Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a common hormonal condition in women. Women with PCOS can struggle to become pregnant and are at higher risk of developing complications during pregnancy. However, by managing the symptoms, many women with PCOS can become pregnant and have a healthy baby.
Can PCOS impact pregnancy?
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are at higher risk for certain problems or complications during pregnancy. In addition, infants born to mothers with PCOS are at higher risk of spending time in the neonatal intensive care unit or dying before, during, or right after birth. Complications of pregnancy commonly associated with PCOS could be a reason for these risks. Also, conditions common to PCOS like metabolic syndrome and increased androgens may increase the risks affecting infants.
Conceiving with PCOS
Some women may not realize they have PCOS until they try to conceive. PCOS often goes unnoticed. But if you’ve been trying to conceive naturally for over a year, you should speak to your doctor about getting tested. Your doctor can help you develop a plan for getting pregnant. Some strategies, such as losing weight, healthy eating, and in certain cases, medications, can increase your chances for getting pregnant.
Breastfeeding and PCOS
If you’re diagnosed with PCOS, you may need to continue to manage symptoms even after pregnancy. But symptoms and severity can vary. Sometimes the hormonal fluctuations after pregnancy and breast-feeding can change the symptoms, so it may be awhile before you settle into your new normal. It’s safe to breast-feed with PCOS, even if you’re on insulin medication to help control your blood sugar. Women who have gestational diabetes are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life, but breast-feeding can help lower that risk. Breast-feeding has many benefits for both you and your baby, so if it fits your family, be sure to explore the options and available resources so you can have a successful breast-feeding experience.