How Long Will It Take Me to Get Pregnant If I Have PCOS?

Finding out you are pregnant
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If you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and you're interested in having a baby, you may be wondering how much time it might take you to conceive.

It’s a tricky question because there are many variables and 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 (like exposure to toxins, heavy drinking or drug use, or a history of sexually transmitted infections)?

And how well is your PCOS managed?

How Long It May Take to Get Pregnant

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 within a year and probably even sooner.

If 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 than a year. Natural fertility also starts to significantly decline for women around age 35 and it declines 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.

Factors That Can Boost 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, weight loss that's 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 who live a healthier lifestyle have more regular periods and as a result, have increased rates of conception.

How to Detect Ovulation 

If you are trying to conceive and have regular periods, there are a few steps that you can take to get pregnant faster. The most important thing that 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. If you are having difficulty detecting ovulation on your own, ask your doctor to help you monitor ovulation by using blood testing and ultrasonography to determine when ovulation is about to occur. You can also try the following:

  • Take your 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 your body temperature over the course of your cycle that may be helpful in predicting ovulation.
  • Use an ovulation predictor kit. 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), that indicates that ovulation is imminent. These kits 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.
  • Monitor your cervical mucus. Subtle changes in your cervical mucus or where the cervix is positioned in your vagina can signal 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 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 six months. If you do not get regular periods or are aware of another fertility problem, like PCOS or endometriosis, seek help right away from a reproductive endocrinologist.

 

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