PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome; in simple terms it is the lack of ovulation in a woman’s body. In a normal human reproductive cycle the woman ovulates every month on the 14th day of her cycle give or take a few days. In case of women who suffer from PCOS this ovulation is either late or does not take place at all. A woman cannot become pregnant if there is no ovulation.
According to a recent survey, two in every ten women suffer from PCOS and some aren’t even aware that the condition they have is a disorder. The first and foremost sign of PCOS is irregular periods, very light periods or no periods at all. It is very common in women with PCOS to have periods once in every three or four months. PCOS becomes difficult to diagnose because the women with this condition rarely show the typical symptoms associated with it like excessive growth of hair on arms and face. This characteristic symptom of PCOS is mainly because of the increased levels of testosterone in the body.
The main reason for lack of ovulation is that in some women there are more number of follicles that the others. Women with more follicles tend to get PCOS. The closed up location of the follicles does not give the follicles the opportunity burst and release eggs that can reach the fallopian tubes. Since ovulation does not occur the follicles turn into tiny cysts. A study revealed that women with PCOS ovulate only 2-3 times a year and in extreme cases not at all.
However, there is no need to despair. Women with PCOS are known to get successfully pregnant with proper treatment. There are some things that a woman with PCOS who is trying to conceive should keep in mind. It has been observed that most of the women suffering from PCOS are overweight. According to a study, losing even five percent of the body’s total fat will increase the chances of a woman becoming pregnant. Overweight women who lose weight also reduce chances of getting gestational diabetes during their pregnancy.
Analyze your lifestyle. Many women will notice a tremendous change in their ability to conceive after eating a nutritious diet and incorporating exercise in their regime. Some women with PCOS also suffer from diabetes. Eating a well balanced diet that is low in carbohydrates and fat will lower the levels of insulin and also help with weight loss.
Women with PCOS also have hormonal imbalances. This needs to be corrected before they can be put on medications that will augment ovulation. Hormonal imbalance can cause decrease in fertility because there is excessive production of the male hormone testosterone in their bodies. Any kind of hormonal problem also needs to be treated with supplements and hormone therapy.
Get yourself checked by a doctor and get the medications required for treatment. Be regular with your medication which will be the first step you would take towards getting pregnant. The doctor will give you metformin initially for a period of three to six months and only then start you on other medications. Six months gives metformin enough time to start acting on the body completely.
Women with PCOS also require medication to help them with regular ovulation. As of now, Clomid is the best drug available that can regulate the process of ovulation. Injections such as HCG also help kick start the process of ovulation in a woman suffering from PCOS. Timing is very crucial when looking at conceiving. Take your basal body temperature and keep a track of it to determine the best time for conception. Your doctor will advice you and your partner more about the days on which to try for a baby; however, it’s usually the four days around the date of ovulation.
Photo Credit: Michaelshouse.com
The doctor may suggest an intrauterine insemination once the pattern of your ovulation becomes regular. Intrauterine insemination makes it easier for the sperm to reach the egg and boosts the chances of conceiving. Diet also plays an important part in the process of conceiving. In order to become pregnant you must give your body the required healthy nutrients to prepare it better for pregnancy. Fresh fruits and vegetables, brown rice, whole wheat, soya products, lentils, chickpeas, beans, nuts, seeds and fish are foods that help treat infertility in women.
Avoid eating excess of junk foods, red meats and oily foods. Instead concentrate on eating complex carbohydrates to boost fertility. Also avoid dairy products. Drinking excessive coffee, alcohol and sugar is also bad because these release the hormone prolactin in the body. This hormone is responsible for the major cases of miscarriages. Include plenty of fiber in your food so that you don’t suffer from constipation. Keeping your body well hydrated will also ensure regular bowel movements.
Do not eat foods that have preservatives and chemicals added to them. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the way to go. Get yourself checked for any deficiency. Take supplements of vitamins, calcium, iron and folic acid to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy. Vitamins also help in balancing the hormones. Taking zinc supplements will help with weight loss. Magnesium and chromium supplements decrease the insulin resistance in the body and also decreases weight.
The last option is in vitro fertilization in case the above attempts at conception do not work. Get more information from your doctor about in vitro fertilization or IVF. Be comfortable with your doctor and trust him/her implicitly. Your doctor knows how your body is functioning from the inside and will advice you options of conceiving accordingly. Women with PCOS take a long time to get pregnant and therefore your should have that kind of faith that your doctor will see you through this.
Do over-stress yourself with trying to conceive. Sometimes stress plays a major deterrent in conception. You must learn to relax and have a positive view on everything so that your body also responds positively to the various treatments and medications. Women who think positive find it easier to conceive.