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PCOS and Its Impact on Pregnancy

Polycystic ovarian disorder (PCOS) is a disorder that affects 6%-15% of women during their reproductive age. In case you’re diagnosed with PCOS, conceiving becomes difficult. And, if you’re able to get pregnant, you will face complications amid pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

What is PCOS?

PCOS, also called Stein-Leventhal syndrome, is a hormonal imbalance that impacts the health of women. It is considered as the excessive production of androgens (male hormones).

Women with PCOS may experience excessive hair growth and acne. Also, it can result in the formation of cysts in the ovaries and disturb the regular menstrual cycles.

Symptoms of PCOS

Due to the difficulty in diagnosis of PCOS, it often gets missed in women. Its side effects can differ and happen in many women of different types. Here is the list of common symptoms of PCOS:

  • cysts in the ovaries
  • anxiety or depression
  • insulin resistance
  • excessive weight gain
  • weight gain on the waistline
  • high testosterone
  • suppressed ovulation
  • pelvic pain
  • dark, thick patches of skin on the arms and neck
  • skin tags

Is Pregnancy Possible with PCOS?

Yes, it’s possible for women suffering from PCOS to get pregnant with or without the help of essential medications that can result in ovulation.

Risks of PCOS for Moms-to-be

Women with PCOS are more likely to face certain pregnancy complications, including:

  • Early loss of pregnancy

Women suffering from PCOS are at high risk of early loss of a pregnancy during the initial months of their pregnancy.

  • Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is the unexpected beginning of high blood pressure as well as swelling of the face and hands. It generally develops after week 20 of pregnancy, and when detected early, can be treated effectively.

  • Gestational diabetes

This is a type of diabetes that can be seen only in pregnant women. It is curable and, if controlled, does not become problematic for the mother.

  • Preterm birth

Babies are considered “preterm” if the mothers with PCOS delivered them before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Such babies are at higher risk for several health problems, so they stay under observation in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) right after birth.

  • Cesarean or C-section delivery

Pregnant women with PCOS are likely to undergo C-section or Cesarean delivery due to complications related to PCOS.

PCOS Treatment

PCOS is incurable, but still there are ways to control symptoms, such as:

  • weight loss
  • birth control pills
  • spironolactone
  • other androgen blockers

Apart from these, there is metformin (to control blood sugar) and fertility drugs commonly prescribed to help start ovulation.

Final Takeaway:

Most importantly, all you need to know about PCOS as well as pregnancy is that complications are actual. That’s why it is advisable to take essential steps for a healthy pregnancy. Avoid taking medications on your own and consider consulting with a doctor to know the extent of complications and follow his/her instructions.

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