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Trying to get pregnant with PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome can be frustrating. While it is possible to get pregnant with PCOS, there are risks for both baby and mom. Those risks include a higher rate of miscarriages, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and larger babies just to name a few. Miscarriages can be caused by a host of issues, but it should be noted that women who are pregnant with PCOS are thought to have miscarriages as much as three times as often as a healthy mother.
Gestational diabetes is a real concern, just like any form of diabetes. When a mom-to-be is diagnosed with gestational diabetes it means that she’s having a hard time dealing with glucose in her blood. That glucose sits in the blood and is eventually passed on to the baby. The baby’s pancreas then has to make insulin to deal with the extra glucose which causes the baby to gain weight. This condition is called macrosomia. During the delivery the baby may experience an injury called a shoulder distocia where her shoulders may get stuck in the birth canal. For this reason, most doctors will carefully monitor women who are pregnant with PCOS or who are over-weight.
Pre-eclampsia is a very dangerous complication of pregnancy and should be closely monitored by your health care provider. The major signs are high blood pressure and protein in the urine. It’s very important to provide regular urine samples, when pregnant, so that you and health care provider can be aware of any changes. Other symptoms you want to discuss with your health care provider include swelling, headaches, sudden weight gain, and changes in vision. It is possible to have no symptoms at all. The leading cause of death in both mother and child, the world over, is hypertensive disorders, including pre-eclampsia. If you are pregnant with PCOS, your risks of hypertensive disorders, are higher so discuss your risks with your health care provider.
Before pregnancy, be sure to take all the steps you can to treat your PCOS. Those steps should be discussed with your health care provider and may include eating a varied and nutritionally balanced diet, frequent exercise, reducing your stress, and bringing your hormone levels back into balance. If you find yourself pregnant with PCOS, it’s not too late to start treating yourself. Improving your diet, getting exercise that is appropriate for your stage of pregnancy, and learning to reduce stress will help reduce your risks during your pregnancy and set the stage for good habits during the first year of your baby’s life. Always discuss any changes you plan to make with your health care provider before you make them.