PCOS is the most common cause of anovulatory infertility due to hormonal imbalance. It means that ovaries might not release an egg every month. So, getting pregnant with PCOS could be challenging, but it is not impossible. This condition is very common, affecting about 1 in 5 women in the UK.
What can I do to optimise my chances of getting pregnant naturally with PCOS?
The best things you can do is make some lifestyle changes, for example, try to lose weight by keeping a healthy diet and doing moderate exercise.
- Weight loss: There is a relation between PCOS and excess weight, which adversely affects fertility. It is also related to a higher incidence of insulin resistance, and PCOS symptoms are exacerbated by excess weight. Losing as little as 5-10% of your total weight has important metabolic and reproductive benefits; it allows you to have regular cycles and recover periods. It is also beneficial for your future baby, as there will have fewer risks in pregnancy, like gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced hypertension.
- Diet: It is highly recommended you reduce your energy intake to help your weight loss when you have PCOS. Try reducing by 30% or 500-750kcal/day, but this can vary from woman to woman, body weight and physical activity levels.
- Exercise: Doing exercise is essential in PCOS; it does not require expensive gyms or equipment to do it. You should do at least 250 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity (i.e. brisk walks, hiking, cycling, yoga) or 150 min a week of vigorous exercises (i.e. race walking, jogging/running, mountain climbing, cycling faster, high impact aerobics). Also, minimise your sedentary or sitting time.
What should I bear in mind when trying to conceive?
Ovulation can be unpredictable, so you and your partner should have sex 3 times a week regardless of what day of your cycle you are on. You should also take Folic acid or preconception supplements, avoid smoking and cut back on alcohol.
Can I predict my ovulation in PCOS?
In PCOS your ovaries have many follicles, but they do not always develop and mature properly to be released: this is called anovulation. That is why it might be tricky to predict your ovulation. With this syndrome, your LH (Luteinising hormone) can be unusually higher than normal. For that reason, the majority of LH tests do not work as they can give a false-positive result. With ovulation trackers you will have a proper LH curve, which can differ greatly between women. You will have more accurate information about your LH levels and be able to identify the surge.
What if I don’t see any surge in myLotus tracker?
If despite making lifestyle changes, you do not see a surge in your ovulation tracker, it could mean that you are not ovulating. In this case you will need to see your GP or a fertility doctor to find out more. Your doctor will investigate any other cause of anovulation and will do a complete fertility check. After that, they might prescribe medication to help you release a follicle every month. You can also track the success of treatment using myLotus monitor.
To sum up:
- A healthy lifestyle is key! Losing weight, eating healthy, doing exercise might help you to recover regular cycles.
- Track your LH to identify if you are ovulating. If you don’t see a monthly surge on the monitor, you should seek medical help in order to improve your chances.
- Don’t lose hope and be positive: there are many success stories about PCOS women who were able to conceive spontaneously or with the help of fertility treatment.
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