The polycystic ovarian syndrome commonly is a condition that affects between 6-15% of women of childbearing age. If a woman is diagnosed with PCOS, it becomes more difficult for her to become pregnant. And even if the woman is able to conceive with PCOS, her pregnancy may be complicated. However, we need to know that PCOS is an ailment that is created due to hormonal imbalances and it can be managed with medication and lifestyle modifications. There is no definite cure for PCOS, however, if the same is ignored, there can be complications due to the same.
Causes of PCOS:
The cause of PCOS is not fully understood, but genetics may be a factor. PCOS seems to run in families, so your chance of having it is higher if other women in your family have it or have irregular periods or diabetes. PCOS can be passed down from either your mother’s or father’s side.
Symptoms associated with PCOS:
Symptoms tend to be mild at first. You may have only a few symptoms or a lot of them. The most common symptoms are:
Weight gain and trouble losing weight.
Extra hair on the face and body. Often women get thicker and darker facial hair and more hair on the chest, belly, and back.
Thinning hair on the scalp.
Irregular periods. Often women with PCOS have fewer than nine periods a year. Some women have no periods. Others have very heavy bleeding.
Fertility problems. Many women who have PCOS have trouble getting pregnant (infertility).
PCOS and Pregnancy Risk:
Unfortunately, having PCOS during pregnancy makes things a little more complicated. It will require more monitoring for both you and your baby.
The potential risks with PCOS for the baby include premature birth, increased risk of meconium aspiration, large for gestation age, miscarriage and lower Apgar score.
Women with PCOS are more likely to deliver the baby by cesarean section because they tend to have larger sized babies. Few complications may also come up during labor and delivery. Sometimes the hormonal fluctuations after pregnancy and breastfeeding can change the symptoms, so it may be awhile before you settle into your new normal.
It is safe to breastfeed with PCOS, even if you are on insulin medication to help control your blood sugar. Women who have gestational diabetes are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life, but breastfeeding can help lower that risk.