Is Pregnancy Still Possible?
Infertility is emotionally taxing. Couples going through infertility treatment want to do everything possible to boost the chances of success. When a woman has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), conceiving naturally is more complicated. Women with PCOS often have irregular menstrual periods, high levels of male hormones, ovarian cysts, and difficulty getting pregnant. One of the best strategies for getting pregnant with PCOS is to go through in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. For women with PCOS, here’s how to boost the chances of IVF success.
1. Maintain a healthy weight
Being underweight or overweight is associated with infertility. Patients who are obese can take twice as long to get pregnant. Women who have PCOS often struggle to maintain a healthy weight. However, keeping weight within a normal BMI range makes IVF success more likely.
2. Manage stress
Excess stress is prevalent during infertility treatment. But IVF treatment is the optimal time to work on lowering stress levels. Women can try stress reduction strategies such as counseling, meditating, yoga, or acupuncture during infertility treatment.
3. Refrain from tobacco
Smoking can lead to premature aging of the ovaries and can significantly deplete egg count. While quitting smoking is not easy, women should go through the steps to stop before trying to get pregnant. For extra help, seek out professional support for smoking cessation.
4. Follow the Mediterranean diet
Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is essential both for fertility and for managing PCOS. Research has shown that the Mediterranean diet, in particular, can increase IVF success rates. To follow the nutrition guidelines, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Focus on healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and extra-virgin olive oil. The diet has also been linked to increased sperm production, so both partners can benefit from the dietary changes.
5. Work out the right amount
Exercising is essential for weight maintenance and stress relief. During IVF treatment, however, women should avoid overly strenuous exercise. For example, women who enjoy running should limit mileage to less than 15 miles weekly during fertility treatments. Instead, opt for hiking, spinning, using the elliptical, or practicing yoga.
6. Check your vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiencies are extremely common. However, low levels of this nutrient are associated with infertility. Adequate vitamin D intake is correlated to higher levels of IVF success and lower risk of autism. Always check vitamin levels with a doctor before starting any supplement.
Moving forward with fertility treatment
Women who have PCOS may have more difficulty getting pregnant. But getting pregnant is not impossible. To learn more about IVF and other treatment options for infertility, schedule an appointment with a fertility specialist.