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Some people with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a health condition that causes irregular periods and affects ovulation, worry that they won't be able to have children. But while PCOS is a common hormonal imbalance that can cause infertility,  that  doesn’t mean people with PCOS can’t get pregnant. PCOS is actually very treatable, —  getting pregnant may just take more help. Let’s talk about it. 

Understanding PCOS

PCOS affects about 13% of people during their reproductive years and often goes undiagnosed. In people with PCOS the body may be producing too much of the hormones that help control your reproductive health and growth: androgen and insulin. High amounts of these two hormones can cause irregular periods, acne, extra body hair growth, weight changes, and ovarian cysts.  PCOS also makes it harder to ovulate, or release an egg —  making it harder to get pregnant.  

Getting pregnant and PCOS 

For people with PCOS, pregnancy can definitely happen.  Many people with PCOS  simply need a little extra support and care from their nurse or doctor. 

Getting support and care

If you have PCOS and you're trying to get pregnant, there are lots of ways  a nurse or doctor can help. The nurses, doctors, and expert staff at your nearest Planned Parenthood health center can be a great resource. Hormone treatments or fertility treatments can increase your chances of becoming pregnant. 

Hormone treatments can help you ovulate,  regulate your hormone levels, and increase your chances of getting pregnant. 

Fertility treatments (like IUI or IVF) often include hormone treatments that help with hormones and ovulation, but can also be combined with surgeries that can help you have a baby. These surgeries can make it easier for sperm to fertilize an egg —  as well as help the egg implant into the lining of your uterus to create a pregnancy.

Leaning into self-care 

Trying to get pregnant can be tiring — physically, spiritually, and emotionally.  Remember to make space for your your emotions. During this time you may  experience a range of feelings. Take time and space to process what’s happening. Try to honor how you’re feeling in a way that's best suits you. Maybe talk to a friend or loved one, journal, enjoy your favorite hobbies, join a support group, or take a  quiet walk. Remember, your journey is unique to you.How you choose to rest, recharge, and take care of yourself  will be unique as well. 

Trying to stay connected 

Social support is just as important as  the medical guidance you’ll get from your nurse or doctor. Friends, family, loved ones, mental health professionals, and online communities can be great support systems to lean on every step of the way. 

Tags: infertility, fertility, hormones, hormonal-imbalance, ovaries, pcos, polycystic-ovarian-syndrome

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