On a good day, PCOS is hard. There are the body image issues, the food cravings, the mood swings, and all the rest of it.
But having PCOS when trying to conceive is a whole other level of problem. This is where any stress you feel in your regular life gets magnified. Everything is focused on trying to get pregnant, and the tiniest thing going awry can feel like ruin.
Here are 10 things you need to know about PCOS when trying to conceive:
It’s going to be stressful. It may cause anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
If you are taking hormones — to stimulate ovulation or maintain/temporarily prevent pregnancy — your mood will be affected.
Your desire to achieve pregnancy is powerful, and it can make your body feel like the enemy. It can feel like an epic battle between your body and your mind.
Some women with PCOS have no problem getting pregnant. At least two-thirds of us, however, end up dealing with some degree of infertility. So hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
You will likely be focused on PCOS when trying to conceive. Keep in mind, however, that additional factors may be contributing to your health at the same time. These will need to be managed too. If you’ve got diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, or any other disease, don’t forget about it while you’re focused on getting pregnant.
Your sex life is usually negatively affected, especially the longer conception takes. At first it’s fun, and then it becomes a burden and an obligation. It’s important to talk about it with your partner and find ways to maintain a pleasure-oriented mindset.
Women with PCOS can have totally normal, happy, healthy pregnancies.
Dealing with PCOS when trying to conceive can feel like the most unfair burden ever. And it can be a little scary, especially if you’re older and you’ve been reading the statistics. Try to shift your focus from the numbers to your individual life and experience. Focus also on your shared experience with your husband/partner.
Sadly, it’s true that overweight women have a lower chance of getting pregnant. Lifestyle changes are always the preferred way to enhance your fertility with PCOS when trying to conceive. If you’re overweight, try to lose weight through healthy methods. Keep up with your exercise plan. Most importantly, limit or eliminate refined carbohydrates (sugar, bread, pasta, etc.). A registered dietician like Angela Grassi, MS, RD can offer great tips on what to eat to optimize fertility.
Have all the feelings! Trying to conceive with PCOS can make you feel sad, happy, angry, ecstatic, miserable, and just about every other emotion. Denying any of that is going to make the experience harder. If you’re feeling stuck in the pain, get help from a licensed psychotherapist.
If you keep in mind these things about PCOS when trying to conceive, you’re ahead of the mental game. With any luck, your attempts to conceive will pay off with a healthy baby (or two!).
Staying strong mentally helps you deal with the physical and medical issues you may be facing. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for my free guide to handling PCOS mood swings, which contains information that helps whether you’re trying to conceive with PCOS or not.