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Can You Get Pregnant with PCOS?

As someone who has a history of PCOS, you might face some uncertainties and concerns when trying to have a baby. So, let’s dive into the topic and read what the latest scientific recommendations have to say on the topic.

Introduction to PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects young women of reproductive age. It can be characterized by:

  1. irregular menstrual cycles (problems with ovulation),
  2. excessive levels of androgen (male-type hormones),
  3. the presence of multiple small cysts on the ovaries.

It may also cause skin acne, hair loss, excessive facial hair, weight gain, depression, and high blood glucose. Although, PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in women, the good news is with proper management, most women can conceive and have healthy pregnancies.

PCOS Before Pregnancy

At this stage, the most important concern is infertility. Thus, proper diagnosis and management are essential. Diagnosis can be made based on a combination of clinical symptoms, blood tests, and ultrasound findings performed by healthcare professionals.


  • Women with PCOS have an increased risk of metabolic disorders, such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
  • They may also experience hirsutism (excessive hair growth), acne, and weight gain due to hormonal imbalances.


  • Symptoms can be typically managed by lifestyle modifications (diet, exercise, stress, and sleep) and medication to regulate menstrual cycles and ovulation.
  • In case of metabolic complications, they should be referred and monitored by physicians.
  • Fertility treatments are also available, such as ovulation induction with medications or assisted reproductive technologies (ART). These may be recommended for women struggling to conceive.

PCOS During Pregnancy

Dealing with the complications of PCOS for both the mother and the baby is the most crucial matter to be concerned about during the pregnancy. Therefore, extra attention needs to be paid to identify them early.


  • Women with PCOS have a higher risk of pregnancy complications, including high blood sugar (gestational diabetes), high blood pressure (preeclampsia), premature birth, higher chance of requiring cesarean delivery, and for the babies, higher chance of being admitted to a newborn intensive care unit.
  • They may also experience an increased risk of miscarriage, especially in the first trimester.


  • Close monitoring of blood sugar levels and regular prenatal check-ups are essential.
  • Lifestyle modifications, such as a balanced diet and regular exercise, can help manage PCOS symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.
  • Medication may be prescribed to manage specific complications, such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.

PCOS After Pregnancy

By the end of pregnancy, women with PCOS may experience a worsening of symptoms, such as irregular menstrual cycles and hirsutism. So, regular monitoring and patience are required to get hormones back on track.

Long-term Management

  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, is crucial for managing PCOS and reducing the risk of long-term complications.
  • Regular follow-up with a healthcare provider is recommended to monitor hormone levels, metabolic health, and fertility concerns.
  • Breastfeeding has been shown to help regulate hormones and improve PCOS symptoms in some cases.


PCOS can present challenges for women trying to conceive during pregnancy, but with timely management and care, most women with PCOS can have successful pregnancies and healthy babies. Early diagnosis, lifestyle modifications, and close monitoring by a healthcare team are essential for managing PCOS before, during, and after pregnancy.

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