Conceiving is a joyous occasion, and many women yearn for that day. But getting there is an intimidating journey. And if you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), it can sometimes make things harder.
But you’re not by yourself. The female hormone disorder called PCOS affects about 1 in 10 women. It means that 5% to 10% of women in the reproductive age group have it. Having PCOS makes conceiving challenging but not impossible. Proper treatment can help you become pregnant and welcome your bundle of joy soon!
Symptoms of PCOS
There are three primary ways through which PCOS typically presents in women –
- Infrequent or irregular periods
- High production of androgen – a male hormone
- Enlarged polycystic ovaries
PCOS can be diagnosed if at least two of these symptoms are present. However, it can also include other symptoms, including weight gain, greasy skin, and improper hair distribution. Improper hair distribution means unwanted hair growth, thinning hair, or hair loss. Type 2 diabetes in later life and other similar health issues may potentially be linked to PCOS.
A PCOS test cannot be carried out via a kit. It is diagnosed through the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Profile Blood (PCOD). It is a PCOS test that assesses the functions and levels of various hormones in your body.
Impact of PCOS on pregnancy
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is secreted by the brain as part of the menstrual cycle. It chooses which follicle in the ovary will develop, ovulate, and ultimately release an egg. Follicles do not mature with PCOS. Instead, they accumulate without maturing, which prevents ovulation from occurring at the proper time. PCOS makes it harder to conceive for this reason.
Effect of birth control on PCOS
Stopping birth control may trigger hormonal imbalances. These are typical of PCOS and can show up as physical changes. Birth control helps to balance out hormone levels in the body. If you have PCOS, several things could occur when you stop taking birth control tablets. Your periods can resume their irregular pattern from before, and other PCOS symptoms could get worse.
Effect of PCOS on ovulation tests
LH (luteinizing hormone) levels in women with PCOS may be continuously high, making it difficult for ovulation tests to identify LH surges reliably. Ovulation tests are far more likely to produce an incorrect result in patients with PCOS. It is because they are not developed to consider the abnormalities that can come from PCOS.
Taking a pregnancy test when you have PCOS
The symptoms of pregnancy are similar to those that occur from the beginning of a period. And can be just as common as those that indicate a woman is about to ovulate. However, you might not experience these warning signs if you have irregular periods due to PCOS.
Taking an “early result” pregnancy test if you have PCOS is not advised. It is because false negative results with these might occur relatively frequently. In case you had unprotected sex two to three weeks ago and haven’t had a period yet, you should take a test.
Points to remember –
- You could still be pregnant even if you don’t experience sure signs.
- If you had unprotected sex between two and three weeks ago, it may be worthwhile to be tested.
Pregnancy test results and PCOS
To identify whether you are pregnant, pregnancy tests rely on the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). It is also known as the “pregnancy hormone.” PCOS does not directly affect this hormone in any manner.
Getting a false positive
Anyone can experience a false positive on a pregnancy test, though it’s less frequent than a false negative. If you develop one of these uncommon conditions, PCOS is not the cause. However, you might have measurable hCG (from the medicine) if you’re receiving fertility treatments. It could result in a false-positive pregnancy test result. Other typical reasons for a false positive are as follows:
- using a pregnancy test that has expired
- not correctly adhering to the directions
- delaying the assessment of test findings for too long
Your chance of early miscarriage increases if you have PCOS. Therefore, it is possible to test positive for pregnancy at first. You can then have an adverse result on a subsequent test.
Getting a false negative
When you have PCOS, your hormone levels are erratic. Thus false negatives are probable. Even though you’ve conceived, you can test for pregnancy soon after missing your period and find negative results. Some PCOS sufferers might not get pregnant until several weeks following fertilization.
So it is advisable to refrain from early pregnancy tests. You might even wish to test far after your anticipated period to prevent false positives or negatives.
As stated earlier, PCOS makes conceiving difficult but not impossible. It might be a lifelong condition, but with the right PCOS test and diagnosis can be appropriately managed. If you have difficulty getting pregnant, please contact your doctor for medical advice.