If you’re one of the women in the UK who’s living with PCOS, you may be part of a larger group than you thought: the NHS estimates that one in five women may be living with the condition, which is known in full as Polycystic Ovary (or Ovarian) syndrome. As it’s not well understood, and rarely discussed by the public, and hard to diagnose (with symptoms that can resemble other conditions, or for some women with fertility effects but few visible symptoms), there could be even more than that!
PCOS has a brought spread of effects: it can impact your mood, your weight, your hair growth, but perhaps the most significant and impactful effect PCOS can have on you is the way it affects your reproductive health. Today we’re taking a look at the way PCOS, fertility and your chances to conceive interact, the challenges it presents and the solutions that can help you overcome them
PCOS and Fertility
PCOS affects your whole body, but the main way it affects your fertility is in the ovaries. Hormones released in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle cause your ovaries to matures 15-20 eggs in small, fluid filled sacs called follicles. Over the course of around two weeks, one of these eggs predominates and grows to full maturity while the others are reabsorbed. W
When you have PCOS, many eggs mature in ovarian sacs, but fewer reach full maturity, resulting in irregular ovulation. If an egg isn’t released during a cycle, it reduces your chances of getting pregnant. However, it’s essential not to rely on random beliefs. Instead, consider visiting a Holistic Fertility Clinic for expert advice on conceiving with PCOS. They can provide the necessary guidance and support to improve your chances of becoming pregnant.
Getting Pregnant With PCOS
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get pregnant when you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. The severity of its effects on reproductive health varies from person to person, but most will experience ovulation, just in a less regular and predictable pattern than people without the condition.
That makes identifying when you’re ovulating vitally important. Unfortunately, the hormonal disruption PCOS brings with it means the most convenient means of identifying ovulation will be of limited use: similar to pregnancy tests, hormone-based Ovulation Predictor Kits don’t give accurate results when your hormones vary off the baseline they’re calibrated for.
Measuring your basal body temperature is a more accurate measure, especially for people with PCOS and technology exists that makes doing this more convenient: no more mercury thermometers and pen and paper graphs: specialist sensors and apps gather accurate readings and turn the data into predictions for you so you can maximize your chances of getting pregnant when you have PCOS.