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With almost 33% of all fertility issues, polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is the most widely recognized ovulatory problem in women of reproductive age. While many people believe that women with PCOS can't get pregnant; PCOS can be managed with lifestyle changes, dietary interventions and pregnancy with PCOS can eventually occur in life either naturally or through IVF treatments or Intrauterine insemination.
How does PCOS Affect Fertility?
PCOS leads to a hormonal imbalance in women that reflects on their overall physiology. Ovulation issues are normally the essential driver of infertility in women with PCOS. Ovulation may not happen because of a hormonal imbalance resulting in the high secretion of testosterone or the formation of ovarian cysts. Regardless of whether ovulation happens or not, an irregularity in hormones may prevent the growth of the uterine wall. Because of a hormonal imbalance, ovulation and period can be sporadic. Erratic monthly cycles can likewise be a roadblock for women planning a pregnancy with PCOS.
While no specific cause of the problem is known, PCOS is manifested by several symptoms. These include:
● abnormal hair growth on the face, chest, or back
● weight gain
● thinning hair on the head
● skin pigmentation
● irregular periods and cysts in the ovary
Lifestyle Changes to Manage PCOS
There is no definitive cure for PCOS, and it persists throughout your life. However, it is possible to reverse PCOS with a proper diet and lifestyle. Studies have found that lifestyle and dietary modifications can help manage PCOS. Weight management can help curb your symptoms by stabilizing your hormone levels. That said, there is no standard diet to manage PCOS, but making good choices under expert guidance can help you plan pregnancy with PCOS.
Foods to Eat
1. Fiber-Rich Foods
2. Antioxidant Foods
Berries- Strawberries, blueberries
3. Foods with a Low Glycemic Index
Foods with a low glycemic index are easy to digest and keep your sugar levels in check, unlike refined carbohydrates.
4. Omega 3 Fats
Foods rich in omega 3 fats help elevate good cholesterol levels.
Include foods rich in omega 3 fats such as:
Fatty fishes like tuna, sardines, and salmon
Foods to Avoid
1. Processed food like red meat, trans fats, junk, and fried foods can increase inflammation and worsen PCOS symptoms.
2. Reduce your intake of processed foods to a minimum.
3. Reduce your sugar intake.
4. Refined carbs are key players in increasing inflammation and sugar levels. It is necessary to cut back on refined carbohydrates to keep your PCOS in check.
5. Abstain from smoking. Smoking may worsen the risk of developing metabolic disorders in women suffering from PCOS.
Pregnancy with PCOS
Pregnancy with PCOS can be difficult because of its effect on fertility. It is of the most common contributing factors for infertility.
Anyone who is concerned that they are not able to conceive or who has symptoms that may indicate PCOS should see a doctor to prevent complications. However, it is possible to conceive naturally with PCOS. Women who have been diagnosed with PCOS must adopt diet and lifestyle changes to manage their symptoms and get pregnant naturally.
● Weight reduction through a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise can help improve ovulatory function, and also induce a safe pregnancy for both mother and the baby. Weight loss can further help reduce acne and hair fall in women suffering from PCOS.
● Aside from lifestyle management for weight loss, there are standard medications prescribed by health professionals that can help you plan a pregnancy with PCOS. These medications help induce ovulation.
Note: Consult your doctor and an expert before making any changes in your diet.