Many couples face an up-and-down journey towards natural conception. In women, if they have PCOS, it feels like walking into a void. Every year, around 10 percent of women suffer from this condition and face issues with hormone levels, cysts in the ovaries, and ovulation issues. The result is that the egg may not properly develop or be released during ovulation, making it much harder for you to get pregnant. Different women see different effects of PCOS, such as from not having a period at all to irregular periods, egg quality issues and many things in between.
How does PCOS affect ovulation?
During a menstrual cycle, there is an increase in the luteinizing hormone (LH), which is a signal to the ovaries to release an egg. In women affected with PCOS, the LH levels are high, or there are many LH peaks in a cycle. When there are high levels of LH, there is no surge to trigger the release of eggs. LH levels are not the only issue; there are reduced levels of FSH or higher levels of estrogen and overproduction of androgens. With so many hormonal imbalances, the cycle becomes irregular, and their ovulation is not normal.
If you have PCOS, please educate yourself and be proactive about your condition. Please know about your own body and cycles, which is the first step in managing this condition. While it may take more legwork, please keep track of ovulation, especially if you are trying to conceive.
Symptoms of PCOS
Since PCOS is a hormonal disorder, women have high levels of androgens (male hormones) and insulin resistance. Women typically experience:
- Irregular Periods
- Hair Growth In Unwanted Areas
- Weight Gain
- Difficulty Getting Pregnant.
PCOS and Fertility tests
If women observe any of the above symptoms and are also having difficulty in conception, then please consult our specialist fertility expert at ZIVA fertility centres. The fertility expert will start with a physical examination, followed by blood tests to check hormone levels and insulin resistance. An ultrasound is performed to look for cysts on your ovaries.
But the doctors will also do a check on the male partner’s sperm count and sperm quality.
Fertility is not the only impacted function due to PCOS; there are other risks, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. Lifestyle changes are mandatory to keep these risks at bay.
PCOS and pregnancy
Gestational diabetes: Pregnancy is a time of hormonal fluctuations, and with PCOS, there are more dramatic hormone shifts. Since insulin resistance is common in PCOS, it can make it difficult for the body to regulate blood sugar levels during pregnancy. So, during pregnancy, gestational diabetes must be closely monitored.
Mental health issues: It has also been proven by research that a woman’s mental health during pregnancy is also affected due to hormonal changes. The risk of developing depression and anxiety during pregnancy is high in PCOS patients. So, when you visit our expert doctors at ZIVA Fertility clinics, please make sure that you also discuss any mental health concerns.
Other issues: PCOS also comes with an increased risk of miscarriages and pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.
Myths about PCOS and Fertility
Women with PCOS cannot conceive at all: Agreed that it might be a bit challenging to get pregnant, but many women went on to successful pregnancies and deliveries with PCOS.
Women with PCOS have multiple births: If women with PCOS undergo fertility treatments like IVF, then they might have a higher chance of multiple births. PCOS itself is not the reason for having triples or twins.
Unmanageable risks: Though there are complications as listed above, with careful monitoring and expert care, they can be managed. For women with PCOS, there are various treatments available, such as medications to regulate ovulation or assisted reproductive technologies like intrauterine insemination (IUI) or IVF, that can increase the chances of pregnancy.
Fertility treatments for women with PCOS
There is a lot to be hopeful for despite PCOS.
Medical help: There are medications and ART which can assist you in improving fertility and conceiving a child. Medications such as help to regulate ovulation and improve insulin resistance. Assisted reproductive technologies like IUI and IVF are most recommended.
Lifestyle changes: Above all, lifestyle changes help manage PCOS symptoms effectively. One should focus on a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Regular exercise is also most recommended. All these changes can improve hormone levels and increase the chances of ovulation.
Managing stress: As mentioned above, hormonal fluctuations due to PCOS cause mental health issues. So, stress is detrimental to fertility. Please practice regular yoga and meditation to keep stress at bay. If there are any other concerns, please do not hesitate to consult a mental health professional. At ZIVA fertility centres, we also offer counseling services for couples with fertility issues.
At-home remedies: You can use fertility-enhancing herbs or supplements upon recommendation by your fertility doctor. Herbs and natural supplements have been found to improve insulin resistance and regulate menstrual cycles. Cinnamon and spearmint can have a significant effect in lowering androgen levels and improving ovulation.
Preconception planning: If you already know that you have PCOS, then please plan and manage your symptoms. Start with prenatal vitamins and fertility treatments if necessary. We also recommend monitoring your hormone levels and tracking your ovulation cycle. Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
We would like to leave you with these thoughts though PCOS can be challenging, it is not impossible. You can always get pregnant with proper management and by consulting your doctor regularly. Make healthy habits like a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management a part of your life. For more information, please visit our website, Ziva Fertility or contact us at +91-9100002737, +91-9392834024, or email@example.com.