PCOS And Pregnancy

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PCOS and Pregnancy

PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is a common medical condition in which a woman produces too many male hormones. Although male and female hormones are present in both genders, the overabundance of male hormones in a woman can cause many health problems, including irregular or absent menstrual periods, overabundance of facial hair, weight problems and diabetes.

Getting pregnant is more difficult for women who suffer from polycsytic ovarian syndrome, and it is sometimes more difficult to carry a pregnancy to full term when you have PCOS. It is estimated that up to ten percent of women who are facing fertility problems are suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome.

PCOS and Pregnancy Symptoms

Because PCOS plays such a large role in so many cases of infertility, it is important to be familiar with the symptoms, especially if you have been
trying to get pregnant for a while with no success. The most notable symptom is irregular or nonexistent menstrual periods, though other symptoms include high cholesterol and blood pressure, acne, pelvic pain, skin tags and sleep apnea. Continued below....

Although there is no specific test for polycystic ovarian syndrome, a thorough examination by your physician, including a complete history and physical and blood work, is the best way to narrow down and eliminate the other possible causes of your symptoms.

PCOS and Pregnancy Chances

Although the
chances of getting pregnant while suffering from symptoms of PCOS are diminished, there are a variety of treatments available that can help.

The most common medical treatment for infertility used successfully in PCOS patients is taking fertility drugs. These medications are designed to help your body increase the production and release of eggs; the risk of taking them is that too many eggs may be released at once, increasing your chance of multiple births, which are high risk for many complications. Other fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization are also for PCOS patients as well.

PCOS and Pregnancy Diet

Once a woman who has been
diagnosed with PCOS becomes pregnant, there are a multitude of dietary concerns that need to be addressed; it is often a good idea to seek the guidance of a registered dietician.

Because Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can often cause obesity, diabetes or hypertension, it increases many potential health risks for the fetus, as well as the pregnant woman's already complicated health condition.

It is important that a patient who is successful in getting pregnant with PCOS is well-aware of these risks in order to make sure that she is eating properly and avoiding the incidence of gestational diabetes. Carbohydrates should be cut by about one third and sweet beverages and sugary desserts should be avoided.

PCOS and Pregnancy and Metformin

One popular
PCOS treatment used by many physicians and obstetricians is the medication Metformin. This is specifically designed for the treatment of diabetes in obese patients, and is particularly effective in the prevention or treatment of gestational diabetes, a condition which increases the high risk factors in patients with PCOS. Because PCOS can often lead to low birth weight babies, special attention is paid to the diet and health of pregnant patients.

PCOS and Pregnancy Risk

Women who have been
diagnosed with PCOS are at increased risk of many complications during pregnancy. These include miscarriage, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and premature labor and delivery.

For patients who have undergone fertility treatments because of PCOS, it is important that you pay special attention to any symptoms and follow the PCOS diet that your physician has recommended in order to ensure the health of your baby.