PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a common hormonal condition occurring in women. It is a condition where the ovaries begin producing androgens or male hormones, higher than what is considered normal. It can affect a woman's menstrual cycle, fertility, appearance as well as mental health.
Women who get diagnosed with PCOS find it harder to become pregnant. PCOS pregnancy is generally very difficult for the woman to bear. Not just that your labor and delivery process are also affected by PCOS.
Doctors suggest trying often if you are diagnosed with PCOS if you are finding it difficult to become pregnant. Women with PCOS have the highest odds of getting pregnant naturally before the age of 35.
Is PCOS Dangerous?
PCOS is dangerous for the early stages of a woman’s pregnancy. In fact, PCOS and first trimester pregnancy don’t go very well together. Women with PCOS are at a greater risk of early pregnancy loss or EPL. Women with PCOS are three times more likely to miscarry during the first three months of the pregnancy.
Symptoms of PCOS in Pregnancy
PCOS pregnancy symptoms are almost exactly similar to the things you experience when your period is late, except morning sickness.
Here are some PCOS and pregnancy symptoms:
Pain in your lower back
Sounds really familiar, right?
When your periods are almost always irregular it can be difficult to know the difference between PCOS and pregnancy symptoms. Here are a few things to remember:
Not experiencing pregnancy symptoms doesn’t mean that you are not pregnant.
If you had unprotected sex 2-3 (or more) weeks ago, it might be a good idea to go for a pregnancy test. That’s even if you haven’t had a period in months and weren’t expecting one.
If you can, go to a professional as an at-home pregnancy test has chances of showing you false-negative results.
PCOS Effect on Pregnancy
“I am pregnant with PCOS. Now what? Will PCOS affect pregnancy?” are thoughts that go through a woman’s mind that has PCOS troubles. We are sorry to inform you that PCOS effect on pregnancy are very grave.
You could develop gestational diabetes, a condition which occurs because of an elevated level of glucose in the blood during pregnancy. This usually resolves after birth. You could also get pre-eclampsia. It is a condition which occurs due to really high blood pressure during pregnancy. It may result in damage to the kidneys, liver, lung, heart, eyes, stroke or other kinds of brain injury. The kind of damage you have to endure depends on the severity of the pre-eclampsia you are going through.
Are babies healthy who are born to PCOS mothers?
Babies born to PCOS mothers have higher risks of having neonatal complications. These risks can include having a premature delivery, and the danger of needing a neonatal intensive care unit (ICU). The number of women having miscarriages is significantly higher in women who are suffering from PCOS.
One of the worst PCOS pregnancy complications is the increased chances of your baby not being able to make it out alive in the delivery process.
What precautions to take during pregnancy with PCOS?
Some things that might make your PCOS pregnancy better are as follows:
Focusing very well on your diet
Include high fiber foods in your diet. This includes green leafy vegetables, fruits with skin, etc. high fiber foods take longer to digest and break down into glucose. This keeps your level of blood sugar in check, preventing the risk of gestational diabetes.
Eat complex carbohydrates and avoid simple ones. This includes foods such as poha, wheat pasta, wheat flour, whole wheat, green beans, broccoli, sweet potatoes, etc.
Eat healthy fats found in foods such as eggs yolks, fatty fish, nuts, coconut oil, ghee, seeds and nuts, etc
Eat a high protein diet consisting of chicken, fish, egg whites, beans, lentils, legumes, organ meats, etc.
Coffee and alcohol are a big no-no.
Consult your ob-gyn and have them prescribe you the right supplements to support your pregnancy.
Concentrate on keeping yourself active and moving.
Do not consume junk, garbage food.
DO NOT EVER SKIP YOUR DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENTS OR THEIR ADVICE.
Are you affected by PCOS after Pregnancy?
Yes, you will still be affected by PCOS after pregnancy if you were diagnosed with PCOS prior. But symptoms and severity can vary. Sometimes the changes in your hormones after pregnancy and breast-feeding can change the symptoms. Just because you have successfully given birth your PCOS will not go away.
PCOS and pregnancy are not the best of friends. In some cases, the symptoms become more severe after pregnancy. But if you are lucky, your symptoms might be a little relieved after you have gone through a pregnancy.
Does PCOS affect pregnancy? Now, you know that it does. But not all is bleak for women who suffer from PCOS. With the technology today, you can take the non-traditional routes of conceiving.
Surround yourself with your loved ones, think positive things, and engage in activities that give you joy. What’s in your mind affects your body too. Always remember that you are more than what your body can or cannot do.