Can you get pregnant with PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common reproductive condition women face today. Women with PCOS have abnormal androgen levels, which affect fertility. Common symptoms include cysts on the ovaries, irregular menstruation, weight gain, acne, and trouble conceiving. Women with PCOS can still get pregnant. Doctors will first recommend a healthy diet, exercise, and weight management. From there, medications like clomiphene citrate, metformin, or birth control are effective. In some cases, laparoscopic surgery can help. If these steps fail, in vitro fertilization (IVF) can help improve the chances of pregnancy.
What about amenorrhea?
Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation or monthly periods. Some women develop amenorrhea from an early age, called primary amenorrhea. Most cases are secondary amenorrhea, defined as missed periods for at least 3 cycles. Women with secondary amenorrhea can get pregnant but finding the root cause is crucial. There are several reasons for an absence of periods, including overtraining, stress, ovarian failure, or irregular hormones. Pregnancy can only happen if the underlying cause is addressed first. Similar to PCOS, strategies like IVF may be necessary.
Can thyroid dysfunction stop your pregnancy chances?
The thyroid gland is the control hub for many of the body’s hormones. An underactive or overactive thyroid can impact the delicate hormone balance needed for fertility. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can reduce the chances of pregnancy. A simple thyroid test can provide TSH levels and give doctors an action plan. Thyroid medication can help restore the balance of hormones. These hormones can change before and during pregnancy, so follow any doctor’s instructions for changes in medication.
Are these conditions related?
What most patients will discover is that these 3 conditions are closely related. PCOS can lead to an absence of periods. Thyroid dysfunction can lead to both PCOS and amenorrhea. Treatment of one condition often means fixing the other. A doctor must perform detailed tests to find the common thread.
Your next steps
In many cases, women can still get pregnant. The goal is to find the root cause and start treatment immediately. Simple lifestyle changes and medication over several months can make a difference. Severe women may require additional options like assisted reproductive technologies. When the signs of these conditions arise, act quickly. The suitable remedies will improve the chances of success.