How PCOS Affects Your Fertility
26/01/2022 By AskAwayHealth

Four Effective Ways To Improve Your Fertility if You Have PCOS

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This week’s guest post addresses a concern that you may share with many women: how PCOS affects your fertility. Continue reading to learn the most effective ways to improve your chance of falling pregnant with polycystic ovaries.

Graphic showing some PCOS SYMPTOMS

What Is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that leads to hormonal imbalance in the body. Due to this, the ovaries don’t release eggs at the end of the menstrual cycle.

As the condition affects the ovaries, it leads to infertility in women. Besides, the hormonal imbalance may cause an abnormal increase in testosterone, a male sex hormone.

PCOS affects 5 to 10% of women of reproductive age and is one of the common causes of infertility.

If you have PCOS, your ovaries may be slightly larger than normal. You may also have more fluid-filled pockets on ovaries that release eggs.

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Impact of PCOS on Fertility

PCOS leads to infertility in women due to:

  • Elevated androgens in the body
  • Possible thickening of the outer shell of the ovaries
  • Formation of small and fluid-filled ovary sacs
  • Elevated insulin in the body
PCOS Affects Fertility graphic showing the womb and healthy ovaries

All the above factors can interfere with ovulation, which may cause infertility. PCOS also triggers irregular periods or missed periods that affect the ovulation cycle.

Also, being overweight can reduce fertility and affect women with PCOS taking a long time to conceive. Although PCOS affects fertility; the good news is with reliable treatment the symptoms of PCOS can treat based on their severity.

Fertility Treatments For Women with PCOS

Though there is no cure for PCOS, you can manage the condition with pills, lifestyle management, diet, and exercise.

  • Diet

A healthy and balanced diet makes a considerable difference in managing your PCOS symptoms. Your PCOS diet plan should include:

  • Low glycemic foods: High glycemic foods spike the insulin level. To alleviate the symptoms of PCOS, it is essential to avoid weight gain and spike in diabetes. You can achieve this by including soymilk, oatmeal, legumes, whole grain cereals, and low-fat yoghurt in your diet plan.
  • Less sugar: Sugar causes a spike in blood sugar levels. So, make sure to stay away from food that has added sugar in them. Avoid sugary beverages, sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, etc
  • Anti-inflammatory foods and reduced dairy products: Eating anti-inflammatory foods reduces insulin levels and fatigue in PCOS conditions. Include healthy options like spinach, green tea, olives, coconut, and turmeric in your diet. Also, consume fewer dairy products as they contain insulin growth factor 1, which is not ideal for women with PCOS.
  • Exercise

Aim for at least thirty minutes of exercise to control the symptoms of PCOS. Being overweight does affect your chances of getting pregnant with the condition. You can walk for thirty minutes or practice thirty minutes of yoga. Besides, if you have a higher BMI, your symptoms may improve with daily exercise.

What is PCOS Graphic showing the womb with a healthy ovary on L side and polycystic ovary on R side.
  • Medicines

An experienced PCOS specialist may prescribe medications based on individual PCOS symptoms.

*Note: Don’t self prescribe. Always consult with a specialist to protect and keep yourself from harm.

  • Clomiphene Citrate: Clomiphene citrate is a drug well known to stimulate the ovary effectively. The pills block the estrogen feedback to the brain. This pill needs to be taken once every day for a week or at the start of your menstrual cycle. Your healthcare provider will guide you on the same. The healthcare provider may also increase the dose if you need this. Clomid helps women with PCOS ovulate. But, research shows that more than 15 % of women may not respond to the dose.
  • Metformin: By treating Type 2 Diabetes, you can boost your body’s ability to use insulin. Though not the first line of treatment, you can have the pill to keep your diabetes in control. Moreover, the pill helps women get pregnant with PCOS. It can encourage ovulation and regulate periods. However, you will need a proper prescription for the pill, so talk to your doctor.
  • Letrozole: This pill is an aromatase inhibitor but can start ovulation in women with PCOS. It blocks estrogen production and increases the release of follicle-stimulating hormones, which can help women conceive. It is strong medicine, so doctors’ recommendation is a must.
  • Surgery

If medicines are ineffective, doctors may prescribe surgery for laparoscopic ovarian drilling. However, most doctors may suggest this in rare cases when there’s no option left. Besides, the results aren’t permanent as the ovulation is restored only for 6 to 8 months.

Wrapping up

In severe cases, an IVF treatment can help women with PCOS get pregnant. Besides, there are fertility injections that can help you to an extent. As PCOS causes hormonal imbalance in the body, having a healthy diet plan and making lifestyle changes can help manage the hormonal imbalance.

Medication intervention can help you deal with the problem. But, use only prescribed medications to avoid any complications. It is also vital to note that you have a good chance of getting pregnant with PCOS.

So, if you believe that you can’t conceive, change your perception. With the correct treatment and medicines, you can get pregnant. Also, it is essential to stay positive and stress-free.

More Reading:

Editing by AskAwayHealth Team

Disclaimer

All AskAwayHealth articles are reviewed by practising Medical Practitioners on a wide range of health care conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality health care. The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified health care practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly through info@askawayhealth.org

Image Credits @Canva

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