If you'd like to conceive a child, one of the biggest obstacles many women face is a common condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). With this condition, small cysts grow on one or both of the ovaries, often preventing ovulation from happening at regular intervals or at all. If you're trying to conceive but have irregular cycles or have not gotten pregnant within a year of trying, it's time to schedule an appointment with your gynecologist to rule out PCOS as a possible cause of infertility.
When it comes to conceiving with PCOS, there are some things you should know.
Birth Control Can Hide Symptoms
For starters, if you've been on hormonal birth control (such as the pill) up until recently, there's a good chance you would never know you had PCOS because this can mask the most common symptoms. Birth control pills, for example, may prevent cysts from growing and may even result in regular menstrual cycles. It is only after you go off birth control in the hopes of conceiving that you may experience irregular cycles and other common symptoms of PCOS.
A Transvaginal Ultrasound Can Confirm PCOS
Your gynecologist will most likely order a transvaginal ultrasound to confirm a suspected case of PCOS. During this ultrasound, a technician will be able to take a look at your ovaries and check for visible cysts. There's a good chance your gynecologist may also order blood work at this time, as high levels of certain hormones (like testosterone) can also indicate PCOS.
There Are Fertility Medications Available
The main obstacle when conceiving with PCOS is being able to ovulate, since egg fertilization cannot occur without ovulation taking place. Fortunately, many fertility medications can be used to encourage ovulation, including Femara, Letrozole, and Clomid. These medications aren't always successful the first time around, and your doctor may need to adjust your dosage to find the right option for you.
Basal Temperature Tracking Can Help
Tracking your basal body temperature each morning can also help determine when you successfully ovulate, which can increase your chances of being able to conceive. This, along with taking regular ovulation tests, is highly recommended for those with PCOS who are trying to get pregnant.
Getting pregnant with PCOS can be a little more challenging that conceiving without this condition, but for many, a little medical intervention is all it takes. You can discover more on this topic here!