It is a myth that women with PCOS can never get pregnant naturally. Some women get pregnant in the natural cycle. However, there is a higher risk of certain conditions for pregnant women with PCOS
Women with PCOS have a higher rate of miscarriage than women without the condition. Although the exact cause is unknown, it appears that hormonal irregularities present in women with PCOS can trigger a miscarriage.
2. Gestational Diabetes
Since many women with PCOS are insulin resistant, they have an increased risk of gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is a temporary type of diabetes that may develop during the second half of pregnancy and usually goes away after the baby is born. With gestational diabetes, the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to process sugar during pregnancy. So, the fetus may get too much sugar. If untreated, this can lead to a larger-than-normal baby, premature delivery, and increased chance of cesarean delivery.
Women with gestational diabetes need to constantly monitor their blood sugar levels. This can be controlled by a combination of diet, exercise and medications if required.
Pre-eclampsia is pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, and it usually occurs during the second half of pregnancy. With pre-eclampsia, the placenta doesn’t get enough blood so it can’t deliver enough oxygen and food to the fetus. This can result in low birth weight and other health problems for the baby.
The blood pressure needs to be constantly monitored. General physical rest is suggested and unnecessary stress needs to be eliminated. Also, a strict diet and exercise regimen is definitely recommended.
4. Preterm Delivery
Preterm delivery is defined as birth before 37 weeks gestation and is a significant risk for a woman with PCOS.
While these risks are high for women with PCOS, a lot of them can be controlled to negligible levels with constant monitoring and doctor’s advice. However, what is strongly suggested is to work on the PCOS with lifestyle changes before getting pregnant – so start working out (even walking counts), eat right (cut back on sugar and fat), and stop smoking if you do.