Everything You need to Know About PCOS and Pregnancy
PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is a leading cause of infertility among women. Although PCOS does not stop women from having babies, conceiving becomes difficult due to this condition. Here is all you need to know about PCOS and pregnancy to enhance your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy if you have PCOS.
What Exactly is PCOS?
Ovulation occurs when ovarian follicles release an egg. PCOS is a hormonal problem that makes ovulation difficult. Women with PCOS generate more testosterone than usual, which may inhibit ovulation and result in irregular or absent periods. Due to the hormonal imbalance, follicles don't release eggs, which remain as cysts in the ovaries, resulting in polycystic ovary syndrome.
Symptoms of PCOS?
- Excessive face hair growth.
- Scalp hair thinning.
- Excess weight gain.
- Abnormally long-lasting menstrual bleeding.
- Menstruation irregularity.
Insulin resistance develops in more than half the women with PCOS before 40. If your periods are irregular or you suddenly develop any of the symptoms listed above, you should see your doctor.
The medical practitioner will consider your family history and whether you've had them before. It is possible to have PCOD/PCOS without ovarian cysts; therefore, the doctor will perform blood tests, a pelvic exam, and an ultrasound to confirm their doubts.
How to Detect Pregnancy if You Have PCOS?
When you have PCOS, it is easy to mistake the symptoms for that of pregnancy. Missed periods - the classic initial pregnancy symptom may become hard to spot if you have PCOS. Irregularities in menstrual cycles make it difficult to recognise when you have missed a period unless you track your ovulation.
Women generally get their period approximately two weeks after ovulation. So, if you are sure that you did ovulate but didn't get your periods within 14 days, the chances of you being pregnant are high; for best results, ask your doctor to monitor your ovulation cycle.
Additionally, in PCOS, doctors often prescribe metformin, a drug that induces ovulation. Such medicines often mimic pregnancy symptoms, like vomiting and nausea. They may even cause a metallic taste in your mouth, another early pregnancy symptom.
If you are getting treated with Progesterone, you might experience sore breasts, tiredness, mood swings and appetite changes; all these are classic pregnancy symptoms.
Women with PCOS should avoid using early result pregnancy tests, since these tests often produce false negatives.
To clarify your doubts, the medical practitioner may ask you to undergo a PCOS profile test that assesses the levels of various hormones within your body. So, book your PCOS Profile - 3 test today!.
What are the Chances of Pregnancy in PCOS?
You may require medication to become pregnant with PCOS. According to a medical study, nearly 80% of women with PCOS who took the drug clomiphene citrate succeeded in ovulating. Half of these women got pregnant in six-period cycles.
If medications fail, your doctor may prescribe IVF treatments. Pregnancy rates for women with PCOS who undergo IVF range from 20% to 40%. Getting pregnant becomes more difficult for women over 35 who are also overweight.
Risks associated with getting Pregnant with PCOS?
Pregnant women are more vulnerable to developing this type of diabetes. It is treatable and, when kept under control, presents no significant health risks to either the mother or the foetus. After the baby is born, the condition usually goes away on its own; however, Gestational diabetes may result in very big babies with low blood sugar and breathing difficulties. It also raises the chance for women and their children to acquire type 2 diabetes in the future.
Preeclampsia, a rapid increase in blood pressure, may harm the mother's brain, kidneys, and liver after the twentieth week of pregnancy. Moreover, it can progress into eclampsia if not treated in time, leading to seizures and even death. Delivery, even if premature, is the main treatment for the condition. Women with preeclampsia may need a C-section, which includes risks for both mother and child.
Pregnancy-Induced High Blood Pressure
This condition is caused by a rise in blood pressure levels in the second half of pregnancy. It may even cause preeclampsia if untreated. This high blood pressure might potentially impact the delivery.
Infants are "preterm" if born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Preterm babies are at risk for major health issues after delivery and later in life.
PCOS pregnant women may require caesarean sections because of high blood pressure. AC-section is a surgical procedure, which may prolong the recovery time for both mother and baby.
Women with PCOS are three time more likely to have a miscarriage in the first few months of pregnancy than women without the condition. According to research, metformin may help pregnant women with PCOS avoid miscarriage.
PCOS can make pregnancy more difficult due to the lack of a reliable menstrual cycle to anchor your timeline. However, this doesn't rule out pregnancy in the future.
After the expected start of your period has passed, keep testing to see if you have a positive result. You can have a greater chance of obtaining an accurate result if you do not depend on early pre-period testing methods, which can be inaccurate for women with PCOS.
Always use a blood test that a doctor has prescribed to confirm pregnancy. Throughout your pregnancy, see a gynaecologist who is familiar with PCOS.