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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS, Fertility, & Getting Pregnant

Polycystic Ovary Syndrom (PCOS) affects fertility and getting pregnant. In fact, PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility for women – but there are treatments!

If you’re one of the 10% of women coping with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and you want to get pregnant, you need to learn as much as you can about your ovaries, periods, and fertility.

Books like A Patient’s Guide to PCOS: Understanding–and Reversing–Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can be very helpful for women with PCOS, especially if they want to get pregnant. And, here are the symptoms and treatments of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, plus tips on getting pregnant…

Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

In What to Eat Before, During, and After Pregnancy, Judith Brown says that polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is often underdiagnosed because of variations in signs and symptoms. However, women with PCOS generally experience several of the following conditions:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles (periods) and no ovulation
  • Insulin resistance
  • Elevated blood levels of androgens, such as testosterone
  • Polycystic ovaries (the outer layers of the ovaries are thick and hard)
  • Central or abdomenal obesity
  • Excess body hair
  • Elevated blood levels of triglycerides and low levels of HDL cholesterol

How Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Affects Fertility and Getting Pregnant

Brown explains that polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) leads to insulin resistance, which triggers high levels of insulin.

“High levels of insulin trigger increased production of testosterone by the ovaries, and that disrupts egg development,” writes Brown in What to Eat Before, During, and After Pregnancy. High insulin levels are also connected to elevated triglycerides, low levels of HDL cholesterol, and excess hair growth.

“Women with PCOS are at increased risk of developing infertility, gestational diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease,” she says.

Treatment for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Good news! Weight loss and regular exercise can decrease insulin resistance and insulin levels. When your insulin levels drop, your testosterone and triglyceride levels will decrease, too. Your body will start ovulating again, which increases your chances of getting pregnant.

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When your body starts ovulating, Brown says, your fertility will improve. She also mentions insulin-sensitizing drugs – such as metformin – which can have the same effects as weight loss and exercise, and simulate ovulation.  Though the immediate effects of medication can work to improve conception, Brown says, “Long term, however, maintaining normal weight and exercise are the keys to managing PCOS and insulin resistance.”

For more info on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, fertility, and getting pregnant, read How Acupuncture Treats PCOS.

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4 thoughts on “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS, Fertility, & Getting Pregnant”

  1. I have irregualr period’s b/c I think I have PCOS. I have all the symptoms (acne, easily gain weight, excess body hair) & my GYN said that I have to take pills for all my life if I want to have a period. Thank you for all the info that you put on your website. It really helps alot, I know it helped me. Thank you {:

  2. Hi Surekha,

    According to WebMD, there is no cure for polycystic ovary syndrome – but controlling it increases your fertility levels and chances of getting pregnant! Controlling it also lowers your PCOS-related risk of miscarriages, heart disease, and uterine cancer.

    Regular exercise, a healthy diet, no smoking, and weight control are keys to treating polycystic ovary syndrome successfully.

    Prescription medications are also helpful for some women, but it depends on your body, age, and goals for the future (such as overcoming infertility issues to get pregnant!).

    Thanks for your question – it spurred me to write “Acupuncture Treatments for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)” — which contains more info. The link is above this comment.

    I hope this helps – and do let me know if you have more questions. You’re not alone, and there ARE treatments for fertility issues!