Pregnancy and PCOS
The information you need to know about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and pregnancy.
PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition that affects millions of women in the UK. When a woman has polycystic ovary syndrome, a number of cysts develop in the ovaries. These cysts are egg-containing follicles that have not developed properly due to a number of hormonal abnormalities.
PCOS interrupts the release of eggs from the ovaries and increases, or activates male hormones within the body. This can make conceiving difficult.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is treatable though cannot be cured.
As PCOS directly affects ovulation, it can lead to infertility in some cases though it is not impossible to fall pregnant. Many women who develop PCOS go on to have a healthy family of their own, though conception may be a challenging time.
If you have PCOS and are struggling to conceive, there are a number of treatments and options available to you. Discuss this with your GP if you have any concerns on conceiving with PCOS
Having PCOS makes complications during pregnancy more likely.
If you’re overweight, you may go on to develop diabetes during pregnancy, known as gestational diabetes. If you have PCOS, your doctor or midwife will test you for gestational diabetes early on in pregnancy. Gestational diabetes may go away after the birth of your baby but you may be at risk of developing it later in life.
Women with PCOS are also at increased risk of high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and early birth. Be aware of the signs of pre-eclampsia and keep an eye out for them.
Some medications prescribed to help relieve PCOS aren’t suitable for use during pregnancy so you may be prescribed a safer alternative.
Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly will help you stay at your optimum throughout your pregnancy. You may also want to think about using one of the many diabetes apps to keep track of your sugar levels while dieting.
Although at increased risk of complications, it is possible to have a safe birth. Be open and communicate with your doctor and midwife to ensure you are doing all you can to keep your unborn baby safe.