweight women suffer from PCOS. But it has been one of the major observations that being overweight can cause PCOS. By losing 5 per cent of the extra weight you are carrying, you may improve your fertility and reduce other PCOS symptoms. Exercise daily by going for a walk and getting in your steps. Replace your work chair with a standing desk so that you are standing while working for long hours rather than sitting for that amount of time. Lift light weights to build muscle, which helps in bringing down PCOS symptoms and improves your health.
Healthy foods that one can include are:-
- Fresh and cooked fruit and vegetables
- Consume more brown rice, oats, and barley i.e whole grains
- Beans and lentils
Below are the vitamins and minerals for a healthy pregnancy and a growing baby. Additional supplements include:
- Folic acid (vitamin B9)
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Coenzyme Q10
Balance blood sugar levels
PCOS can shoot up your blood sugar levels or type 2 diabetes, leading to fertility problems. PCOS modifies the insulin processing by the body. PCOS increases insulin resistance due to which the glucose is retained in the blood. Controlling your blood sugar levels will help you in getting pregnant. The steps you take to control PCOS will also help manage your blood sugar levels. If your doctor recommends medications to help balance your blood sugar levels, then take them religiously. It’s good to check your blood sugar levels with a home monitor every day.
Other blood tests done to determine blood sugar are :
- Random blood sugar test
- Overnight fasting blood sugar test
- Oral glucose tolerance tests are done after fasting and drinking a sugary drink
- The haemoglobin A1C test checks your blood sugar levels for two to three months.
Medications to treat PCOS
In the case of PCOS, the female body produces more of the male hormone testosterone. A well-balanced hormonal system is critical for pregnancy, so your doctor might prescribe medication to help balance your hormones. The most recommended medications are :
- Medication to maintain blood sugar levels.
- Medicines to produce healthy estrogen levels
- medicines to balance estrogen and testosterone levels.
- Ovulation enhancement medication so that the ovaries to send out more eggs
Artificial Reproductive Techniques (ART) for Pregnancy
If all the natural means to try for pregnancy fail, the couple can try a variety of ART procedures, especially “In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)”, to get pregnant with PCOS. IVF is a lengthy process irrespective of whether you have PCOS or not. The good news is that medical research has shown that women with PCOS have a high success rate of getting pregnant with IVF treatment. Women with PCOS who have a good BMI are twice as likely to get pregnant with IVF than women with PCOS who are obese.
Since IVF is expensive and takes longer, the fertility expert might suggest a less-costly alternative called intrauterine insemination (IUI). In IUI, a high concentration of sperm is directly injected closer to the egg. Since the sperm is so closer to the egg, fertilization and subsequent pregnancy are better.
There is no definitive cause established for PCOS. But if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, getting an early diagnosis and treatment and making other lifestyle changes may help you get pregnant and prevent health complications from PCOS. One can get pregnant with PCOS. We at ZIVA have been helping many women realize their pregnancy dreams despite PCOS. We at ZIVA fertility centers are committed to promoting a healthy lifestyle to get pregnant and enjoy your journey. A healthy mother is crucial for the healthy growth of the baby too. Do reach us today at+91-9100002737, +91-9392834024 Info@zivafertility.com or visit our website https://zivafertility.com/ to know more.