PCOS is the leading reproductive disorder that affects 1 in 10 women. According to a study, it affects 15 % of females in the reproductive stages, and the chances of complications in PCOS increase with age. With PCOS, it gets a bit difficult to get pregnant, so what precautions to take during pregnancy with PCOS?
But you don’t need to worry! A good diet, proper medication intake, timely checkups, and preventive measures increase the chances of normal delivery and a healthy baby. The guide will inform you about basic PCOS info and multiple queries you might have. Read further to know what is PCOS pregnancy symptoms. & what PCOS is and how it’s tackled and mitigated!
What Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
Polycystic ovary syndrome, Stein-Leventhal syndrome, or PCOS, refers to the abnormal level of male hormones that cause ovaries not to ovulate normally. Multiple cysts start to form in the ovary, which unbalances the hormonal level and does not allow the ovary to ovulate normally. It results in a missed or no period, as the name indicates polycystic. Excess male hormone androgen, Due to excess male hormone androgen, PCOS may also result in infrequent, prolonged, or no menstrual periods.
The chance of conceiving with PCOS is less. If conceived somehow, there are high chances of missed carriages in the early trimester and disease complications in the late trimesters, including gestational diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia, and hyperthyroidism. The baby may also get affected.
Common Myths About PCOS
Myth: PCOS is rare.
Fact: Women of childbearing age are affected by PCOS 6-12 percent of the time, so it is not considered an extremely rare condition.
Myth: Women with PCOS cannot conceive.
Fact: Even if PCOS makes it more difficult to conceive, many women with the disease will eventually be able to get pregnant with the help of fertility treatments and dietary changes.
Myth: Only overweight women suffer from PCOS.
Fact: Regardless of weight, PCOS can affect any woman. Weight gain is frequently associated with PCOS because of the body’s lack of insulin response.
Myth: Ovarian cysts are always present in women with PCOS.
Fact: PCOS affects many women and can be identified through ovarian cysts shown on ultrasound. Cysts do not develop in all PCOS women, however.
Myth: PCOS cannot be managed.
Fact: Currently, there is no cure for PCOS, but the symptoms are often manageable through treatment methods such as medications, lifestyle changes, and weight loss.
Myth: PCOS is characterized by irregular menstrual cycles.
Fact: There are various reasons for irregular menstrual cycles, such as PCOS, fibroids, thyroid disorders, and stress.
Causes Of PCOS
The major underlying cause of PCOS is still a mystery, but it is suggested that it can be due to genetic factors, stress, poor lifestyle, weight gain, and hormonal imbalance. It’s getting very common for women of reproductive age to have PCOS. In research, you can find that in every 10 females, one female will have PCOS. PCOS has an unknown cause and should be treated as early as possible to lower the risk of multiple complications. PCOS results in serious health-deteriorating diseases like diabetes, hypertension, etc.
Some research shows that PCOS can be caused by low-grade inflammation; genes might lead to PCOS or excess androgen because of hormonal abnormalities. Another cause of PCOS can be Insulinoma (Excess insulin production). Diabetes patients who become resistant to insulin will develop higher sugar levels, increasing insulin production. As insulin is produced, it’s of no use due to resistance. So this high-level insulin will produce a high amount of male hormone that negatively affects the female ovary.
Signs And Symptoms Of PCOS
PCOS results in multiple signs and symptoms, but the most common is an abnormal menstrual cycle that can be prolonged, infrequent or has no menstrual periods over months. Based on human physiology, there might be multiple symptoms that each female will experience. But having main signs indicates PCOS.
- Infrequent menstrual period
- Prolonged menstrual period
Excess Of The Male Hormone Androgen
- High facial hair
- Excess body hair (hirsutism)
- Severe acne
- Males like baldness
- Enlarged ovaries
- Follicles around the eggs
- Cysts formation
Effects Of PCOS On Female Breast
The hormonal imbalance causes changes in PCOS breasts and may reduce their growth due to low estrogen and high androgen levels.
PCOS And Fertility
The chances of getting pregnant with the polycystic ovarian syndrome are problematic, but proper medication, treatment, diet, and a healthy lifestyle will ensure a healthy pregnancy. You can’t get pregnant in PCOS if the ovary isn’t ovulating. Moreover, PCOS may make pregnancy more likely if the ovary functions normally. Restore the ovary’s normal functioning, increasing the chance of getting fertile and resulting in a healthy pregnancy.
PCOS And First-Trimester Pregnancy
Symptoms of pregnancy with PCOS result in signs. After treatment or the natural way, if the female gets pregnant, the next step would be getting ready to tackle the first trimester complications. In the first trimester, most miscarriages occur, which results in pregnancy loss.
PCOS And Bleeding During Early Pregnancy
Normally, patients without PCOS may have light bleeding during early pregnancy, which refers to implantation bleeding. So if you have spotting like bleeding, don’t worry you can check the pregnancy status to confirm it or may concern your physician if the condition worsens.
PCOS After Pregnancy
If you are pregnant or have given birth to a child, it doesn’t mean you get rid of PCOS. It can return and get more severe with multiple complications if you stop taking it, a factor of concern. How should PCOS pregnant women take precautions? Maintain your body weight, healthy diet, and medication intake to lessen the disease until you can get pregnant again.
Risk For Mom And Baby With PCOS
PCOS risks the baby’s and the mother’s health in multiple ways.
Risk For Moms With PCOS
In starting, fertility becomes a problem that leads to other complications. PCOS miscarriage is the most common complication seen in the first trimester. Excess bleeding and miscarriage make you lose your pregnancy. If the patient survives the first trimester, the next risk for the mom is getting gestational diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia, heart diseases, high cholesterol level, and chances of stroke, PCOS, postpartum hemorrhages, sleep apnea, and a High Risk of endometrial cancer.
Risk For Baby
For a baby, it can be either premature birth, impaired memory, large baby, shoulder dystocia, or low Apgar score.
An Additional Risk For Female Baby
If the baby survives and is a baby girl, the chances are up to 50% that she may suffer from PCOS at reproductive age.
PCOS Diagnostic Procedures
Firstly, the physician asks about the patient history and menstrual cycle-related history. Once they know about PCOS, further diagnostic tests are carried out.
It is done to analyze the various hormone levels; in PCOS, the androgens levels get high. It is, therefore, possible to have PCOS if your level is high.
Lipid Profile (Triglyceride And Cholesterol Levels)
Levels of Triglyceride and cholesterol are checked if they are not in the desired range, and further investigation is carried out. The results can be variable for obese PCOS patients vs. no obese OS patients.
Glucose Tolerance Levels
This test will indicate whether the insulin is working properly or not. In the case of insulin resistance, the blood sugar level will be high in the test.
It is done to check the reproductive organs, like the ovary, for any additional growths, cysts, or abnormalities.
Ultrasound confirms the existence of any abnormalities in the ovaries and uterus of a patient with PCOS. It will identify the presence of cysts, tumors, and any abnormal uterine growth.
Treatment Of PCOS
Treatment of PCOS is based on the body’s BMI levels; if the patient has a BMI of ≤30, then the patient is put on oral drugs, including clomiphene of Letrozole and metformin. Patients with a BMI of 30-35 0r less 35 are first suggested to have weight loss; after that, further treatment is carried out, starting with either bariatric surgery or oral drugs. When the oral treatment cannot make the female conceive, the treatment enters stage 2, where injectables are prescribed, including hormonal shots and therapy.
Medication Chart For PCOS
|Stage 1 Oral Therapy|
|Metformin hydrochloride||metformin||It regulates the amount of insulin in your blood and helps with fertility.
|With clomiphene or Letrozole||Not approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for treating PCOS|
|Clomiphene citrate||Clomid||Stimulates ovulation and treats infertility in women with PCOS.
|Clomid + metformin help women with PCOS to conceive easily||Yes|
|Letrozole||Femara||ovulation inducer and treat ovulation issues for females with PCOS||Femara + metformin will boost conception for PCOS patients
|Not approved by FDA for infertility treatment in case of PCOS|
|Stage 2 Injectable Drugs/|
|Hormone shots/ Gonadotropins||Injectable fertility drugs||When oral drugs aren’t sufficient, physicians switch to injectables for treating PCOS.||Yes|
|In vitro fertilization (IVF)||help in conceiving for females with PCOS||–|
|The small procedure with a thin needle is used for small areas of the ovaries to reduce androgen.||not recommended by all physicians|
|Vitamins And Natural Herbs
|Vitamin D supplements and the use of cinnamon for insulin regulation||–|
Precautions To Take During Pregnancy With PCOS
The PCOS cause is unknown, and you cannot prevent it either. Still, you need to reduce the symptoms and consequences of PCOS by following a Keto Diet For PCOS, regular exercise, probiotics, proper sleep, reducing stress by yoga, a healthy lifestyle, and avoiding high sugar items, simple carbohydrates, sweetened beverages like soft drinks or sports drinks, desserts and candies. Avoid alcohol use or drugs that may deteriorate the condition.
PCOS And Pregnancy Success
To get a successful pregnancy, PCOS, and pregnancy success, you must follow the strict guidelines of your physician and take care of your diet and lifestyle not to impact your pregnancy status. The earlier detection of PCOS and timely treatment have shown positive results and made the patient able to get pregnant 04 months after treatment.
Best Age To Get Pregnant With PCOS
For females with PCOS, as the age increases, the chance of infertility decreases, so the physician always advises getting pregnant with PCOS as early as possible in your marital life. The best age is from 22 years and up. Above 35 years ago, the chances might be less because, in normal conditions, fertility reduces as the age increases from above 35-40.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is the prime factor of concern because PCOS becomes problematic as the pregnancy proceeds to later stages. You might now be aware of PCOS, signs of pregnancy with PCOS, its consequences, treatment, preventive measures, and beneficial info. So for a healthy reproductive life, you need to avoid stressful conditions with daily exercise, a healthy diet, and proper medication intake. This guide will help you clarify your condition and proceed further with a clear mind. Don’t try to take any medication without consulting your physician. Stay healthy!