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PCOS and Getting Pregnant

Getting pregnant when you have PCOS can feel close to impossible. It’s a serious condition, in which runaway insulin production causes a long list of symptoms, including weight gain, patches of skin discolouration, disrupted menstrual cycles and delayed or skipped ovulation. Depression and anxiety are also reported alongside the other effects, which can make it even harder to see a way forward, out of the symptoms.

PCOS does not make pregnancy impossible: it makes ovulation rarer and hard to detect, but it is possible to stimulate ovulation, and make sure you are targeting the key period when sperm will survive to meet that egg and potentially fertilise it.

Stimulating Ovulation

PCOS is caused, at its root, by your body producing too much insulin. It’s the knock on effects of this insulin production that trigger all the other effects: the excess insulin in your system stimulates more production of androgen, the weight you gain as a result of your uneven blood sugar levels causes an excess of oestrogen. The interactions of these hormones cause all the symptoms and most relevantly, this disrupt your menstrual cycle, and make it harder for your ovaries to mature eggs to be released.

One of the things you can do to stimulate more frequent and predictable ovulation is to tackle those hormone imbalances. Eating a low GI diet, with lots of whole grains, protein and leafy vegetables will have three effects: it can help you lose some of the weight PCOS causes you to gain, reducing oestrogen production; it can help regulate your blood sugar levels, leading to a more normal level of insulin, and by extension androgen in your body; and it will give you a boost to essential vitamins and minerals all women need for healthy menstrual cycles, whether they have PCOS not!

For many women with PCOS, simply trying to lose some of the weight the condition causes them to gain can restart ovulation, so it’s well worth trying.

Identifying When You Ovulate

With PCOS it’s vital to track when you ovulate so you can take advantage of the peak in fertility in represents. PCOS suffers ovulate less than others, which, quite simply means they have fewer opportunities to get pregnant. Unfortunately, it also makes the most convenient ovulation tracking method less useful: ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) use your hormones to identify ovulation. PCOS disrupts your hormonal background and means they can’t get an accurate answer.

BBT tracking can get you accurate predictions you can use to try to conceive at the best possible time. Your basal body temperature give an indication of when you’re going to ovulate that isn’t affected by your hormones. OvuSense uses this method: our sensor gets an accurate reading of your temperature overnight, and processes that into a prediction you can see via the linked app, making tracking your fertility easy and accurate.

To learn more about pregnancy and fertility issues visit PCOS