How long will it take me to get pregnant if I have PCOS?

If you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and are trying to conceive, you may be wondering how long it will take to get pregnant. This is a tricky one because there are so many variables and few guarantees.

Many factors can affect your chances of conceiving, including not only your age and general health, but your partner’s overall health as well. When you have PCOS, how you manage your condition also plays an important role.

This article outlines what to expect if you have PCO and want to get pregnant. It also provides tips on how to improve your chances of conceiving and how to know when you are ovulating.

how long it might take to get pregnant

If you’re under 35, ovulate regularly, and you and your partner don’t have other medical conditions that affect your fertility, pregnancy can happen within a year or even earlier. This is true whether you have a PCO or not.

If you or your partner have other conditions that affect your fertility, such as a low sperm count or endometriosisit may take more than a year.

For most women, natural fertility begins to decline around age 32 and declines more sharply by age 37. While some women conceive naturally in their 40s, they are more likely to need fertility assistance.

The problem with PCOS, of course, is that the hormonal imbalance caused by the disease interferes with the growth and release of eggs in the ovaries. If you don’t ovulate, you can’t get pregnant. In this case, you need to discuss with your doctor ways to improve your chances of ovulation and conception.

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Most experts recommend seeking treatment if you haven’t gotten pregnant after trying for a year under the age of 35. If you’re over 35, that number drops to six months.

If you don’t have regular periods or have other fertility problems, such as endometriosis, seek immediate help from a reproductive endocrinologist.

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PCOS does not reduce your chances of conception unless you are not ovulating normally or have other risk factors for infertility. If your ovulation is abnormal, your chances of conceiving may decrease, but you can work with a fertility specialist to find ways to improve your chances.

Factors That Can Improve Fertility

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is key if you have PCO and want to increase your chances of conceiving. This includes:

  • reach a healthy weight
  • quit smoking
  • reduce drinking
  • exercise regularly
  • get enough sleep

Research consistently shows that PCOS patients who lead a healthy lifestyle tend to have regular menstrual periods and thus have higher pregnancy rates. Even modest weight loss can help.

For those who ovulate normally, having sex within the “fertilization window” (five days before and including the five days before ovulation) also increases the chances of conception.

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Quitting smoking, losing weight, exercising regularly, reducing alcohol consumption, and getting enough sleep can increase your chances of normal ovulation and, if you have PCOS, your chances of getting pregnant.

How to detect ovulation

If you are trying to conceive and have regular periods, there are a few things you can do to get pregnant faster. The most important thing is to make sure you time it accurately. In the end, if the sperm doesn’t meet the egg at the right time in your cycle, you won’t get pregnant.

There are several strategies you can use to identify and monitor your fertile windows.

Basal body temperature

One of the best ways to identify your fertile window is to take your temperature every morning before waking up. This is called your basal body temperature (BBT).

After a few months of charting, you should notice subtle changes in your BBT over the course of your cycle, which can help predict ovulation. After the egg is released, the BBT typically increases to between 97.6 F and 98.6 F.

An elevated BBT that persists for 18 days or more after ovulation can be an early sign of pregnancy.

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Ovulation Prediction Kit

Ovulation Predictor Kits Looking For Rise luteinizing hormone (Left). This is the hormone responsible for triggering ovulation. To use the kit, you will start urinating on the test stick every morning a few days before ovulation.

A positive result indicates that ovulation is imminent and you should start having regular sex.

Although these kits are useful, they have limitations for PCOS patients. Because PCOS can sometimes cause persistently elevated LH levels, the test may give a false positive reading (meaning you’re not pregnant even though the test says you’re pregnant). Therefore, if you have PCOS, it is important to speak with your doctor before using an ovulation kit.

What you should know about ovulation kits if you have PCOS

cervical mucus changes

Monitoring cervical mucus is another way to check the window of conception. Changes in cervical mucus may signal imminent ovulation.

As ovulation approaches, the mucus changes from sticky and dry to moist, stretchy, and slippery. Many people describe its consistency as that of raw egg whites. After ovulation, cervical mucus can thicken and dry out.

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By tracking your conception window, you can better improve your chances of conceiving. This includes checking your basal body temperature and changes in cervical mucus. Ovulation predictor kits are also useful, but may be less accurate in some patients with PCOS, so you should consult your doctor.

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If you have PCOS, you can still get pregnant within a year (or even less) as long as you are ovulating normally and have no other risk factors for infertility. If you do, it may take longer or require the opinion of a fertility specialist.

Arguably the best way to increase your chances of normal ovulation (and thus your chances of conceiving) is to make healthy choices. This includes quitting smoking, exercising regularly, losing weight, cutting back on alcohol and getting enough rest.

It also helps keep track of your fertile window by monitoring your basal body temperature, checking for changes in cervical mucus, and using an ovulation predictor kit.

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If you’re having trouble detecting ovulation on your own, ask your healthcare provider for help with a blood test called a day 21 progesterone test and a transvaginal ultrasound that predicts ovulation based on changes in the follicles in your ovaries.