Pregnancy

Your 101 guide to PCOS and its affect on pregnancy

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Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition which is quite common in women these days. Women suffering from PCOS often struggle to become pregnant and are also at high risk of developing complications during their pregnancy. So to understand the effect of PCOS on pregnancy and how one can get pregnant with PCOS, let’s first take a look at what PCOS is :

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

It is a hormonal condition where ovaries start producing androgens (male hormones) higher than the normal levels. This affect the menstrual cycle, appearance and fertility of a woman. Here are a few symptoms of PCOS:

·       Irregular menstrual period

·       Cysts on the ovaries

·       Weight gain

·       Infertility

·       Acne

·       Excess facial hair and body hair

·       Thinning of hair

PCOS AND PREGNANCY

If a woman is diagnosed with PCOS it may become difficult for her to get pregnant. Pregnant women with PCOS are three times more like to have a miscarriage as compared to women who don’t. Also the chances of developing preeclampsia which is a dangerous condition for both the mother and the baby, gestational diabetes and premature delivery are higher in such cases.

Risk for the baby:

If a woman has PCOS during pregnancy both she and her baby would need extra monitoring. This is because the baby as well is at the potential risk of:

·       Premature birth

·       Large for gestational age

·       Miscarriage

·       Lower Apgar score

 

Although, most PCOS symptoms during pregnancy can be treated with careful monitoring. Also women with PCOS are more likely to deliver the baby by C-section since they have larger babies.

If you are unable to get pregnant and suffer with PCOS then you must check with your doctor who would suggest you a few strategies like losing weight, healthy eating, medications, that will help you to get pregnant.

Trying to conceive with PCOS

If you are diagnosed with PCOS and trying to conceive a child here are a few things that you need to keep in mind:

·       Bring a change in your eating habits

Diet is extremely important to manage PCOS and improve your fertility. Eat healthy food as much as possible. Include fresh fruits, fresh vegetables in your diet and stay away from junk food, colas, street food etc.

·       Stop taking the birth control pill

Although this is an obvious one, but it is important to understand that it takes a while for the pill to completely leave your system and your body to resume to its natural cycle once you have stopped taking it. It may take upto 3 months for women without PCOS and with PCOS it may take even longer than that.

Breastfeeding your baby while having PCOS

The good news is that it’s safe to breast feed your baby if you are having PCOS. Also, if you are on medication to help control your blood sugar, it’s safe to nurse your child. Moreover, breastfeeding can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

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