Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition we can see increasing. PCOS affects about 10% of women from all around the world and can occur at any age before menopause. This condition can go undiagnosed for months because its symptoms overlap with other women’s health concerns.
Women with PCOS have ovaries that create abundant follicles each month without producing an egg. It can contribute to irregular menstrual periods, excessive weight gain despite diet and exercise efforts, excessive facial hair growth, acne and depression. It is also a common cause of infertility.
How does PCOS influence a woman’s fertility?
When a woman has PCOS, it changes the hormonal pathways in the body that are responsible for producing eggs and preparing the uterus for pregnancy. Here are the three most important reasons why becoming or staying pregnant might be more challenging for women with PCOS:
- Women with PCOS tend to have irregular periods.
- Women with PCOS often do not ovulate.
- When and if an egg is released, the lining of the uterus (endometrium) of women with PCOS might not be sufficiently prepared to sustain pregnancy.
Can I still get pregnant if I have PCOS?
The answer is a resounding YES. It might require some medical interventions, but yes. Even though PCOS is the most common type of female hormone disorder and one of the leading causes of female infertility, there is definitely hope for women with PCOS.
How can I increase my chances of getting pregnant naturally?
This is a question often heard from women with PCOS. There are several treatment options available – both conventional and natural – that can help normalize your hormones and increase your chances for a healthy pregnancy. However, nutritional and lifestyle changes are also necessary for women with PCOS.
Here are some suggestions for women with PCOS:
- Follow a low-glycemic diet. What you are aiming for is to limit insulin resistance, balance sex hormones and increase fertility. You should avoid high-fructose syrups, white flour, white rice, white sugar, white potatoes and other highly processed, refined starches and sugars. Limiting refined carbohydrates is vital to fertility because it reduces your insulin resistance and results in more regular ovulation and menses.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Staying physically active is one way that can help you maintain a healthy weight. Not only does it help you attain your ideal weight, it also helps reduce insulin resistance. You will notice positive influences on your stress levels, mood and sleep. Simply losing 5% of your weight can lead to more regular menses and ovulation.
For more questions on PCOS and infertility, setup an appointment with Dr. Fay Weisberg today!