Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common health condition that can affect a woman’s fertility. A complex hormonal disturbance with a wide range of symptoms, PCOS affects up to 10 percent of women in the U.S. today.
PCOS and infertility
Women with PCOS often have a hard time getting pregnant. Most women with PCOS have ovulation dysfunction. In fact, many women with PCOS are first diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome when they try to get pregnant and cannot.
PCOS and other health concerns
Along with causing problems getting pregnant, PCOS is associated with some serious long-term health consequences such as pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. About 1 in 3 women with PCOS have pre-diabetes and other symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome. These conditions may pave the way for diabetes and other serious illnesses if left untreated.
There is no cure for PCOS but there are steps you can take to manage this condition.
- By maintaining a healthy weight and eating fewer processed foods and foods with added sugar, you can improve your body’s use of insulin and balance your hormone levels.
- Weight loss may help regulate your cycles, improve the frequency of ovulation, lower androgen levels and boost your fertility.
PCOS during pregnancy
If you do become pregnant with PCOS, you may wonder how the syndrome will affect your pregnancy. Unfortunately PCOS can increase the following:
- Risk of miscarriage
- Gestational diabetes
- High blood pressure during pregnancy
- Premature delivery
Still, many women with PCOS do experience healthy pregnancies.
Seek help for PCOS
If you have PCOS and getting pregnant is your ultimate goal, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will help you find the most effective treatment options, including fertility-boosting medications and high-tech modalities, if necessary, to help you get pregnant and start a family.