PCOS And Pregnancy Can Be A Complicated Time In A Woman’s Life
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects many women. PCOS occurs when a woman’s adrenal glands or ovaries are producing more male hormones than they should. This can result in cysts developing on the ovaries. Women with PCOS may find it difficult to get pregnant because of irregular menstruation cycles and missed ovulation. It can be hard to time intercourse to optimize conception. Couples facing these challenges may decide to work with a reproductive specialist. There are also complications due to PCOS and pregnancy. While these complications are not common, it is good to be aware of them when trying to get pregnant with PCOs.
It appears that women who have PCOS are slighter more at risk for a miscarriage. There seem to be several reasons for this. Women who suffer from PCOS tend to also have longer menstrual cycles. This results in later ovulation during which the egg is exposed to hormones which could damage it.
Women with PCOS also tend to develop insulin resistance which produces elevated insulin levels. Since there is a known link between miscarriage and uncontrolled blood sugar, researchers believe PCOS may contribute to poor egg quality which can cause miscarriage. Women with PCOS also have higher androgen levels and some experience endometrial dysfunction, both of which can cause problems with egg implantation. This may also contribute to miscarriage.
Women experiencing PCOS tend to have higher blood pressure readings which can make them vulnerable to preeclampsia and pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). Women who develop high blood pressure after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy are diagnosed with PIH. Another serious health issue for pregnant women is preeclampsia. Often developing in the last half of pregnancy, this condition causes excess protein in the urine which can lead to kidney problems.
Preeclampsia must be treated immediately. If left untreated, this condition can develop into a life-threatening condition known as eclampsia. Eclampsia can prove fatal to both mother and unborn infant. When a pregnant woman goes in for her checkups, her healthcare provider will check her blood pressure. They will also take a urine sample to check for excess protein. If the doctor or healthcare provider feels the woman is at a risk of developing preeclampsia, they will prescribe medication and bed rest.
They will monitor the pregnant woman frequently to keep her blood pressure stabilized. Woman with PCOS must work with their healthcare provider to monitor signs of preeclampsia and PIH. These signs may include a severe headache, rapid weight gain, swelling and vision changes.
Another dangerous health issue for pregnant women with PCOS is gestational diabetes. Women who develop gestational diabetes are also more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes later on in life. Women with PCOS can be at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes because of insulin resistance.
Another risk of PCOS and pregnancy is premature delivery. Experts do not know exactly why, but pregnant women who also have PCOS tend to deliver early. These babies are also likely to be larger and have low Apgar scores.
Women who have PCOS and who want to get pregnant must be aware of the possible complications. Work closely with your healthcare provider to look for signs of Preeclampsia, PIH, or Gestational Diabetes.