Getting Pregnant In Spite Of PCOS
These days, infertility is striking couples with increasing frequency. One of the major causes of infertility is PCOS. For women who suffer from PCOS, not only is it difficult to become pregnant, but it's also a challenge to stay pregnant and have a positive obstetric outcome. Among the problems a woman with PCOS may encounter during pregnancy are gestational diabetes, miscarriage, and high blood pressure.
In gestational diabetes, a woman's blood sugar levels are elevated during the time of her pregnancy. This condition affects some 4% of all women who are pregnant and is often found in pregnant women who have PCOS. Obese women have the highest risk for contracting gestational diabetes and the risk is compounded in those who undergo treatment to stimulate ovulation. Women with PCOS should be screened by their obstetricians in early pregnancy for the possible presence of gestational diabetes.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common complication of pregnancy in women with PCOS. If your blood pressure is borderline or already high prior to pregnancy, your risk for this condition is much greater. You'll need to have your blood pressured monitored at each prenatal checkup. In some cases, it is prudent to invest in a stethoscope and pressure cuff so you can monitor your blood pressure between visits.
Women who have PCOS have a higher risk for miscarriage in comparison with healthy women who become pregnant. Women without PCOS have a 15% chance of miscarrying while a woman with PCOS has a 45% chance for miscarriage. One reason for the higher rate of miscarriage in women with PCOS is the accompanying hormonal imbalance that comes with the condition. Another factor that can cause miscarriage in women with PCOS is placental insufficiency.
The heightened levels of insulin in women with PCOS tend to interfere with the physiology of blood clotting. High levels of insulin can increase clotting between the endometrium (lining of the uterus) and the placenta. This clotting may interfere with the placenta's ability to provide nutrients to the fetus and to remove his wastes. Such a state of affairs may lead to miscarriage.
While it's true that the odds are not the greatest for carrying your child to term, there are steps you can take to help you conceive, stay healthy throughout your pregnancy, and have a healthy baby. If you are obese, take steps to begin an exercise program before you become pregnant. Eat more fiber, less sugar, and fewer carbohydrates. Try to reduce the stresses in your life. These are simple but crucial changes you can make that can help to create a positive environment for conception and pregnancy.