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Can I get pregnant if I have PCOS?

With irregular periods, delayed periods and anovulatory menstrual cycle, here is how PCOS can affect your chances to get pregnant.

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Published : February 22, 2017 1:39 PM IST

Is every woman with PCOS infertile? Does it mean woman with PCOS will never get pregnant? How does PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) affect fertility? Please explain how PCOS affects periods and fertility.

The query is answered by Dr D Dakshayani, Fertility Consultant, Apollo Fertility Clinic, Chennai.

PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), is a syndrome (a collection of symptoms) that mainly causes hormonal changes in the body. However, when it comes to PCOS, periods and fertility, you need to be aware of changes that happen in the body and how it impacts your ability to get pregnant or conceive. Also read about 5 ways PCOS affects your sex life.

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If you have polycystic ovaries, your ovary/ovaries might look a little bit more enlarged than a normal ovary/ovaries. Moreover, there is a high risk that you might have multiple cysts in the ovaries, which is mostly seen in the peripheral of the ovaries. So if you have a polycystic ovary, the tendency to have normal egg formation, especially if you are in your reproductive age might go for a toss. Also, the hormonal changes -- low oestrogen and progesterone levels along with high levels of testosterone -- in the body, might lead to an abnormal reproductive cycle. And this might hinder your ability to have a proper egg formation.

In some cases, a woman can also have an anovulatory cycle, in which you might have a menstrual cycle without ovulation. In such a case, as egg formation is not there, you can become infertile. Also, if you have an irregular menstrual cycle or delayed periods, known as oligomenorrhea, meaning you have periods once in 40 - 45 days or once in 3 or 6 months, it might lead to infertility. Hence, consult your gynaecologist at the earliest if you have irregular or delayed periods.

Having said that it does not mean that every woman with PCOS is infertile as there are cases when a woman with PCOS have become pregnant with simple diet modifications and exercise. Whereas, in some cases, use of medications or IVF (invitro fertilisation) can help a woman with PCOS to conceive. Here's more on how to get pregnant if you have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)?

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