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PCOS & Infertility

If you’re diagnosed with PCOS, it’s natural to feel depressed and overwhelmed. It’s a condition with dramatic and wide ranging effects, not least of which is that it can limit your chances to have children. PCOS and infertility are linked, but you shouldn’t give up hope. To see why, we need to look at the meaning of both terms, and then with greater understanding, find a path forward.

What is PCOS?

PCOS means, in full, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, it’s named after the most dramatic and significant of its symptoms: a large number of cysts on the ovaries. These are formed by eggs that don’t mature fully and remain in the ovaries in the ‘follicles’ they are grown in. A hormone issue causes these eggs not to reach full maturity, and not to be released. With no mature egg, you won’t ovulate, and so can’t get pregnant in that cycle.

PCOS can affect people in different ways, in some, restricting ovulation most of the time, in others merely delaying it slightly. Due to the hormonal disruption, it also makes it harder to spot when you are ovulating.

Defining Infertility

It’s important to remember that fertility is defined by the NHS as being when a couple can’t get pregnant despite having regular unprotected sex: it’s an observation of circumstances rather than an immovable diagnosis. Infertility is the beginning of a journey, not the end. From there, you can try to identify what’s causing your problems in conceiving and try to find ways to mitigate those problems and give yourself a better chance.

A Way Forward

PCOS causes fertility problems in two ways: by reducing the frequency that you ovulate, and by making it unpredictable and difficult to identify. To give yourself a better chance, you need to make sure you’re tracking when you ovulate, using a system that works with PCOS. Hormone based test kits don’t because the hormonal disruption caused by the condition means they can’t get an accurate reading.

Measuring Basal Body Temperature can help you identify when you ovulate independent of your hormones. This minimum temperature fluctuates minutely as the processes of your menstrual cycle affect your body. OvuSense’s specialised sensor takes your core temperature throughout the night, ensuring accurate readings, and is backed by our algorithm which turns that data into a prediction about when you’re next going to ovulate.

A system like this gives you the chance to identify each of those important times when you could get pregnant and ensure you’re in the best place to take advantage of them.

To learn more about pregnancy and fertility issues visit PCOS