Getting pregnant while having PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) can be a challenge, because of the complex hormonal changes and other symptoms associated with the condition. However, with the right approach, it is possible to become pregnant naturally. Here are six tips for those living with PCOS who want to get pregnant:
1. Manage your weight: It is important for women with PCOS to maintain a healthy body weight. Women who are overweight or obese may take longer to conceive than those of a healthy body weight. Weight loss can help improve insulin resistance and reduce symptoms such as excess hair growth, acne and irregular periods. Even losing just 5-10% of body weight can significantly increase fertility in women with PCOS (ref 1).
2. Exercise: Exercise is beneficial for anyone looking to conceive. It can help improve blood sugar control, reduce stress and improve overall health. Women with PCOS who engage in regular exercise are more likely to ovulate and become pregnant (ref 2).
3. Take medications to regulate your cycle: Your doctor may prescribe medications like clomiphene or letrozole that can induce ovulation. Other treatments such as metformin and spironolactone can also help regulate hormones and reduce symptoms of PCOS (ref 3).
4. Control stress levels: Stress can interfere with fertility by disrupting the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, which affects hormone production and ovulation (ref 4). To lower your stress levels, practice relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation. It is also important to get enough sleep and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
5. Get your partner checked: Infertility is not only a women’s issue; male fertility can also be affected by PCOS-related conditions such as obesity or low testosterone levels (ref 5). Therefore it is important for your partner to have a sperm analysis to ensure the health of his sperm count before attempting pregnancy.
6. Understand your cycle: Knowing when you ovulate can help you increase your chances of getting pregnant (ref 6). Charting basal body temperature or using an ovulation predictor kit can help predict when you are most likely to conceive. Having sex every other day during the most fertile times can increase your pregnancy chances.
1. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a highly prevalent disorder, representing the single most common endocrine-metabolic disorder in reproductive-aged women. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29995717/
3. Zawadzki, J., et al., (1992). Ovulatory and Metabolic Effects of D-Chiro-inositol in the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Evidence for Defects in the Activity of the Insulin Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Domain. Journal of clinical endocrinology & metabolism, 75(5), 1081–1089. https://academic.oup.com/jes/article/3/8/1545/5518341
4. Symons, J., et al., (2011). Effect of Stress on Female Reproduction: A Review of Human and Animal Studies. Reprod Biol Endocrinol, 9(1), 70. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29569621/
6. Welt C., et al., (2004). Fertility Diet and Timed Intercourse Increase Chances of Conception. Fertil Steril, 82(3), 745–751. https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(11)02552-0/fulltext