When you have PCOS, it becomes more challenging to get pregnant. The good news is that it’s not impossible, but it does take more work and knowledge and understanding of your body.
Today we’re taking a look at how PCOS affects you to help you find the different ways you can boost your chances of getting pregnant when you have PCOS.
PCOS and Ovulation
The main way PCOS affects your fertility is by changing when and how you ovulate. The hormones that are behind PCOS interfere with your menstrual cycle, making eggs mature more slowly in the ovaries and potentially causing the hormonal signal to release those eggs not to get through, leading to swelling and discomfort as they remain there, irregular periods and fewer chances to get pregnant.
The right question to ask is not so much ‘how do I get pregnant with PCOS?’. You need to be asking how to ovulate with PCOS. If you can ovulate more regularly and more often, you have more chances to get pregnant.
The driver of PCOS is your body producing too much insulin. This leads to over-productions of testosterone and oestrogenwhich are the hormones that interfere with your menstrual cycle. If you can reduce the amount of insulin your body produces, the whole condition loses some of its effectiveness.
A doctor or nutritionist can advise you on dietary changes that can influence your insulin levels, but one thing people find to be effective is to switch to a low-GI diet. This means eating food that contains low levels of sugars and simple carbohydrates that break down quickly. High GI foods mean lots of sugar entering your blood quickly. Low GI foods mean a smaller amount of sugar entering your blood stream throughout the day, which means you don’t experience big peaks of sugar in your blood stream, and therefore your body isn’t cued to produce a big peak of insulin.
Finding Out When You Ovulate
When you have PCOS it’s important to track and identify when you ovulate. You ovulate more rarely and less regularly, so you need to make sure you capitalise on the opportunities you have.
Ovulation Predictor Kits are usually convenient to use and are widely available, but when you have PCOS they become less effective. The hormonal issues that lead to PCOS can mask the results of the test, and mean you either get a false positive or it doesn’t show you a positive result when you are ovulating.
You can find more accurate results by tracking your basal body temperature or your progesterone levels – which you can do with a simple blood test. This helps you identify when you’re ovulating, and therefore when stand the best chances of getting pregnant when you have PCOS.
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