Want to delay pregnancy, but suffering from PCOS? A fertility expert shares your options
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common health issue in women of reproductive age. In women who suffer from PCOS, the hormonal imbalance in the body interferes and, in some cases, also prevents the release of an egg from the ovaries. When ovulation is interrupted in the body, it is difficult to get pregnant. However, having PCOS does not mean you cannot get pregnant.
Can women with PCOS delay their pregnancy?
There are chances that you may delay wanting to get pregnant because of various factors such as career, education and other commitments. However, getting pregnant with PCOS can be trickier as compared to a woman who does not have this condition. Hence, trying to conceive at the right time will help boost your chances of a healthier pregnancy. It has been observed that fertility levels start waning post the age of 33 and witness a faster decline after you turn 37 years. The highest chances of natural conception for women with PCOS are before the time they turn 35.
To boost your chances of natural conception in case you are suffering from PCOS, doctors recommend having a detailed preconception talk with a gynaecologist or fertility expert. This will help you to discuss any possible obstructions that may arise because of your condition.
What are your options?
With the advent of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), many couples have fulfilled their dream of parenthood. Development of various ART procedures have given women of today an option to plan out their pregnancies. The same holds true for women with PCOS.
Fertility options if you have PCOS and want to delay pregnancy
Egg or embryo freezing:
It is absolutely understandable that you would like to get pregnant sometime later owing to various factors such as career, stress levels etc. For women, who would want to consider getting pregnant at a later stage in life, but are worried about their biological clock, medical techniques such as egg freezing are becoming very popular in recent times. Women with PCOS who feel that their fertility may wane a few years down the line can consider this option. With a simple procedure, several eggs can be retrieved from the body and then stored in an unfertilized condition to help you get pregnant in the future. When you desire to finally get pregnant, the egg can be fertilised in external conditions and the resultant embryo can then be implanted in your uterus.
For couples who may want to delay starting a family, embryo freezing can also be considered. This procedure is similar to IVF wherein the egg and the sperm are fertilized externally, however, the embryo is not immediately planted in the uterus, but is instead frozen and the implantation can be medically undertaken on a later date. It is important to bear in mind that the success of freezing techniques are dependent on several factors like egg quality, sperm quality and age of the couple. Therefore, before opting for the procedures, it is advisable to have a detailed conversation with your doctor.
Assisted Reproductive Technologies for conception
When it comes to fertility issues, Assisted Reproductive Technologies or ART are becoming increasingly popular by the day as they are aiding couples to bear an offspring with the help of procedures such as In-Vitro Fertilization or IVF. In this, the ovum and the sperm are fertilized in external conditions and the embryo is then placed in a woman’s uterus.
A lot of women who have been diagnosed with PCOS go on to have successful pregnancies, since the cysts growing on the ovaries do not in any way prevent fertilization. They simply do not let the egg get released from the ovary. Assisted Reproductive Technologies such as IVF require the ovaries to be stimulated to release eggs which are then fertilized by a sperm in external conditions. IVF is one of the popular procedures for women with PCOS, if they are having difficulties in natural conception.
The last word
With chronic and underlying conditions such as PCOS, it is understandably challenging to get pregnant, but not impossible. Medical science in the field of ART have progressed tremendously in the recent years and provide a ray of hope for everyone who has been struggling with fertility issues.