Whenever a couple decides to expand their family, they usually start to do what they can to prepare themselves to make such a huge change. It's a lifestyle shift that pretty much needs to start right away, and there is a whole lot of planning involved.
The first step usually involves scheduling a visit to the doctor for a check-up and to make sure they are healthy enough to carry. The doctor will also give recommendations on how to increase the chances of a pregnancy being achieved quickly.
One step that aspiring moms are told to do is to chart their cycles to know when they are the most fertile. However, many women who fail to ovulate on a regular basis find themselves unable to get pregnant, mostly due to the unpredictability of their cycles.
A lot of women who are anovulatory, or who don't ovulate regularly have a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), The condition is caused by too much testosterone in the body, which can also cause other hormonal imbalances.
Women with PCOS frequently have other characteristics due to the condition such as facial hair, obesity, acne as well as thinning hair. I also have PCOS and even though it is mild and I always had irregular periods, I was still able to get pregnant. It happened with help, but it still happened. But most women with PCOS aren't so lucky.
Therefore, women who have PCOS can most definitely get pregnant and carry to term. However, there are tips and tricks that they will need in order to increase the chances of a pregnancy happening. Let's look at 21 methods that can help moms with PCOS get pregnant right now.
21 Find Out When Ovulation Is Happening
Every woman who wants to become a mom must know their cycles well, and the only way to find out is by charting their cycles. They can do that by taking their basal body temperature, checking cervical mucus consistency and knowing how long their cycles are- and knowing if they are regular. They can also use ovulation prediction kits.
Women with PCOS rarely have regular cycles which means they are not ovulating all that often. According to The PCOS Nutritionist, it is crucial for women with the condition that want to become moms to really get to know their cycles well.
This way, if they find out they are not ovulating, then they can take the appropriate action to make the right steps in order to help their chances of getting pregnant.
20 Vitamin D Supplement
Since many women with PCOS struggle with insulin resistance which definitely has a negative impact on their ovulation, one way to help treat that issue is if they take Vitamin D supplements. According to Sepalika, studies have shown that insulin resistance goes hand in hand with Vitamin D deficiency.
This is why women who have PCOS and want to become moms need to take Vitamin D supplements, along with the other prenatal supplements they need -- most notably folic acid.
Depending on the severity of the condition, many women who have that condition will need to do more than just taking Vitamin D supplements to help increase their odds of getting pregnant. However, this is a good start.
19 Cut The Sugar And Trans Fats
Even for women that want to become moms that don't have PCOS need to cut the sugar and trans fats down quite a bit from their diets. That means the consumption of candies, pastries, and fast food must be very restricted.
This is due to the fact that sugar causes spikes in blood sugar and in insulin which can have a negative impact on hormone regulation and ovulation. However, for women that have PCOS are more likely to be insulin resistant and sugar is the worst possible thing for that.
According to Sepalika, women with PCOS need to be on a diet that is higher in protein, good fats, and complex carbohydrates to help regulate hormones. A little sugar is fine like indulging in a treat once a week. But anything more than that is poison for the reproductive system of a woman with PCOS.
18 Consume Good Fats
Diet is extremely important for women that have PCOS whether they plan to become moms or not because diet helps them manage their condition.
However, for those that do want to become moms that have the condition already know to cut down sugar and trans fats but they need to increase their intake of good fats like Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
According to Natural Fertility Info, these important fatty acids not only help regulate hormones and encourage healthy ovulation. They also help reduce inflammation.
Foods rich in these fatty acids include walnuts, salmon, mackerel, sardines, chia seeds, flax seeds, avocados, olive oil, eggs and other nuts. Therefore, these foods need to be incorporated in their diets.
17 Get A Prescription Of Clomid
Some women with PCOS who want to become moms will have a harder time getting pregnant than others who have a milder form of the condition. And, in many cases, these women will be prescribed something called Clomid, or clomiphene citrate.
Clomid helps trick the brain into thinking there is not enough estrogen, which then triggers the ovulation hormones to get to work which is the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
In fact, according to Very Well Family, Clomid is the most prescribed for women with PCOS since they find the most success with it. I did as well because Clomid is the reason that I have my daughter!
16 Losing Pounds
Not all women with PCOS deal with excess pounds. However, the vast majority are due to the fact that their bodies are not able to process insulin well.
According to Very Well Family, excess pounds, especially if they are due to insulin resistance, will inhibit ovulation and cause hormonal imbalances. The best thing for a woman with PCOS that is carrying too many lbs is to lose them.
It is not easy, but it can most definitely be done with sticking to a PCOS-friendly way of eating that is rich in proteins and good fats, and higher in complex carbohydrates and low in sugar. The best thing to do is to consult a dietician or nutritionist who can help women with PCOS go about this healthily and effectively
15 Getting Proper Exercise
Everyone knows that exercise is encouraged to maintain good health or if you want to shed those pounds. The best type of exercise for women that have PCOS, whether they need to lose lbs or not,is to exercise for a half hour, five days a week.
According to Natural Fertility Info, this may sound counter-intuitive, but women with PCOS must not exercise excessively by spending hours at the gym.
That can increase inflammation which will worsen the condition. Programs like Zumba, running on a treadmill, swimming, or taking a Pilates class are all ideal. Even taking a brisk walk and lifting dumbbells can do the trick.
Exercises must not exceed more than a half an hour and resting for at least two days per week is imperative.
14 Take Insulin Sensitizers
Even if women who have PCOS are not insulin resistant, many specialists will put their patients on insulin sensitizers like Metformin or myoinositol to help them ovulate. Sometimes they will combine one of these with Clomid if that medication alone is not helping.
According to Natural Fertility Info, Metformin is meant to help control the amount of glucose in the blood. Along with dietary changes and incorporating the right amount of exercise- it can really work wonders for managing the condition.
However, the same source also states that the long-term use of insulin sensitizers can cause malabsorption of vitamin B12. Hopefully, pregnancy would happen quickly enough for women with the condition so they would not have to keep taking it for a long time.
13 There Is Also Letrozole
Some PCOS women who want to get pregnant may be Clomid-resistant and insulin sensitizers may not help them either. Occasionally they will have to go on other fertility drugs in order to get things moving. According to Very Well Family, some women with the condition have been prescribed Letrozole, which is known as Femara or Fempro.
Even though Letrozole is not a fertility medication, but it has helped many women with PCOS get pregnant. There are properties in the medication that can help trigger ovulation, and as a result, pregnancy in plenty of cases.
12 If All Else Doesn't Work Out, Gonadotropins
In cases when PCOS is severe, or the woman is either Clomid-resistant or hasn't had any luck with Femara, then gonadotropins may be prescribed. This is an injectable fertility medication that goes under the brand names Ovidrel, Gonal-F, Menopur, Bravelle or Follistim.
According to Very Well Family, these are really given as the last resort. Side effects from Clomid and Femara are mild and do not over stimulate the ovaries. Therefore, the risk of having multiple pregnancies, as a result, is not significantly higher than getting pregnant naturally. However, when gonadotropins are given, it can cause the ovaries to become overstimulated.
The odds of it working too well are high, such as getting pregnant with twins, triplets or more! That in itself is risky!
11 Stay Away From Seed Oil
You are probably thinking that any kind of vegetable oil is not only safe to eat if you have PCOS and you want to become a mom considering olive oil is good for you, but there are some oils to avoid like the plague.
According to The PCOS Nutritionist, any kind of industrial seed oil such as canola, sunflower, and vegetable is quite bad for you.
The reason that those types of oils are not good is that they can cause inflammation in your reproductive organs. And any kind of inflammation in those areas can prevent a pregnancy from happening. If it were to happen, then implantation will likely fail if there is a lot of inflammation.
10 Stay Away From Soy-Based Products
One protein source to also avoid like the plague if you have PCOS and you want to become a mom is anything soy-based.
It does not matter if the food is processed or natural. If it is soy-based, keep away from it.
According to The PCOS Nutritionist, soy-based foods not only cause inflammation in the reproductive system, but it can also affect your hormonal levels.
Soy has phytoestrogens which are called isoflavones, which can increase estrogen levels. Therefore, if there is too much estrogen, that will create imbalances for the other important hormones that help with ovulation. That is the last thing you want, especially if you are someone with PCOS that wants to be a mom.
9 Take Probiotics And Eat Fermented Foods
Women who have PCOS have poor gut health, meaning that the bacteria in their digestive tracts are quite imbalanced which is a result of insulin resistance and the inability to burn off calories effectively.
According to The PCOS Nutritionist, one way to balance hormones and to even reserve the effects of PCOS is to improve the balance of the good bacteria in the gut.
The way it is done is to not only take probiotics but to eat fermented foods such as water kefir, fermented tea, kimchi and sauerkraut with every meal. Fermented foods help reduce the breakdown of carbs which lowers blood glucose levels. If you don't like fermented foods, then you can go to your health food store and ask for supplements that can help do that job.
8 Eat Resistant Starch
The PCOS Nutritionist advises women that have the condition and have plans to become moms to also eat prebiotics or resistant starch foods. These are a type of carbohydrate that feeds good bacteria and helps increase the amount as well. Examples of resistant starch foods are sweet potatoes, potatoes, beets, parsnips, and rice.
It is also best to allow these foods to cool down after cooking so it is the most effective. Even though resistant starch is a carb, it does not get absorbed by the small intestine and therefore, will not cause spikes in blood sugar or insulin to happen. The same goes for whole grain foods. It also helps improve insulin sensitivity in those who are insulin resistant.
7 Chromium Can Help
If there is a mineral that can really bring down insulin levels, then chromium is it. According to Natural Fertility Info, women who have PCOS that take chromium supplements improves blood sugar levels. And, it allows the insulin to do its job effectively. It is recommended that 1000 mcg of the supplement be taken per day for two months in order for it to do its job properly.
Foods that have this important mineral are whole grains, bran, oysters, onions, tomatoes and brewer's yeast. However, there isn't much of the mineral that is needed to help do the job in food alone. Therefore, that is why it is recommended a supplement is taken.
6 Licorice Root Tea Works Wonders
There are some amazing herbs around that help enhance fertility for both men and for women. And some herbal remedies are better for helping women with PCOS than some others. If you want to take the herbal route to improve your fertility, then it is best to get advice from a licensed naturopathic doctor.
According to Natural Fertility Info, one fantastic herbal supplement that can help women with PCOS get pregnant is licorice root.
The reason it is great is that it helps the body keep proper hormone production and release. It also helps bring down insulin levels and supports liver function as well.
5 Drink Some Chaste Berry Tree Tea
Chaste Berry Tree or Vitex is actually a very common herbal supplement that many women who want to become moms rely on. However, according to Natural Fertility Info, this herbal remedy is very good for women with PCOS to take that plan to get pregnant.
Vitex helps regulate hormones and helps regulate menstrual cycles, which is very important for women that have PCOS since they frequently have cycles that are irregular.
In fact, other sources state as well that Vitex works in a similar way to Clomid. If you want to go this route, again it is best to speak to a professional before taking any kind of herbal supplement.
4 Maca Root Is Helpful
Maca is one of the well-known fertility superfoods around, and it has been around and used to help improve fertility for thousands of years. According to Natural Fertility Info, maca helps to balance estrogen and progesterone levels, which is important for a healthy menstrual cycle. This herbal remedy nourishes the endocrine system, and this is quite beneficial for women that have PCOS to take.
Maca does not contain any hormones itself, but it does a great job with balancing hormones. If you take this herb or any other herbal remedy listed while eating foods to help with boosting fertility, you will drastically increase your odds of getting pregnant.
3 Tribulus Is Great
Another great herbal remedy that can help increase the odds of women that have PCOS get pregnant is Tribulus. According to Natural Fertility Info, Tribulus helps nourish the reproductive system and helps to encourage ovulation.
In fact, this herbal remedy also helps regulate the cycle and this is especially beneficial for those who have PCOS. It has been known to be successful for women that have been struggling to get pregnant.
Again, before taking any kind of herbal remedy, even if it is recommended online for any purpose, you must speak with a licensed naturopathic doctor. Some herbs are also safe to take during pregnancy, but there are many herbs that are not.
2 Limit Coffee Intake
You probably were not aware of this, but according to Natural Fertility Info, caffeine increases levels of estrogen which is not a good thing for women who have PCOS. Even if you don't have PCOS and you are wanting to get pregnant, you will want to limit your coffee intake as well.
Most women wanting to get pregnant can safely drink two cups of coffee. But for women with PCOS, it is recommended to only have one cup a day, and no more than that.
If women who have the condition drink two cups of coffee a day, that can cause estrogen levels to rise during the time that the egg is maturing, which will inhibit ovulation.
1 Organic Is The Way To Go
If you have PCOS and want to get pregnant, it is really best to eat organic food, and to keep away from anything processed as much as possible. According to Natural Fertility Info, you will want to make sure you are only eating organic meat and dairy. Hormones are added to commercial meat and dairy products which can also raise estrogen levels.
Additionally, women who have PCOS usually have a progesterone deficiency and adding more estrogen can worsen the situation. Organic food is rich in vitamins, minerals as well as healthy proteins.
It may be more expensive, but it is worth the investment! Don't you agree?