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Can You Get Pregnant With PCOS?

When your doctor tells you that you have PCOS, this is likely to be the first question on your mind. It’s not a widely understood condition, but many people are familiar with it as a challenge to fertility. Some doctors will go into the details with you and explain exactly what you can expect and what the diagnosis means, while others expect you to either know all the implications immediately or to do your own research.

If you’re doing your own research it can be scary – it sounds like a serious condition, and it is! But it doesn’t have to stop you getting pregnant. OvuSense is here to explain.

What is PCOS?

Short for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, PCOS is a hormone imbalance driven condition that has a lot of different symptoms, not just related to fertility.

Doctors don’t yet know the underlying trigger for the condition, but once triggered it causes an excess of insulin production, which in turns causes too much androgen to be produced. With too much of these two hormones, your body experiences the symptoms that make up PCOS, which include weight gain, hirsutism and skin discolouration.

The effects on your fertility are dramatic: the androgen in your system causes your eggs not to mature fully each month. In the menstrual cycle, during the ‘follicular phase’ your ovaries produce up to twenty ‘follicles’ – sacs containing an immature egg which slowly mature, with the healthiest one eventually dominating and being expelled by the ovaries to be inseminated while the others are reabsorbed by the body. In PCOS, the eggs don’t mature, leading to disrupted, irregular cycles, or the absence of ovulation altogether.

Getting Pregnant

This doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant. There are main ways to combat PCOS and get pregnant successfully: stimulate ovulation, and then recognise it so you can try for pregnancy when you have the best chance of success.

There are lots of different approaches you can take to help your body ovulate: changing your diet and taking supplements, for some of the most important substances can help you to even out your cycle naturally, by giving your body the tools to address the insulin overproduction that’s at the heart of the condition. This has the advantage of also relieving some of the other symptoms of PCOS like weight gain and hair growth.

You also have the option of taking fertility drugs that can stimulate ovulation, though unlike supplements these are only available after a consultation with a doctor and tend to have more side effects.

In tandem with this you need to monitor when you ovulate. This helps you understand if your strategy is working and also ensure you can try to get pregnant at the times you’re likely to have the most success. OvuSense monitors your basal body temperature to give you 24 hour advance warning of when you’re due to ovulate, 96% of the time. This could give you the advantage you need to get pregnant with PCOS.