Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common health problem affecting 1 in 10 women of childbearing age and is caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. PCOS causes many symptoms for women that have it, but the main three symptoms for receiving a PCOS diagnosis are cysts on the ovaries, irregular or skipped periods and high levels of male hormones.
Having irregular or skipped periods, and/or cysts on the ovaries can cause infertility amongst women, in fact, a majority of infertility cases are caused by PCOS. However, it is still possible to get pregnant with the right diet, supplements, and medication. Meet the Specialist – Melbourne-IVF to a consultation and help you with your problem.
PCOS can cause weight gain but it also makes it difficult to lose weight. Given that losing weight reduces symptoms, it can be a horrible cycle to be in if you’re overweight and have PCOS. For women with PCOS diet plays a huge part in reducing symptoms. Cutting out sugar from your diet helps as the contents of sugar (fructose) is linked to increased body fat and reducing egg development.
It’s also recommended that if you eat carbohydrates, stick to eating low-sugar high-fiber carbs to keep your insulin levels stabilized. An increase in insulin levels can increase androgen hormones such as testosterone, which with PCOS you already have enough of.
There are many other foods to avoid that can impact your hormone levels including dairy, gluten, coffee, and alcohol.
If you find changing your diet to a PCOS compliant one hasn’t helped with getting pregnant with PCOS, there are supplements you can try which boast improved fertility. One supplement that many women take and have had success in conceiving is Inositol. Inositol, when combined with folic acid, is known to improve PCOS symptoms including increased ovulation.
For some women, changing diet and introducing supplements doesn’t work but there’s a medication that can be prescribed that helps increase ovulation called Clomid (clomiphene citrate). Clomid makes the body think your estrogen levels are lower than what they are, and this causes an increase in the secretion of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), and LH (luteinizing hormone).
Having a high level of FSH helps stimulate the ovary to produce an egg follicle(s) which develops and releases during ovulation, and the high levels of LH help stimulate ovulation. Because of the potential to produce more than one egg follicle, a lot of women who take Clomid can have twins or even triplets.
Having PCOS doesn’t mean that you won’t have children. There are many ways to help reduce PCOS symptoms and increase your chances of getting pregnant with PCOS, and plenty of women with PCOS have conceived naturally and gone on to have healthy babies. It may just take a change in diet, adding supplements, and if those fail, taking Clomid. And even if those don’t work for you, there are other ways of conceiving including IVF (In vitro fertilization).