A Tumultuous Journey Filled With Surgeries And Procedures
Rishawns trying to conceive journey was far from being a smooth oneon top of PCOS, Rishawn had undergone surgery for the removal of cysts found in her uterus. Rishawn also went through two failed Intrauterine insemination and a medicated cyclewhere IUI was done in conjunction with fertility drugs that stimulate her body to mature and ovulate multiple eggs. While one of these procedures did end in pregnancy, Rishawn and her partner unfortunately went through a miscarriage.
In January of 2021, Rishawn found out that she was pregnant again, but this time, the couple experienced an ectopic pregnancy, in which her left fallopian tube ruptured. Because a fertilized egg cannot survive outside the womb, the couple unfortunately lost their baby again. Rishawn even had to remove her left fallopian tube following this pregnancy, making it even more difficult for her to get pregnant again.
Try The Latest Technology: In Vitro Maturation
Most women have heard of IVF, or in vitro fertilization. However, in vitro maturation is a new treatment offering hope to women are struggling to conceive.
Women with PCOS have many cysts with immature eggs. Rather than inducing these cysts to mature, a physician removes the follicles and induces maturation in a petri dish. This reduces the chances of ovarian hyperstimulation and also increases the chances of getting a mature egg by midcycle.
The doctor then uses IVF technology to inseminate the mature eggs before implanting them in the patients uterus. This is still a very new treatment, which means it can be hard to find a fertility doctor who performs it, but many doctors are claiming success rates of around 80%.
Two You Can Get Pregnant Without A Period
I get asked this all the time How can I get pregnant without my period?
We can get pregnant without a period, but we cant get pregnant without ovulation! Unfortunately, we get so focused on how to have a period that we often take progesterone in order to force one. This, however, isnt a true period, but a withdrawal bleed.
Sometimes it works.
Other times it simply causes more hormone imbalance as we throw our bodies a curveball. Giving it progesterone when maybe its in the midst of trying to create estrogen may cause problems!
The focus needs to be on supporting ovulation. If we can ovulate we can either get pregnant or well see a natural period about 14 days after ovulation.
Personally, Ive had two pregnancies during long cycles. One with a four-month cycle and one with a five-month cycle. The key to getting pregnant during this time was learning my fertility signs! Had I not noticed the fertility signals my body was giving me I probably wouldnt have tried to conceive those weeks.
If you dont know how to notice fertility signs in your body, let me help you learn it! I have a quick guide here Charting for fertility basics. Its really easy to learn, albeit a bit trickier with PCOS since it can take a couple of cycles for you to notice your individual fertility signs. Learning how to chart for fertility is my TOP TIP for learning how to get pregnant without regular periods!
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What Is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
PCOS, short for polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a common condition related to hormones in which the ovaries dont always release an egg at the end of the menstrual cycle . It can lead to difficulty getting pregnant.
It is thought to be very common, affecting about 1 in every 5 women in the UK.
If you have polycystic ovaries :
- Your ovaries are slightly larger than normal
- you have many more follicles
Having polycystic ovaries does not mean that you have PCOS. PCO means your ovaries are slightly different from most women’s ovaries, while PCOS is disorder linked to having hormone levels that are not balanced.
Take A Daily Baby Aspirin
Baby aspirin is recommended for all women trying to figure out how to get pregnant with PCOS. In addition to increasing your odds of getting pregnant, a baby aspirin a day may decrease the rate of miscarriage.
Baby aspirin thins blood enough to decrease tiny blood clots and increase blood flow to tissues. This is especially beneficial to the uterus, which needs good blood flow to build the thick endometrium needed for implantation.
In addition, baby aspirin increases blood flow to the hypothalamus in the brain, which is responsible for maintaining healthy endocrine and reproductive hormones. Baby aspirin reduces the chances of miscarriage, which are already elevated for women with PCOS.
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What Are The Chances Of Getting Pregnant With Pcos
While there are no hard and fast stats on the chances of getting pregnant with PCOS, about 70 percent of women with the condition struggle to get pregnant. This is likely because they arent ovulating, are ovulating sporadically, or don’t have enough progesterone naturally to support a pregnancy in its early stages.
Pcos Challenge Television Showpcos And Fertility
Watch the PCOS Challenge television show now to learn more about fertility and pregnancy options for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. View full episodes and get free support for PCOS and fertility at PCOSChallenge.com.
PCOS Challenge is a national award-winning cable television series that follows ten women with PCOS as they have their lives transformed by naturopathic and allopathic health and medical experts. The show addresses common PCOS symptoms and related conditions including infertility, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, anxiety and depression, and hirsutism.
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Theranatal One Prenatal Vitamins
Have you passed your 1st trimester? Yes? Then consider buying TheraNatal One instead of TheraNatal Core. You will love these prenatal vitamins if you are not a big fan of swallowing pills.
TheraNatal One delivers you all the essential nutrients in one easy-to-swallow softgel. It includes 300 mg of DHA along with other core nutrients that are important when you become pregnant. It is designed to cater to your nutritional needs when you are in your second or third semester of pregnancy.
Not just that, if you are trying to conceive, then these prenatal vitamins are safe to take. The 300 mg of DHA in TheraNatal One comes from pharmaceutical-grade omega-3 fish oil. It has received a 5-star rating from International Fish Oil Standards that leaves no doubt about its quality, safety, and purity.
However, we would still recommend that you consult your allergist if you are allergic to fish. Lastly, TheraNatal One promises you nutrition-rich doses to keep you and your baby healthy during pregnancy.
The fish oil meets International Fish Oil Standards
Ideal for the second and third trimesters
Can take this prenatal throughout the entire pregnancy
Supports healthy development of babys brain and neural tube
The DHA is combined with the multivitamin .
Can I Conceive With Pcos
Now, this may seem like an odd question but when I was trying to conceive, it was an important question for me. You see, there seems to be a lot of myths and misconceptions when it comes to PCOS.
I have had girls as young as 14 telling me that their doctor told them they will never have children because of their PCOS. And that is categorically untrue. The fact is, a diagnosis of PCOS does NOT mean that you will never have children.
There was a study done in 2009 involving 91 women with PCOS. They were monitored for 8 years and when the final follow up was done, all of the subjects were over 35.
Of the 91 women with PCOS, 86.7% of them had at least 1 child and 73.6% of them had gotten pregnant without any fertility treatments. Also, they tended to have a higher ovarian reserve. This means that they were able to get pregnant at an older age than women without PCOS .
Now, why am I telling you this? Because if you are struggling with fertility and struggling to get pregnant, I want you to know that there is hope. Your journey may be a little longer than someone without PCOS but it really is possible.
How Long Does It Take To Get Pregnant With Pcos
There are no guarantees when it comes to getting pregnant with or without PCOS, and there’s no specific time frame for when you’re likely to get pregnant after starting treatment for PCOS. If you haven’t yet been diagnosed with PCOS officially, many doctors will want you to try to get pregnant naturally for about a year before they start ordering tests to see if there is an underlying issue. However, if you are over the age of 35 or experiencing miscarriages, the doctor may not want to wait as long.
Getting Pregnant With Pcos
Have you been diagnosed with PCOS and finding it difficult to conceive? You might even have symptoms of low progesterone as well and not know which issue to focus on first. Ive been in the same boat a few times and managed to get pregnant four times even when my first OB told me Id probably need ovulation stimulating meds to do so. Id love to help you out and share some of the research and resources Ive found for getting pregnant with PCOS.
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Irregular Or Absent Periods
The contraceptive pill may be recommended to induce regular periods, or periods may be induced using an intermittent course of progestogen tablets .
This will also reduce the long-term risk of developing cancer of the womb lining associated with not having regular periods.
Other hormonal methods of contraception, such as an intrauterine system , will also reduce this risk by keeping the womb lining thin, but they may not cause periods.
Treatments That Can Help If Youre Trying To Conceive With Pcos
While youre commonly prescribed hormonal birth control to treat PCOS, thats obviously incompatible with your goals if youre trying to get pregnant. So, when trying to conceive, the purpose of treatment is to induce ovulation and time intercourse or insemination around that, rather than to regulate your cycle long-term. You can sometimes get these induction medications directly from an OB-GYN, but your OB-GYN can also refer you to an REI right away if they think thats more appropriate.If you already know that you have PCOS and know that you do not ovulate regularly or at all, Dr. Zore stresses that you should not wait to speak with your doctor about the possibility of ovulation-inducing medications. Youve probably heard general advice that, after more than 12 months of trying and not getting pregnant, you should go see a doctor but that timeline is recommended if youre not yet sure of your bodys ability to conceive naturally. If you already know that your PCOS diagnosis includes irregular ovulation and you want to get pregnant, then there is no need to delay treatments that can help you conceive.
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An Otc Option That Works For Some: Myo
Myo-inositol is a supplement that can increase the rate of ovulation in patients with PCOS, and its often compared to metformin. In one 2010 study looking at the results of metformin versus myo-inositol, researchers found that metformin induced ovulation in 50% of participants and myo-inositol induced ovulation in 65% of participants. That said, Dr. Zore emphasizes that current findings about myo-inositol are not conclusive or a cure-all. She recommends thinking of myo-inositol as a first step to inducing ovulation if you dont yet want to pursue other medical treatments. Whenever you consider taking a supplement, Dr. Zore says to remember there are not a lot of studies available to prove the efficacy of these products. Make sure you talk to your doctor about potential side effects, and if someone has recommended a supplement to you, look into where that recommendation is coming from. Do your research, Dr. Zore says. The only supplements I would recommend for everyone are prenatal vitamins, folic acid, and DHA . Talk to your doctor about everything else.
Find Out Whether You Are Ovulating
Ovulation is when your ovaries release an egg. If unreleased, then the egg stays in the ovary as a half baked egg . A cyst is an accumulation of many of these, hence the name polycystic ovaries.
You can have polycystic ovaries and still ovulate, the cysts just mean that there have been instances in the past where you havent ovulated.
You can only get pregnant if your ovaries are releasing an egg that can meet with the sperm. Therefore, the other part of the equation is that there needs to be sperm in there before you ovulate. If you are waiting until you ovulate to call your husband/partner/lover for a conjugal visit, then you may have missed the window. The strongest sperm can live for as long as four days inside you, making the days before ovulation vital. An egg dies within 24 hours after ovulation, so keep that in mind too.
A study in my home country, New Zealand, surveyed 80 women seeking fertility treatment. They had all been trying for a baby for more than 2 years. They found that 74% of women had inadequate fertility awareness to get pregnant. This tells me that we might think we know how the birds and the bees work, but in actual fact, we probably need much more education.
Educating yourself on how to detect the signs of ovulation is your first step. You can find this out by measuring your temperature and cervical fluid. Lisa at Fertility Friday has a great podcast about how to do this.
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What Are My Options
If you have tried for a baby for 12 months without success its time to seek medical advice. Your GP is your first port of call, but she might refer you to a fertility specialist.
If you have very irregular or only sporadic periods, this is an indication you are not ovulating and need medical help to have a baby. The first line of medical treatment is ovulation induction. This involves a course of tablets or injections to stimulate the ovaries to release an egg that can be fertilised, either during intercourse or through intra-uterine insemination .
If this doesnt work, there may be other reasons why pregnancy cant be achieved and more invasive treatments such as IVF may be needed.
IVF involves a course of injections to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. When theyre mature the eggs are retrieved in an ultrasound-guided procedure under light anaesthetic. Sperm are added to the eggs in the laboratory for embryos to form.
A few days later, an embryo is placed in the uterus where it may implant and grow into a baby. If there is more than one embryo, these can be frozen for later use if there is no pregnancy.
While IVF is safe in the hands of specialists, there are some possible health effects to be aware of, including ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. This is an over-response to the fertility drugs that are used to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. This can lead to abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, rapid weight gain and blood clots.
Treating Pcos For Pregnancy: What You Need To Know
There are several routes a woman can take when she wants to get pregnant with PCOS. The first line therapy is losing weight. A loss of as little as 7 percent of body weight can help balance hormones and regulate cycles. Sometimes this weight loss is enough says Dr. Ehrmann. And its not necessary to drop it quickly via fad diets, either. Some research indicates that a 5 to 10 percent weight loss over six months will help induce ovulation.
Oral medication that stimulates ovulation and therefore allows you to ovulate on your own are the next step, he says. The traditional treatment is Clomid . But another drug, Femara , which is used for cancer, may be prescribed off-label.
Whether you take clomid or letrozole depends on your circumstances. Keep in mind that theyre not a surefire path to pregnancy. Research shows that Clomid is likely to lead to multiple pregnancies , side effects like mood problems and hot flashes, and resistance to the drug. In a 2015 review, researchers point out that with Clomid, theres a 49 percent chance of ovulation, a 30 percent chance of pregnancy, and a 23 percent live birth rate. The lower live birth rate leads to questions about how well it actually works.
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Learn To Reduce Stress
Many women struggle with stress and anxiety. This is especially true when they are trying to conceive.
Unfortunately, stress can wreak havoc on your hormones, especially when it comes to insulin. Increased cortisol levels can increase insulin resistance, which increases serium insulin and blood glucose.
It is important to learn to deal with stress in a healthy manner, whether this is yoga, journaling, or talking to a counselor. As a bonus, these new coping skills will come in handy when you are finally a parent.
Getting Pregnant With Pcos Naturally
Getting pregnant with PCOS is possible when you chose a natural approach to support your reproductive health. It is not clear why women develop polycystic ovarian syndrome but this condition can affect your ability to get pregnant naturally if it remains untreated.
Most women who have PCOS experience hormonal imbalance, missed periods, and cysts on the ovaries. This can affect fertility and pregnancy.
Getting pregnant naturally with polycystic ovary can be helped by using natural therapies like herbal remedies, fertility foods and specific nutritional supplements.
All these modalities can help you balance your hormones and address polycystic ovarian syndrome naturally without the side effects of fertility drugs.
In most cases PCOS becomes a problem due to the following reasons:1. Not ovulating regularly every month making it hard for you to get pregnant2. Having irregular periods, either too short or too long3. Experiencing completely absent periods for over three months4. Having small ovarian cysts of 2-9 mm in diameter. The eggs do not mature properly5. Having immature follicles.
Polycystic ovaries contain many small antral follicles containing eggs, which do not develop or mature and are not released at ovulation.
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