Pregnancy With PCOS | Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Recently Updated On: March 29th, 2018
PREGNANCY WITH PCOS
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a common hormonal condition in women that affects about 10 million women in the world.
Women all around the world suffering from this hormonal condition have faced complications during their pregnancy but by appropriate management of symptoms and hope a healthy baby can be conceived and delivered.
What Is PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)?
In the female ovaries, eggs grow inside tiny fluid-filled sacs that are called follicles. Each month when the egg matures, the follicle breaks open to release it, a process known as ovulation.
PCOS is an abnormal hormonal condition that influences the ovulation process inside a woman’s body diversely Pregnancy with PCOS is thought of as a disorder that prevents healthy delivery which is not true since it is possible if proper measures are taken.
What happens is that the production of the hormone that helps in the process of egg formation like LH(luteinizing hormone responsible for egg maturation) increases inappropriately leading to improper maturation of the egg.
Instead of one, multiple eggs begin to grow and the follicle does not release an egg (ovum) due to which these unreleased eggs along with follicle fluid turn into cysts. These multiple (poly) cysts and the related syndrome is known as Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
The follicle becomes a cyst and the normal progesterone surge does not happen. This makes lower the progesterone level.
The lower level of progesterone trigger the hypothalamus to produce more LH and FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone), these hormones stimulate the ovary to make more estrogen and androgen, hence more follicle are produced towards ovulation.
If again these follicles are unable to release matured ovum and produce progesterone, the menstrual periods controlled by estrogen and androgen production without progesterone.
This condition increases the estrogen and decreases the progesterone level in the body.
This imbalance of estrogen and progesterone level and lower progesterone level causes the irregular menstrual cycles in women. Also due to non maturation of egg, it leads to infertility.
Thus, pregnancy with PCOS becomes more complex than normal pregnancies. This chain of multiple ovum or ova appears like a chain of pearls in the sonography images.
This also influences the Insulin resistance of the body which results in increased body weight and obesity. The quality of ovum is also hampered due to this condition.
Causes Of PCOS:
Although Doctors all around the world have failed to diagnose any specific cause for this syndrome, different medical approaches to this have suggested some of the following causes to PCOS:-
- GENETIC DISORDERS:-
Sometimes, exposure to genetic disorders can cause the presence of this syndrome in young women. Therefore, if the mother has this syndrome the daughter has more chances or is at more risk of having this syndrome.
- EXPOSURE TO TOXINS:-
Polycystic ovary syndrome can also be caused due to exposure of the female body to toxins that are caused due to smoking, drinking or other unhealthy intoxication practices. Hence, such habits must get rid off and avoid. Toxins make women more vulnerable to pregnancy with PCOS rather than normal and healthy pregnancy.
- DISTURBED SLEEPING PATTERNS:-
Irregular sleeping rhythms, sleeping disorders or patterns can also hamper the menstrual process, quality of eggs and cause PCOS. Disturbed sleep or insomnia can influence the working of the ovaries and cause such syndromes. The quality of life has a major influence on the normal working of the human body.
- EXCESS PRODUCTION OF INSULIN:-
Women with PCOS have found to have higher levels of Insulin in their bodies. Insulin controls ovarian functions and therefore excess production of insulin can cause ovarian disorders.
Being overweight is not only a cause but also a side-effect of PCOS in women. Since it has no specific emphasis on being one of the causes, it is better to eat healthily and stay fresh.
Symptoms Of PCOS:
Irregular or absent menstrual cycle is one of the most common symptoms of PCOS. Either the menstrual cycle of women suffering from PCOS is irregular for months or whenever they have menses there is an excessive flow of blood or blood loss causing more pain and cramps, but this is not the only symptom of PCOS.
Due to the production of androgen in the body which is a male hormone, women can have oily skin, acne, and hirsutism which is a disorder related to the extra growth of facial hair or hair on the legs, arms, and abdomen.
Insulin resistance causes the collapse of the sugar-breakdown system and alteration in the glycogen and blood glucose metabolism in the body causes excessive weight gain and obesity.
PCOS also causes a problem in planning pregnancy and causes a tough time for the woman to conceive a healthy baby, although millions of women have fought this syndrome and led a healthy and happy life.
Since these symptoms are common among women who do not have this syndrome it is better to consult a doctor and depend on proper scientific tests.
Diagnosis Of PCOS
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can be diagnosed in most of the cases through the following two conditions:
1)Hyperandrogenism (over-production of male hormones)
Hirsutism is found in 70% of PCOS women whereas acne and oily skin in 15-20% of women.
PCOS: Age Of Onset
5-10% of women of the childbearing age are diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome between the age of 15 to 44. Most of the women complain of the symptoms of this disorder in their 20s and 30s due to complications in conceiving and family planning. Pregnancy with PCOS is increasingly being heard of in the recent times.
There is no particular age for the onset of this syndrome though.
Is Pregnancy Possible With PCOS?
Pregnancy with PCOS is usually a hurdle for women since it disturbs ovulation cycles and reproductive system of the female.
But, if you are lucky enough to conceive in spite of having PCOS, then you are three times more at the risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, inflammation, prenatal depression, heart disease, high blood pressure and preeclampsia.
Likely to have a C- section delivery and the babies are likely to be preterm. Despite these facts, thousands of women deliver healthy babies every day with managed diet and healthy lifestyles.
PCOS Food List
High fiber foods can increase insulin and fight the negative effect of sugar in the blood. Women should have taken healthy food to eat during pregnancy. Hence women pregnant with PCOS should include-
- Red Leaf Lettuce,
- Green And
- Red Peppers,
- Winter Squish,
- Sweet Potatoes And
in their diet. Also, lean protein such as fish and anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric and tomatoes are helpful in managing pregnancy with PCOS.
How To Lose Weight With PCOS And Metformin:
In order to lose weight, one must visit the doctor, who along with proper diet and exercise may suggest anti-androgen medication and birth-controlling pills.
Metformin is a diabetes drug that uses the body insulin more efficiently and reduces testosterone production. It also helps women in losing weight. 10% of body fat of PCOS women if shred can bring their life back to normal.
How To Treat PCOS:
Although Polycystic Ovary Syndrome has no specific cure, the following steps can be taken to reduce its effects and cure PCOS:-
1) Eat healthy, exercise well and control your body weight. Consult a doctor or dietician if necessary.
2) Avoid intoxicating substances like cigarettes, alcohol or drugs because that increases androgens in the body.
3) Have a balanced diet containing proper intake of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates.
4) Consuming Metformin can reduce miscarriages.
5) Take birth-control pills according to doctor’s prescriptions.
Lastly, hope and a positive mindset is the key to all problems. Women having a strong and determined thought process are sure to become healthy mothers no matter what problem lies in your way.
“DO NOT BE AFRAID OF YOUR STORY FOR IT MAY INSPIRE MILLIONS”
Take care of yourself for no other can love you the way you do.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is not a life-long or fatal disease, it has a cure and with courage, everything has a cure unless you give up!