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PCOS and Pregnancy

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is one of the most common and serious challenges to fertility in the developed world. The NHS estimates that as many as one in five women may be affected by the condition, and there’s no cure currently available.

When you’re diagnosed with PCOS it’s easy to think it’s the same as being told you’re infertile: its effects on fertility are some of the most well known aspects of the condition, and the standard appointment time in the NHS often doesn’t allow a doctor to explain how it operates with all the complexity and nuance required.

Today we’re taking a look at PCOS and pregnancy, explain how it affects your fertility and what - if anything - you can do to help your chances.

How PCOS Works

The causes of PCOS aren’t currently well understood: we don’t know what triggers the condition, or why it affects some women rather than others, but we do know that when it starts, it starts with your body producing too much insulin.

Insulin is an important hormone in your body, which is used to help turn excess energy (derived from the sugars in your diet) into fat cells, where it can be stored until later. Too much insulin can cause problems though: firstly, it’s overzealous in locking energy down into fat, causing you to gain weight and leaving you with intense hunger cravings. Oestrogen is manufactured in your body’s fat cells so this can also lead to higher than normal levels of oestrogen being created. That elevated insulin level also causes an elevated production of androgens - male sex hormones, specifically testosterone. These elevated hormone levels combine to cause the symptoms that make up PCOS, and specifically as it regards your fertility they affect your ovulation pattern.

PCOS and Ovulation

The process by which your body selects and matures eggs to ovulated in every cycle is governed by your hormones. When you have PCOS, eggs take longer to mature, they remain in the ovaries causing swell and discomfort, and they may not be released at all!

The good news is that it’s only in the most advanced cases that PCOS stops you ovulating altogether. For most people ovulation simply becomes rarer and less predictable. This is where OvuSense can help: our system isn’t affected by the hormone imbalances of PCOS, or irregular menstrual cycles, so we can provide accurate, long term predictions of when you will ovulate that boost your chances of conceiving and help you get pregnant even when you do have PCOS.

To learn more about pregnancy and fertility issues visit PCOS