Getting Pregnant with PCOS

Polycyctis Ovarian Syndrome affects a woman’s health and her fertility. Diagnosing PCOS is often difficult and treatment can be complicated. With proper treatment for PCOS and often with fertility treatment, many women are able to get pregnant. Host Dawn Davenport interviewed Dr. Jeanne O’Brien, a board certified reproductive endocronologist in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and practices at Shady Grove Fertiltiy Center in Maryland. They discuss the latest research in diagnosing and treating Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and especially how to get pregnant with PCOS.

Hit the Highlights
  • What is polycystic ovarian syndrome and how is it diagnosed?
  • How does PCOS affect fertility?
  • We hear that most people with PCOS are eventually able to get pregnant. Is that true?
  • What treatments can help a woman with PCOS get pregnant?
  • If metformin has restored ovulation on its own, does Clomid offer any extra benefit?
  • Is metformin the preferred treatment for PCOS? What does it do?
  • What are the down sides to metformin and Clomid? Side effects?
  • How can you minimize the gastrointestinal impacts of metformin?
  • Should you stay on metformin while pregnant?
  • How effective is Clomid for increasing pregnancy rates for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome?
  • If you can’t handle the side effects of metformin, what other medication options do you have?
  • Should a woman with PCOS have children earlier than she might have otherwise? How long should she wait before trying to conceive?
  • Are there differences in the fertility issues with those who have excess weight with polycystic ovarian syndrome and those of normal weight with polycystic ovarian syndrome?
  • Some of the more notable cases of higher order multiples, such as the Gosselins, have occurred in woman with PCOS who used medicated IUI cycles to get pregnant. Is this a higher risk for women with PCOS?
  • Once a woman gets pregnant, does PCOS indicate more trouble in her pregnancy or carrying a baby to term?
  • Does PCOS increase your risk of miscarriage?
  • Are women with PCOS at higher risk for gestational diabetes?
  • What are the other health issues that come with PCOS?
  • Is excess weight the cause of PCOS or the result of PCOS?
  • Does it matter how you lose the weight?
  • Does bariatric (weight loss) surgery increase the odds of getting pregnant?
  • What “diet” is most effective for women trying to lose weight with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
  • If you are not trying to get pregnant, what type of doctor should you see to help treat the others aspects of PCOS?
  • Are women with PCOS more prone to being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome?
  • Are any alternative or complimentary treatments effective at treating polycystic ovarian syndrome? Acupuncture? Chinese medicine? Dietary supplements?

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Image Credit: Daniela Mazzarino