Updated: Mar 19
Pregnancy with PCOS has been studied extensively to learn more about the condition's effects on fertility, safety during pregnancy and birth outcomes. As PCOS can affect insulin levels, researchers have focused heavily on how PCOS may contribute to gestational diabetes (GDM) risk. These studies generally show that women with PCOS who become pregnant are at increased GDM risk. PCOS pregnancies are also more likely to lead to Cesarean births and higher rates of preterm delivery, but these risks can usually be managed by a health care team with experience dealing with PCOS (keeping in mind that PCOS patients should always work closely with their doctors).
What is PCOS and what are its symptoms?
PCOS and PCOD symptoms: PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, is a condition that affects the hormones in a woman's body. It can lead to infertility or difficulty getting pregnant due to irregular or no ovulation. However, PCOS has also been linked to other health problems such as type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol levels as well as emotional issues like depression and anxiety. PCOS symptoms vary from person to person but may include: - Excessive hair growth on the face, chest, stomach or back
Irregular periods with absent periods or not enough of them
Difficulty losing weight due to a slow metabolism
PCOS symptoms may be mild or severe, and PCOS is most common in young women. PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility among women today, especially among those who are overweight. PCOS has no cure but it can be managed with lifestyle changes like following a healthy diet and increasing physical activity.
PCOS and infertility
PCOS leads to infertility because it leads to hormone imbalances that affect ovulation. Most PCOS cases are mild -- meaning they don't cause any symptoms—and many PCOS patients do not have trouble getting pregnant naturally even without treatment. However, for women with more signs or symptoms of PCOS, having trouble getting pregnant can be frustrating and disappointing, especially if they have always dreamed of being mothers one day
PCOS Awareness Association says that infertility among PCOS patients is about 40%, but some PCOS women can get pregnant or have a healthy pregnancy even without treatment. However, PCOS patients who do try to conceive with PCOS need to go through fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI).
PCOS and pregnancy – what we know so far
PCOS during pregnancy can be risky for the mother and the baby, which means it's important to manage PCOS carefully. If you have PCOS and you're already pregnant, don't panic - your baby is not automatically doomed just because you have PCOS! It isn't PCOS itself but PCOS symptoms that can put you at risk. PCOS during pregnancy is a huge topic and it's important to know what we do know and what we don't know about PCOS during pregnancy, especially if you're planning on having a baby.
Here are some things that PCOS patients should know about PCOS and pregnancy:
PCOS doesn't usually affect the health of your baby as it develops in your womb.
If you have PCOS but you conceive naturally without treatment, there's no reason why your baby would be any different from babies born to women who don't have PCOS.
However, it will be harder for those with PCOS to lose weight after giving birth once they have a baby
PCOS symptoms do sometimes get worse during pregnancy. PCOS patients can experience insulin resistance during pregnancy, which means that PCOS symptoms such as acne and weight gain may get worse than usual
PCOS patients who want to become pregnant should find out if their PCOS treatment is safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding before they try to conceive
PCOS women who are already pregnant should let their doctors know immediately if they develop high blood pressure, preeclampsia (high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system), liver disease or excessive weight gain so that their doctors can help manage these conditions and monitor the development of the baby and the health of the mother.
How to cope with PCOS during pregnancy?
PCOS patients may have PCOS symptoms such as irregular periods and trouble conceiving, so PCOS patients should be aware that PCOS symptoms can get worse during pregnancy. PCOS patients should also work closely with their doctors throughout their pregnancies to avoid health risks to themselves and their babies.
While PCOS is becoming better understood and treatment options continue to improve, what we know about PCOS and pregnancy isn't always easy for PCOS patients or their families. The disorder's impact on fertility can feel like an ongoing test, and the challenges of managing PCOS during pregnancy encourage some women to postpone baby-making until they feel ready. It's important for PCOS patients and their loved ones not to lose sight of the many children who are born PCOS patients but otherwise healthy. PCOS during pregnancy can be hard, but PCOS patients and their families can prepare to overcome those challenges together. PCOS and pregnancy can be overwhelming, but PCOS patients and their loved ones shouldn't feel alone as they work to grow their families. PCOS is now understood well enough that those who have PCOS, those caring for PCOS patients and even PCOS patients themselves can learn a lot about PCOS and pregnancy.