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If I Have PCOS Will I Be Able to Get Pregnant?

If I Have PCOS Will I Be Able to Get Pregnant?

If you’ve been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), you might be worried about your ability to start a family. This condition, which affects about 10% of women, can cause frustrating side effects like irregular periods, weight gain, excess body hair — and it can make getting pregnant difficult.  

The good news is that many women can have a baby despite having PCOS. At his private practice in White Plains and Queens, New York, board-certified OB/GYN Daniel S. Kushner, MD, is dedicated to helping women get the best treatment for PCOS so they can start or continue building their family. 

Take a moment to learn more about PCOS and how the condition impacts your fertility.

Understanding PCOS

The female body maintains a certain level of androgens, or “male hormones,” that co-exist with female hormones. But when too many androgens exist, a hormonal imbalance develops that is linked with PCOS. 

Androgens aren’t the only hormone associated with PCOS — many women also have high levels of insulin, a hormone that works to convert the foods you eat into energy. The imbalances of these hormones can interfere with your reproductive health. 

For women without PCOS, hormones stimulate the ovaries to produce a cyst containing an egg that’s released when you ovulate. For women with PCOS, the hormonal imbalances cause the ovaries to develop too many cysts. 

The eggs in the extra cysts don’t mature enough, meaning you don’t ovulate regularly. This creates an even greater hormonal imbalance, and can lead to many symptoms and serious health issues, such as:

PCOS is also linked to infertility. 

Your fertility with PCOS

PCOS changes the way you ovulate. This is due to the hormonal imbalances associated with the condition — if your body doesn’t have the right balance of estrogen and testosterone, your ovulation doesn’t occur each month. 

If you don’t ovulate, you can’t get pregnant. If you do ovulate, PCOS makes ovulation occur at irregular times, making it more challenging for women with the condition to predict when they’re fertile. 

On top of that, the extra testosterone that causes PCOS decreases the quality of your eggs. It also increases your risk of having insulin resistance and gestational diabetes, putting you at higher risk for miscarriage if you do conceive. 

Even though PCOS can make it more difficult to get pregnant, treatments are available to help women with PCOS get pregnant and carry a baby to term. If you have PCOS and want to start your family, the first step is scheduling an appointment with Dr. Kushner.

How we can help you start a family if you have PCOS 

Dr. Kushner evaluates your situation and develops a personalized PCOS treatment plan. He reviews your medical history and your symptoms and may perform tests — including a physical exam, pelvic exam, pelvic ultrasound, and blood tests — to determine the best course of treatment.

Every woman is different and requires different treatments to manage PCOS, but Dr. Kushner usually recommends beginning with lifestyle changes such as:

Dr. Kushner may recommend medications as well. Your plan may include anti-androgen medicine or metformin to stimulate ovulation and control insulin levels to increase your chances of conceiving.

If you have PCOS and you’re ready to start your family, we’re here to help. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Daniel S. Kushner, MD, in White Plains or Queens, New York, today.

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