Tips to curb infertility: Here's how to increase fertility for PCOS sufferers | Health - Hindustan Times

Tips to curb infertility: Here's how to increase fertility for PCOS sufferers

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi
Nov 07, 2022 04:25 PM IST

PCOS directly affects women’s fertility and makes it difficult for them to conceive naturally. Here are health tips on how to increase fertility for PCOS sufferers

PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome affects one out of every five women in India where an increasing number of women at reproductive age suffer from chronic hormonal imbalances in which the body begins to produce male hormones known as androgens in excess. As a result, women start experiencing irregularity in their menstrual cycle - heavy flow, late arrival, prolonged periods accompanied by several other symptoms like facial hair growth, hair thinning on the scalp, difficulty losing weight, etc.

Tips to curb infertility: Here's how to increase fertility for PCOS sufferers (Tima Miroshnichenko)
Tips to curb infertility: Here's how to increase fertility for PCOS sufferers (Tima Miroshnichenko)

Many women who suffer from PCOS are concerned about getting pregnant as it is one of the most common conditions today that directly affects women’s fertility and makes it difficult for them to conceive naturally. The condition interrupts the normal functioning of ovaries, leaving them enlarged and sometimes with multiple cysts, which affects the ability of ovaries to release an egg every month, leading to infertility if the symptoms are left unaddressed.

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Talking about how it impacts a woman's everyday life, Dr Puneet Rana Arora, MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Infertility Specialist and Gynecologist of Meddo Health, shared in an interview with HT Lifestyle, “The hormonal condition is not a disease but a disorder that lasts a lifetime. If not monitored regularly or left untreated, it can have a severe impact on women’s reproductive as well as overall well-being. The condition that can present itself in different ways impacts younger women in their early twenties and thirties with irregular periods, hirsutism and obesity. On the other hand, PCOS in slightly older age groups increases the risk of fertility, miscarriages, diabetes, high blood pressure, slow metabolism and more.”

Fortunately, all the symptoms of PCOS can be managed by making just a few modifications to everyday lifestyle. Dr Puneet Rana Arora suggested:

1. Diet

Women with PCOS have higher levels of insulin. This means the level of glucose in the body is higher which leads to weight gain and fertility problems. To overcome the problem of elevated insulin, women should consider eating green and clean food. A diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar can worsen the situation by promoting insulin resistance, which further makes more cysts in the ovaries. In addition, this also makes the journey of weight management or loss more difficult.

According to the statistics, losing even 5% to 10% of body weight helps restore the normal ovulatory cycle and improve PCOS symptoms. Women should consider taking a diet high in fiber, green vegetables, lean protein, and anti-inflammatory foods to aid infertility. Low carb diet has gained massive popularity among PCOS women as it also helps boost their metabolism.

2. Regular exercise

Eliminating inactivity from daily life is the key to managing PCOS and boosting fertility naturally. Regularity means more than your type of workout – even 30 minutes of moderate exercise three to five times a week works best. Several cases have shown highly positive results in helping the body respond better to insulin resistance, preventing the risk of Type 2 diabetes and other related complications. In addition, it lowers high cholesterol and triglycerides that contribute to slow metabolism.

Apart from eliminating the risk of medical conditions, regular exercise helps PCOS women increase their endorphins – the hormones that promote feelings of wellness. This helps in managing stress which is also a major contributing factor to infertility. It also makes the body fall asleep quicker with improved quality of sleep. As a result, it helps the body recoup its energy better, removing fatigue.

3. Medication

The primary reason for infertility in PCOS women is the lack of ovulation. Usually, weight loss and exercise bring positive results in women, but when it becomes unsuccessful, a gynaecologist may recommend certain medications. It is also imperative to undergo proper fertility testing to ensure no other problem exists in the body.

There are a few common medications that can boost fertility. With technology advancements, PCOS women can also opt for In Vitro Fertilization or IVF in which the egg is fertilized outside of their body and placed back inside the uterus. This is one of the most proven ways to conceive with PCOS.

Dr Puneet Rana Arora concluded, “If you are ready or planning to conceive, irrespective of the condition, start making lifestyle modifications. A healthy diet, exercise and the right medication can help PCOS provide a holistic approach to tackling the condition and overcoming infertility issues. It is also imperative to note that if women with PCOS are not ready to have children, they must consider freezing their eggs before 35 years of age, which can benefit them if they wish to reproduce in the future.”

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