5 PCOS Pregnancy Tips To Prevent Miscarriage
Getting pregnant with PCOS is incredibly hard, infertility is one of the most common symptoms for women with the syndrome. However it definitely is possible, either with natural treatments or the help of a fertility specialist. Sadly the miscarriage rate with PCOS sufferers is fairly high, but I have collected several tips from other women that might help to prevent miscarriage.
The best decision I have ever taken on my PCOS journey was taking responsibility of myself and my baby. I don’t blindly listen to my doctor hoping that he has my best interest at heart. I am not relying on anyone else to know what is good for me, I do not assume that professionals have the knowledge of thousands of women who I am able to connect with through support groups. I am constantly doing my own research, I try to stay up to date with the latest studies as much as possible and I question all information given to me.
Home pregnancy tests are usually pretty reliable, however with PCOS the ovulation may occur a little later in the cycle and there is no need to panic if nothing can be seen on the first ultrasound. While the doctor might calculate the date of conception through the last menstrual cycle, this is not always accurate for women with PCOS. If the home pregnancy test is not showing a clear result it is possible to get an HCG test at the doctors. However the HCG needs to be repeated after 48 hours, only if the number is rising the pregnancy is viable. There is no issue if the number is low, as long as the HCG level is doubling every 48-72 hours.
Pregnancy comes with a lot of odd symptoms, cramping that feels similar to period pains, nausea, stabbing pains are all normal and fairly common. However if there is any doubt and the pain feels worse than usual it is better to go to the hospital. While having PCOS does not mean it is a high risk pregnancy, it is always better to be on the safe side.
1. Spotting in the first trimester is common amongst all pregnant women, however it may indicate low progesterone which can lead to a miscarriage. While brown blood is not too much of a concern, if the blood is fresh it is important to go to the hospital straight away. Progesterone levels can be checked in the blood or with a saliva test, and if the levels are low the doctor usually prescribes progesterone supplementation. Having low progesterone seems to be very common amongst women with PCOS and some doctors even put their patients on progesterone supplementation for the first twelve weeks without doing any tests prior. Progesterone is available in pill and cream form, I only recommend bio-identical progesterone. I used up to 200mg of progesterone per day and kept track of my progesterone levels with blood and saliva tests every two weeks. Progesterone cream is available on iHerb and amazon.
2. Magnesium is an essential mineral, that is important for healthy bone formation, regulating blood pressure, maintaining heart health, energy production and nerve functions. It also aids in blood sugar control. To find out more about magnesium, have a look here.
3. Folic acid is recommended by doctors world wide, however I personally prefer the natural version of folic acid which is folate. Folate may prevent birth defects of the baby’s brain and spinal cord. It should be taken from the moment the couple is trying to conceive until minimum the 3rd month of pregnancy. I personally prefer taking a prenatal multivitamin that has folate in it, such as the whole food, organic multivitamin from Garden of life available on iHerb and amazon which contains 800mcg of folate. Foods that naturally contain high levels of folate are spinach, black eyed peas, aspargus, avocado, broccoli and kidney beans.
4. Supplements are a great way to prevent deficiencies, however it is a lot more beneficial to eat a healthy and balanced diet instead. The typical PCOS diets such as a low carb diet or keto diet are not suitable for pregnant or nursing women. I stayed on a whole food, plant based diet without refined sugar and made sure to increase my iron and calcium intake. Iron rich foods are red beet, lentils, pumpkin seeds, argula and raisins. Calcium rich foods are almonds, chia seeds, leafy greens, dates, and dried apricots.
5. Unfortunately obesity does increase the chance of miscarriage, pregnancy diabetes and high blood pressure which can all lead to pregnancy complications. The best way to decrease the risk is to lose weight before getting pregnant. However it is not healthy to go on a strict diet or lose a lot of weight while being pregnant. Regular, light exercise and a healthy diet are however recommended and may help to prevent diseases from developing.
Many women also have other diseases such as thyroid issues, candida, fatty liver and other autoimmune disease related to PCOS, so it is important to find a gynaecologist who is experienced with the syndrome. Whenever you feel like there is something unusual, it is important to visit the doctor straight away, PCOS pregnancy are unfortunately higher risk than normal pregnancies and it is good to get everything checked straight away.