How Long Will it Take Me to Get Pregnant if I Have PCOS?

how long to get pregnant pcos?
andresr/Getty

I wish I had a definite answer for this one! It’s a tricky question because there are so many variables and so few guarantees. For example, how old are you? How old is your partner? Are you both in generally good health? Do you have any risk factors for conditions that might damage your fertility (ie: exposure to toxins, heavy drinking or drug use, history of sexually transmitted infections)?

If you are under the age of 35, ovulate regularly (even though you have PCOS) and you and your partner have no other medical conditions that affect your fertility, the likelihood is that pregnancy will occur by a year and probably even sooner.

If you either you or your partner has other medical conditions that also affect your fertility, like a lowered sperm count, or uterine fibroids, it might take even longer. Natural fertility also starts to significantly decline for women at around age 35 and even more substantially by age 40. While some women do conceive naturally into their forties, the need for fertility drugs or technology is much more likely.

Boosting Fertility

Fertility boosting measures, like changing your diet, taking nutritional supplements or increasing your activity can make your body healthier and help you have a healthier pregnancy. In certain cases, however, weight loss associated with healthy eating can be an effective tool to help you get pregnant.

For women with PCOS, weight loss and a healthier lifestyle can be of the utmost importance in getting pregnant more quickly. Some studies have shown that women have more regular periods and as a result, increased rates of conception.

Home Measures

If you are trying at home and have regular predictable periods, there are a few steps that you can take to get pregnant faster. The most important thing you can do is make sure that you are timing intercourse properly. If sperm isn’t meeting an egg at the right time during the woman’s cycle, pregnancy cannot occur.

There are many strategies that you can use at home to optimize when you try to conceive. If you are having difficulty detecting ovulation on your own, you can ask your doctor to help you monitor by using blood testing and ultrasonography to determine when ovulation is about to occur.

Basal body temperature – take your temperature first thing every morning, before you even get out of bed. After several months of charting, you may notice subtle changes in body temperature over the course of your cycle that may be helpful in predicting ovulation.

Ovulation predictor kits – urinate on a test stick each morning starting a few days before you think ovulation is going to happen. When you get a positive result (check the package insert of your test for specific instructions), it indicates that ovulation is imminent. These may not work well for all women with PCOS because they detect a hormonal surge that is normally found right before ovulation. Some women with PCOS have persistently high levels of this hormone, causing their tests to always show a positive result.

Monitoring cervical mucus -changes in cervical mucus or cervical position – subtle changes in your cervical mucus or where the cervix is positioned in your vagina can clue you in to impending ovulation. These clues can be less accurate and depend on your comfort level with observing your mucus or checking your cervix.

When to Seek Help

Most doctors will recommend that you seek treatment if you are not pregnant after one year of unprotected intercourse if you are under the age of 35. If you are over the age of 35, that number drops to 6 months. If you do not get regular periods or are aware of another fertility problem, like PCOS or endometriosis, you should seek help right away.

Continue Reading