PCOS and Fertility – There is hope!

This week is National Infertility Awareness week in the US. Infertility is something that so many women with PCOS struggle with and although I have two children now, it took me a lot longer than my friends to conceive.

I know what it is like to live in hope that your period is late because finally this is your month, only to realize that it’s your body playing tricks on you. I know what it is like to hear just about everyone you know is pregnant or having babies. I know what it’s like to be so frustrated by your own body and feel less of a woman because your body isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do.
So, for all of you still waiting for your miracle babe, I want to honour you and acknowledge you.

I also want to share some research that I found really encouraging when I was struggling to conceive…

The Research

Researchers in Sweden followed 91 women with PCOS and 87 healthy women, aged 35 and older. They found that 86.7% of the women with PCOS and 91.6% of the healthy women had at least 1 child. Also, 73.6% of those pregnancies were spontaneous (no medical intervention was required) (1). I found those figures really encouraging!

Higher ovarian reserve

The research also suggests that women with PCOS have a higher ovarian reserve. What does that mean? Well, ovarian reserve is the ovary’s capacity to “provide eggs that are capable of fertilization resulting in a healthy and successful pregnancy.” (2)

The bottom line is that just because you have PCOS does not mean you will never have children. In fact, the researchers found that as we age, our “ovaries show signs of being more active, with better hormone levels and more eggs available” (3) .

This is good news for those of us trying to conceive!

So what?

So, my message to all of you amazing women out there, waiting and praying for your miracle, is this:


Join the PCOS Weight Loss Program:


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Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and PCOS expert who has been a leader in the online PCOS space for over 8 years. Tarryn has the support of leading clinicians from around the world who support her scientific approach to understanding and talking about PCOS this includes all medical journals and ongoing research. You can read more about Tarryn and the team here.

29 Responses

29 Responses

  1. Hello, my name is Sharie. I am the mother of a 6 month old baby boy. He is my first. I am now 46 years old. 45 at the time of his birth. I have been married for twenty years and NEVER used birth control of any type. We did some fertility treatments but were unable to stimulate ovulation and then unable to detect viable follicles. Devastating pretty much sums it up. Years of depression accompanied weight gain, facial hair and increased testosterone. I decided to accept my fate. Start dieting and get right with myself. I lost 83 lbs in four and a half months following a strict low carbohydrate regimen. I experienced the first period in thirteen years, lasting one day. Spotting more than anything, didn’t even require a pad. Just a panty liner. The weight loss stopped suddenly and breast discomfort alerted me to my pregnancy which produced my beautiful baby boy. Maybe someone would like to know this.

    1. Thank you so much for this powerful testimony. I am 38 and my husband and I have been ttc for 8 years. My period came for the first time on it’s own in February and nothing in March. Even till now still no period. Don’t know if body playing tricks, but praying I’m pregnant. We are excited for the time when we are graced with our miracle baby.
      Thank you,

  2. Hi everyone.

    My name is Erika. I am a 38 year old female who was diagnosed in my late teens with PCOS. I also have Hyperplasia. I have had the Mirena in for about 12 years now. I am going to take it out to start trying to get pregnant.

    I had weight loss surgery a few years ago and have lost weight with that which my doctors told me will help.

    Im now hearing a lot about certain foods PCOS’ers should stay away from….Diet soda being one….

    What are major foods that we should avoid? I am on a high protein, low carb diet because of my surgery.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

  3. After almost 4 years of attempting to get pregnant we discovered all
    along it was secondary infertility caused by PCOS. 6 months after
    changing my diet losing 60 pounds and having the correct medicines
    and vitamins we are pregnant!!!!! With twins!!!

  4. I’m 27 been married for almost 8 years now and I was diagnosed 2 years ago with PCOS who we first started to try and get pregnant. I told my husband but he really didn’t understand it and either did I. My dr never told me what it meant. I did all the research myself. But it took me 2 years to cope with it. I get very depressed and I also get suicidal thoughts (I have not acted upon these thoughts in at least 10years but it is a struggle at times). I see everyone around me getting pregnant, one of my brother in law has 2 kids and the other brother in law has 3 (he just had his last one at the end of Sep 2016). I refuse to go to baby showers although I do buy them gifts and give them to them either before or after shower. I am extremely over weight weighing at 376lbs. I eat healthy but doesn’t help. working out doesn’t really help it just helps me not gain more and just maintain what I’m at. My husband and I started again to try and have kids as his will be 30 next month and we both are more than ready in having a kid at this point but these dr appts are bank breaking. we having to stop just as we start because it all is out of pocket. The cost is something we cannot handle, dr appt is $300 not including the test they will order which are $200+ at least. we can afford to take care of a kid but the cost of actually having one is overwhelming. Right now I seen no light in my tunnel. I have my good days and bad days.

    1. Hi Sara,

      I feel your pain, more than you can imagine. I feel very hopeless, dejected and suicidal too. But you need to be strong. You are young , smart woman who has every bit as strength as anyone else of your age. You need to understand PCOS is a condition that you cannot let control your life or happiness. How much ever hard it may seem right now, you can fight it. I don’t have kids and I am so desperate to have one. I am older than you, with PCOS, But I still haven’t lost hope & neither should you. I feel one day I will see the light at the end of that long, dark tunnel. Without sounding too intrusive may I suggest some measures that you can almost immediately take to lessen the impact if not completely eliminate PCOS from your life. Assuming you said yes, here they are:
      Eliminate dairy, gluten and any form of processed food from your diet. This will help you lose weight and feel better.
      Exercise at least 3-4 times a week, gentle walk, run, any activity would do. Just make sure you do it.
      Start taking vitamin D, Omega 3, and ovasitol supplements
      Eat nuts like walnuts, almonds flax seeds and pumpkin seeds.
      Try and reduce caffeine intake, have spearmint tea or green tea.

      Incorporate these changes and see how you feel. Give it time, these things take time to show effect. Have patience , loads and loads, you will need it. And last but not the least, have hope. Do not give up. This is all I can tell you. I am fighting this battle too. It’s hard, very hard but I am hanging in there and so should you. God bless and take care.

    2. Same here I have pcos also,tryed to have kids for 8 years as well no luck.all my friends have kids literally except me I be feeling so left out,but Dont know Werr to begin on trying…guess it’ll happen wen God wants it to happen

    3. I don’t know how long ago this was but as I ready your comment it’s as if I was reading my own story at this moment word for word. I am 27 tried to go to a fertility clinic but my insurance won’t cover si it’s all out of pocket my husband and I have been together for 9 yrs and we want a child so bad. But it’s not happening so that feeling that you felt or feel I feel I cry almost randomly when I think about it or see someone pregnant. I would love to know where you are at if you were able to conceive.

  5. Thanks so much Tarryn for this wonderful piece! It means a whole lot to me because I’ve lost hope. I can see a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Xoxo!

  6. its so good to read these comments and know im not alone. Im only 23 but have been married since 21 and been trying to get pregnant since then..My hsband desperately wants children and i have kept it from him that i have severe Pcos. I suppose i just keep hoping that i will fall pregnant and he wouldnt have known any better….everyone around me is pregnant and having babies, and as much as im so happy for them, i keep shutting myself away and sobbing in secret that its not me!

    1. Hi I’m am going through the exact same thing. Same age and married same too lol awkward.! Lol but it’s so hard to hear when people are struggling. Stay hopeful! ❤️ ~ ??✨

  7. Hi Tarryn,
    I exercise five times a week, eat well, non-smoker, I am 5’6″ and 118 pounds and I do not have excess hair. Since going off the pill in January 2013, after being on it for 10 years, my cycles are between 30-35 days except in July and December when they were 39 days each. I do have back acne but my face is perfectly clear. My AMH level is 3.6 ng/ml.

    My naturopath specializes in fertility and actually suffers from PCOS herself. She suspected mild PCOS and has me on myo-inositol (one teaspoon of powder mixed with water twice per day), a tincture formula for each the leutal and follicular phase, vitamin B12 and methyl folate, and Omega 3+Vitamin D (liquid). I am also avoiding gluten whereever possible and taking metformin 3 times per day.

    I have been trying to conceive for 15 months, and started my naturopath plan 6 months ago. I have not been successful. Why do you think it is taking so long to get pregnant when I have been trying to do everything right? When you say “cut out dairy”, do you mean even foods that contain dairy, like gluten free muffins that were made with yogurt? If I cut out dairy, any idea how long it will take me to get pregnant?

    1. Your taking to much,your body will do it one day naturally taking metformin is a good method I suffer from pcos also my doc gave me 800 mg of it,its gotten my periods back on track so its clearly working so I have hope of one day conceiving I pray everyday on it..moral of story jus ask ur doc for 800mg of metformin it will lower insulin levels and get ur ovalutory system back on track hopefully u didn’t take this wrong way.hope all is well?

  8. Thank you Tarryn for this Awesome blog. It’s very informative and helpful. Anyway, we’ve been married for about 4 years now and has been TTC. I am 27 years old, not overweight, does not experience any abnormal hair growth, but do have irregular cycles of menstruation. Sometimes I get my period early and sometimes it came very late. Right now I do have 40-45 cycles, but I do get it every month. I’ve had my pelvic ultrasound last month and according to the result they’ve seen some multiple cysts in my ovary and had suspected with PCOS. It’s so frustrating when you know you’re ready and all of your friends are happy living their life as parents. I want to experience a happy life, a happy family so I take every chances to get pregnant. My Dr. gave me this pills called Letrozole, I’ve been taking that since last month. And he said it will help me to ovulate and will make my cycle close to normal. Do you have any research about letrozole that would help me understand the advantage and dis advantage of it? And one more thing, I was doing some acupuncture last month, do you think I should continue that, I mean it cost me a lot of money. Thank you so much Tarryn, and hope to hear from you soon.

  9. Since I was young, I always thought that I have hormonal imbalance but did not take that seriously. To the point that I only have 2 menstrual period in a year. I am married now and he really wants to have a children. It’s so frustrating that we are trying for about 3 years now and nothing happens. I am now 30 years old. Aside from PCOS, overweight they also found out that I am a hepa B carrier although I got a very small numbers.

    Endo and OB did metformin, HSG and clomid for 4 cycles but nothing happened. Now that the doctors knew about the hepatitis he wanted me to stop taking all medicine and referred to fertility clinic.

    FC waiting time is 18 months. Its so depressive that while waiting for their initial call I have no choice but to wait. Plus the fact that this will be so costly without any guarantee that I will have a baby.

    On a lighter note, while waiting for my appointment I joined the gym trying to lose some weight because I know this will be the biggest impact on my case. I tried so much to limit everything its very sad that most people they don’t support you(which is ok, because not everyone understand how you feel) and yet they will discriminate you. But, I have to overcome them in order to get this goal.

    I feel like giving up most of the time

    1. Hi Everyone,

      Just wanted to keep an update. After my post, I now have a very gorgeous 1 year old son. After all the process to the doctor’s visit I became so tired and just stop taking any of them. Although it was hard to admit that there is a big possibility that I won’t have a child, all of a sudden my PT was +.

      Having him makes my life complete.

  10. Hello Everyone, I just wanted to inform women who are trying to get pregnant to NOT drink any soy milk and to avoid soy products altogether. If you research, soy acts as a natural contraceptive in addition to messing with your hormones. Please pass this information along.

  11. Hi Tarryn,
    I am not one to post on these but I just wanted to let you know what a huge impact you have had on me! I conceived my 1st child naturally without really trying. We tried for a 2nd child about a year later and that is when I discovered it was not as easy as we thought it would be. It wasn’t until after another year of trying that I was officially diagnosed with PCOS. It was then that I realized how much of a miracle child he really is. I have tried all sorts of fertility methods to try and have another but nothing seemed to work. I feel like I have been lead in the wrong direction this whole time. I finally stumbled across your website after searching for answers on my own. My periods have never been regular and that should have been a huge red flag to look into it more but I just blamed it on my athletic background. I am not overweight either so I never thought to try and switch my diet around until now. After reading about your PCOS diet plan I decided to give it a shot and switch my diet around. I could not believe my eyes, exactly 1 week after starting my new diet I had my 1st real period on my own!l (that happened about 1 time a year if that). This is now my 3rd month and I have had 2 more periods, exactly 28 days apart! I am just blown away by this. I now actually have real hope of convincing another child. I can not thank you enough for opening my eyes to how to treat PCOS without all the yucky meds. So thankful for a way of dealing with this frustrating and discouraging disorder.

  12. Dear Tarryn,

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am an eighteen years-old who has just been officially diagnosed with pcos, but have been self-diagnosed for a number of years because of my strong family history as well as a mother who has pcos herself and works for an infertility nonprofit. It has been something I have deeply struggled with for a long time…I am sure I do not have to inform you of the emotional hardships that come along with having pcos (let alone the physical symptoms).

    I have always keep a relatively low carb and clean diet because my mom managed her pcos nutritionally so that’s what she made for dinner, but for the past six weeks I have made serious efforts to reduce my carbs and manage pcos nutritionally myself because I am loathed to take birth control. I do not believe that it is as effective as a lifestyle change. I am obviously too young to be trying to get pregnant, but I want to get a handle on my health so it doesn’t take up so much of my anxiety. I haven’t regulated my cycle yet…but the doctor says my hormones are completely normal so I must be on the right track!

    This site has been a great resource for me, I find it is has a wealth of great information but I also find it greatly comforting when I read about other women going through the same struggles as I am. So many women have pcos but you wouldn’t know it from the lack of accurate information available to us. Sorry for the lengthy comment but I want you to know you have made my journey a lot easier. Hopefully you see this!

    Thank you,


  13. It’s good to know I am not alone, I can’t get pregnant been trying for a.year now, when I think of all the children unwanted makes me sad, for me adopting is as good as having kids of my own, but I know deep in my heart that even when he said
    he agreed, truly is not, I am trying to keep.strong, and even if I get pregnant I like to adopt, there is so much we can do!! Thanks girls, is really encouraging for me to hear your stories.

  14. My husband and I tried to conceive for 7 long years and we ended up adopting a newborn baby boy. Fast forward 4 years later ,we decided to adopt again and that adoption fell through. Broken hearted we thought that I would never get pregnant. A few weeks later I ended up pregnant after 14 years of being married! Never give up hope ! It is absoulutely possible!

    1. Your words are very encouraging…even at my age 37..my husband and I have been trying for oh 7 or 8 yrs and no luck…went to the dr. a few yrs back and mentioned it but didnt persue it much but wish I did…now more time has slipped past us and I regret it but still want to have a baby so im back to seeing my dr. about this and im hopeful things will work out…thank u for giving me hope!

  15. It’s been so difficult to me, when i look at my husban knowing his big desire to have kods, I feel less at times. And loosing weight has been a struggle, keep gaining not loosing, this situation makes me anxious, and anxiety makes me eat. It’s hard but I won’t give up

    1. I understand I feel the same way. My husband was so excited and after out miscarriage it’s been so hard seeing him look at other babies wishing we could get pregnant again. All I can say is we need to hang in there and this research gives us hope.

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