Q&A: Can I Get Pregnant if I Have PCOS?

I was just diagnosed with PCOS… does this mean I won’t be able to get pregnant? What can I do to increase the likelihood of conceiving?
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ByDr. Joseph Hill
Cardiologist
Updated
Mar 2017
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PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome — a common reproductive endocrine disorder that is associated with irregular or absent menstrual cycles and excess production of the hormone testosterone (called hyperandrogenism). Increased secretion of this male hormone generally causes excess hair growth, oily skin and acne. Due to the lack of regular ovulatory cycles and monthly release of an egg, PCOS is often accompanied by infertilty. Should a woman with PCOS become pregnant,  the chance of early loss may also be increased.

While there is no definitive treatment for PCOS, there are therapies (often birth control pills) that aim to achieve regular menstrual cycles. If you want to get pregnant, medication (pills or injections) can be used to induce ovulation.

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