PCOS and Pregnancy – How to Increase Your Chances of Conception
Yes, PCOS and pregnancy can live happily ever after! Learn how to increase your chances of conception when you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
These tips focus on staying healthy, coping with the symptoms of PCOS, and increasing your chances of conceiving a baby.
Before the tips, a quip:
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“People with fertility problems are not alone. It is a very, very common problem for couples today. I’ve seen statistics that are just staggering.” ~ Michael Zaslow.
Approximately 10% of the female population has PCOS; luckily it is one of the most treatable causes of infertility. There are many natural and medicated ways to counter-act the conditions that make getting pregnant more difficult for women with PCOS. The correct treatment of PCOS may help increase your chances of conceiving and ultimately having a healthy pregnancy.
Another helpful book for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is The PCOS Workbook: Your Guide to Complete Physical and Emotional Health by Angela Grassi.
Coping With PCOS and Conceiving a Baby
For any woman diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) the first question on her lips is usually “Will I be able to have children?” PCOS decreases the chances of being able to get pregnant quickly and easily, but the condition doesn’t rule out the possibility entirely.
To increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy…
Exercise more frequently
The better condition your body is in, the better your chance is that you will be able to conceive. If you are overweight, exercise is a great way to bring your weight down and also help with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, all of which have been linked to PCOS and could be contributing to a more difficult conception for you. Even a weight-loss of 5% has been shown to help with the imbalance of hormones and increase your fertility.
Exercise can also help with other PCOS symptoms, such as acne or hair growth, and can even restore ovulation. On top of this, exercise is known for reducing stress – which can have a negative effect on conceiving a baby. Join a gym, talk to a personal trainer or get out there and join a sports team of your choice.
Manage your insulin levels with a healthy diet
A common problem associated with PCOS is the body’s low insulin tolerance. Insulin regulates carb and fat metabolism in the body meaning without a healthy tolerance, you are at risk of becoming severely overweight. Keep your diet low in carbs, this will help increase your insulin resistance and help prevent diabetes. Another tip for PCOS and pregnancy is to choose food with a low glycemic index (GI); these kinds of foods create a slower absorption of glucose into the bloodstream resulting in less insulin production. Choose lean proteins and low GI fruit and veg, dairy, healthy fats and whole grains. With a quick Google search you can find charts for food with low GI’s to help you plan tasty low GI treats and meals!
To learn more about healthy eating, read The PCOS Diet Plan: A Natural Approach to Health for Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – it’s a bestselling book on Amazon.
Try to keep your stress levels down
Trying to get pregnant, even without PCOS, is a stressful position to be in – especially if you only recently found out about your condition. But stress certainly doesn’t help the situation! So, along with the other natural ways to increase your chances of conception, take some time out every day to have some ‘you’ time. Light candles and some incense, take a long soak in the bath or pay for a bit of pampering. Whatever it is that chills you out and relaxes you, take the time to make sure you find your ‘Zen’ place. After all, that new exercise and diet regime will be tiring you out!
Balance your hormones
If you think PCOS might present a problem for pregnancy, talk to your doctor or a fertility specialist. He or she may suggest medications to help stimulate ovulation. For instance, Metformin is often prescribed for women who have PCOS as it reduces insulin resistance and is effective in helping women with PCOS conceive. Each case is different, so talk to your doctor to learn what’s best for you.
Remember — you’re not alone! There’s a high probability that another woman at work, on the bus, or in your family has PCOS and had a successful pregnancy. Stay positive!
For more tips on increasing your chances of conception, read How Naturopathic Medicine Can Treat Uterine Fibroids in Women.
If you have any thoughts on coping with PCOS and pregnancy, please comment below…
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Written by Heather Welsh, an English writer and blogger currently based in Vancouver. Visit her blog at Central Reservation or follow her on Twitter @Heather_Welsh.