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PCOS and Pregnancy: Improving fertility with Diet

I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2010 when I had difficulty falling pregnant. Although I always knew that something was wrong, getting the diagnosis was devastating.

It took 9 months for me to fall pregnant – not very long in the greater scheme of things and I’m very grateful that it was actually relatively quick. I know that there are many, many women out there who struggle to fall pregnant for much longer than that.

FertilityWe’re now trying for our second miracle baby and every month I wonder about the same things. What can I do to improve my chances of pregnancy? Have I ovulated this month? If my period is late, is it because of my messed up hormones or did I conceive by some very slim chance? It’s very frustrating to be so out of control in this area.

Before we have a look at some of the things we can all do to our PCOS and pregnancy plan, please remember that I am not a doctor and you should consult your doctor to find out what will work for you. I just want to share with you the things that I have found helpful personally and the things that I have researched regarding PCOS and Pregnancy.

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Your PCOS Pregnancy Diet

You know how much I believe in the power of a PCOS diet and food to manage PCOS so it comes as no surprise that diet would be top of Everything we eat impacts on our hormones.

my list when it comes to improving fertility. Food is important because everything we eat impacts on our hormones, either helping to keep them in balance or throwing them off kilter.

Insulin and Testosterone

It is particularly important that insulin levels are managed as increased insulin causes increased testosterone production. These male hormones are decidedly unhelpful for fertility and conception! So, make sure you’re eating low GI carbs and are balancing your carbs with protein. The best PCOS Diet will give you more guidance on how to eat to manage your PCOS and pregnancy may just surprise you as your symptoms improve.

Estrogen

As with many other hormones, women with PCOS tend to have an imbalance in Estrogen levels. They can either be too high or too low. There are a number of factors that can lead to estrogen dominance and two of the big culprits are xeno-estrogens (estrogen from the environment such as plastics, cosmetics, etc) and estrogen from animal products. The xeno-estrogens in the environment is a whole discussion on it’s own so I’ll do an article on that soon.

One way that we can manage excess estrogens is by considering estrogens in our diet. We get estrogen from two sources: plant (phytoestrogens) and animal sources.

Improving fertility soyPhytoestrogens are particularly controversial at the moment. They work by attaching to the estrogen receptor like a lock and key. The estrogen your body produces can’t fit into the occupied receptor and float freely in the body, increasing estrogen levels.

However, there is also a theory that because the body sees that the receptors have these phytoestrogens, it realizes that it doesn’t need to produce as much estrogen and estrogen levels drop.

Research has shown that soy in particular can cause delayed ovulation. So, as I am trying for a baby, I have cut soy out of my diet completely.

Let’s have a look at estrogen from animal products. A lot of meat, beef in particular, contains hormones that have been given to the animal to increase yield and production. We then ingest these hormones (and other antibiotics) which can impact on our hormone balance.

Improving fertility steakIf you do eat meat, organic, pasture fed meat is the best kind of meat to go for as it will be free of hormones and other synthetic products that the animal may have eaten. The only problem is that this kind of meat is particularly expensive.

I personally try to avoid all meat products (not always successfully though!) I want to know that what I’m putting into my body is going to help bring balance and that I’m not ADDING hormones to my already disordered system.

Weight Loss

Apart from trying to regain our hormone balance, diet is also key to loosing weight for women with PCOS. I know that it is incredibly hard to lose weight and is a struggle we face daily. However, research has shown that losing even 5-10% of our total body weight can help to restore our cycles and improve our chances of conceiving.

Supplements:

Supplements are an important aspect to our PCOS and Pregnancy plan. Women with PCOS have deficiencies in some vitamins and nutrients which could be impacting on our ability to conceive.

Multivitamin

A good multivitamin forms the foundation of any supplement and nutrition plan so make sure you take a good multivitamin everyday.

Chromium

Improving-fertility-SupplementsMany of us are deficient in this important nutrient and it is important for digesting and metabolizing glucose in the blood stream. It is also helpful for improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin.

Chromium can help improve fertility by lowering insulin levels and therefore also lowering testosterone levels.

If you are already taking insulin-sensitising drugs, make sure you speak to your doctor before taking Chromium supplements. Taking both can cause your blood sugar levels to drop too much.

Vitamin D and Calcium

I have mentioned the importance of Vitamin D and Calcium supplements here, but Vitamin D is important for insulin resistance, breast health, mood and weight loss. Women with PCOS are often deficient in this important Vitamin and research has shown that supplementing with Vitamin D and Calcium helps to regulate menstrual cycles and improve the number of mature follicles.

Mature follicles and a more regular menstrual cycle sounds great for improved fertility!

Vitamin B

Improving fertility GracieA shortage of Vitamin 6 can lead to an imbalance in progesterone, irregular menstrual cycles and poor quality sperm and egg production. It also helps to regulate blood sugar levels and may increase the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.

Folic acid, or Vitamin B9, is also an essential supplement during the early stages of pregnancy as it helps with the development of the neural tube and can help prevent spina bifida in your baby.

I take a Vitamin B complex supplement every day to make sure that I’m getting all of the essential Vitamin B that I need.

Omega 3

I have also recently written an article on the importance of Omega 3. Omega 3 and essential fatty acids are important as they are an essential component of hormones and Omega 3 in particular has been shown to lower testosterone in women with PCOS.

Lower testosterone is not only great for improving fertility but also for managing some of those other pesky symptoms of PCOS.

Supplements are an important element to your PCOS and pregnancy plan.

Summing up

So, to sum it all up, these are the steps that I am taking to improve my diet and my chances of pregnancy with PCOS:

  • Balance carbs with protein
  • Eat low GI carbs
  • Eat organic, pasture fed meat
  • Eat more plant based proteins if you can’t afford organic meat
  • Avoid soy and soy products
  • Make sure you’re taking supplements

You may also find this article on pregnancy risk factors for PCOS interesting…

I don’t know about you but I want to give my body and my baby the best chance, not only of conceiving but having a healthy and happy pregnancy!

I’d love to hear about the things you are doing to improve your chances of pregnancy with PCOS! Drop me a comment below!

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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.

Table of Contents

56 Responses

56 Responses

  1. I hope that everyone reading this already knows that there is absolutely no traces of antibiotic in meat EVER (unless you butcher your own at home and give them antibiotics before butchering)

    Meat is tested and farmers can lose their farm if they ever sent an animal with antibiotics in their meat.

    Also – the hormone levels in meat is nothing compared to a lot of vegetables.

    This article is great and I learned a lot! Just some of the information about meat is off

  2. Hello, I recently cane across your web page , and I have been trying to stay healthy for the passed 3 months after being diagnosed with pcOS. I am cureently taking Metformin along with two other that my doctor prescribed to me. Im currently taking fish oil due to not having enough intake of omega 3, my question is , is there any type of multivitamin that you recommend taking for my body to be able to have enough vitamins it needs to be able to be healthy for when i concieve? There are so many out there to choose from, i dont want to end up buying the wrong one

  3. Hi Tarryn,
    I have not heard of taking Chromium supplements before…I have hirsutism with my PCOS and I’m wondering if that is something worth trying. I am also trying to get pregnant currently, and was also wondering if this is safe to take during pregnancy? Is there a certain potency or brand you would recommend?

    Thank you!!

  4. i want to say to all women that ,, i had one tube and also had hormone inbalance so the doctor said i cant get pregnant,, i did everything possible but to no avail, on my 40th bday i cried alone instead on celebrating and it was there i saw online how dr alladdin has helped many women with my situation, i contacted dr alladdin and he sent me a healing water and a spiritual poweder to use as instructed i did it ,and two months later i got pregnant i delivered my baby and now again i just found out am 4weeks pregnant thanks dr alladin for your pregnancy spiritual water and powder you can contact dr alladdin on email :whiterabbitspell@yahoo.com and u too will get your babies

  5. Hi i am marisa i have pcos since 09 or 10 i am 19 turn 20 in September i i trying to lose weight but it.not work and i try pregnant n it. Not working i.need help

  6. Hello, I am 26 – I have not had a period since I was 15. I have tried a variety of diets each strictly monitored by a nutrionist and dietician. I have been excersizing enough (sometimes more then average) and take vitamins and supplements. I have had no luck in having a simple period.

    Now…Unfortunately due to marital status my doctor does not push for my PCOS to be reversed. Hormone treatment and surgery are also options for pcos suffers… But you do not mention this :\
    You also fail to mention about how everyone’s PCOS is different, no mention of pain/cramps or even if cysts burst…

    Any credible information would be great. Good luck to you and your site.

    1. i want to say to all women that ,, i had one tube and also had hormone inbalance so the doctor said i cant get pregnant,, i did everything possible but to no avail, on my 40th bday i cried alone instead on celebrating and it was there i saw online how dr alladdin has helped many women with my situation, i contacted dr alladdin and he sent me a healing water and a spiritual poweder to use as instructed i did it ,and two months later i got pregnant i delivered my baby and now again i just found out am 4weeks pregnant thanks dr alladin for your pregnancy spiritual water and powder you can contact dr alladdin on email :whiterabbitspell@yahoo.com and u too will get your babies

  7. Hi. Yesterday on my ultrasound . dr told me that my right ovary appears to be polysystic while my left ovary was not visible to her. I hav irregular periods . spmetimes 30 33 35 37 . i am really worried . i will get married by the end of next year. Kindly give me suggestion

  8. Hi. Yesterday on my ultrasound . dr told me that my right ovary appears to be polysystic while my left ovary was not visible to her. I hav irregular periods . spmetimes 30 33 35 37 . i am really worried . i will get married by the end of next year. Kindly give me suggestions

  9. I had my first baby n she is 2 years now and now i am diagnos with pcos i am having trouble with my weight loss n was not having my cycle more then 2 days but now i am having my cycle normal so i want to ask that is this a good sign fo me to have normal cycle ?

  10. Hi,

    I was diagnosed with PCOD in 2006 from that time i was taking diana35 for getting my periods on time in between i left for 6 months then again started it and left it from June 2014. I got married in 2012 and now Me and husband are trying for baby from July 2014. Then i went to see my gyne and my Doctor gave me Metformin, Folic Acid, so i started both from July end. Till now i got my periods on time. But i missed my oct periods which was due on 6th oct. Today when i checked by preg test it was negative.

    So please suggest what should we do and also what i can have. My height is 5.2 and weight is 59kg. We are desperately want baby. Please suggest.

    Thanks in advance.

    Looking forward to hear from some specialist.

  11. Hi, I have been diagnosed with PCOS a few months ago and I am devastated 🙁 . I sort of knew something was wrong many years now for I was never able to conceive. I’ve just decided to visit my GP abt it and was diagnosed. I have just started my diet as I did research. I am only 25 years and really want a baby. My husband does also. It took my doctor some time to diagnose this because most of the symptoms were absent. For example, I don’t have acne problem, no irregular period, no extra hair anywhere, I am not overweight-matter of fact I wish to gain weight. I seem to have a normal period every month. I really would do as much I as I can to improve my chances of conceiving. Your website is very helpful and I will go on a very strict diet to help as much as I can. Thanks again for the useful information.

    1. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work.
      PCOS affects millions of women in the UK.
      The three main features of the condition are:
      1.cysts that develop in your ovaries (polycystic ovaries)
      2.your ovaries do not regularly release eggs (ovulate)
      3.having high levels of “male hormones” called androgens in your body

      Unfortunately, its not just a diet solving issue.
      You can reverse symptoms or features which result from PCOS.
      Symptoms of PCOS usually become apparent during your late teens or early twenties. They can include:
      * irregular periods or no periods at all
      * difficulty getting pregnant (because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate)
      * excessive hair growth (hirsutism) – usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks
      * weight gain
      * thinning hair and hair loss from the head
      * oily skin or acne

      Personally I was originally only suffering with lack of periods and only a little bit of hair on my tummy. Now 11 years on I got a few more of the above features like weight fluctuation etc.

      Polycystic ovary syndrome is associated with an increased risk of problems in later life, such as type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol levels. However not all with PCOS will have diabetes/high cholestrol.

      Someone I knew (who was originally from a home with just men) literally only had to move into a house full of women and her PCOS just *dissapeared*
      however I am sceptical of that solution….

  12. Your article gives me hope. I have had PCOS since I was 13 years old, I am now 25 and ready to start my family. I have been taking all of the steps you mentioned ( and a couple extra!) and ovulated for the first time! I don’t know how long my journey will take (baby now please!) but reading your story and seeing your beautiful miracle baby fills me with hope, which I have not had since starting my journey. Thank you for sharing your story!

  13. Howdy! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy
    reading through your blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects?

    Thanks a ton!

  14. Hi Tarryn

    Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience. It is always great to know we are not alone.

    My husband and I are trying for a baby and I have PCOS and irregular periods. I’ve lost 6 stone so far and am still keen to loose more, as I always see such a direct link with my weight gain / loss and periods.

    Which supplements should would you recommend please? Sorry I know you’ve said but by reading the comments there are so many mentioned that I want to make sure I am taking the correct ones to improve my chances of conceiving.

    Many thanks,
    Elsie

  15. i have been trying to conceive for so many years now more than 15years and i have had 2 miscarriages over the years , i went for series of test , health seminars and all that steel there is nothing working for me ,this my situation made my husband get depressed , one day i was stuffing GOOGLE on pregnancy tips and found out how so many women who has have like my situation have contacted AZUBA SPELL TEMPLE the great spell caster online and they got there solution ,

    at first i was skeptical that it was a scam but i just had to give it a try and i never new that it was my moment of break through , i did get the email from one Mrs. Margaret who was help by this same azuba spell to get pregnant , i copied the email and i sent Azuba an email and it was replied and i requested for the pregnancy spells after some questions and answer , the items to be used was gotten and the pregnancy spell was cast , the first month passed nothing happened and i was thinking maybe it was just like the others and it was a fair trial until the second month i noticed i missed my period for 11days when i check i found out i was pregnant and i can proudly say to all that am a proud mother of a baby boy now , for all those that think such things are scam just like i use to think is that give Azuba a fair trial and i say you will never regret it, just like how Mrs. Margaret gave out Azuba EMAIL THAT I COPIED so am also giving it out , you can contact this great spell caster Azuba on email:azubaspelltemple@gmail.com , I hope this information gives some one out there hope and faith

    THANKS

  16. Hi females,

    I am 23yr old girl and was diagnosed with the PCOS when i was 16yr of age. I was just doing my regular research on PCOS to keep looking for natural remedies that can be followed to have regular menses. I have had BC pills to regulate my periods and had tried all kinds of medication say homeopathic, ayurvedic etc and everything failed post consumption of few months. I am not an exercise person but try best to walk and i dance a lot. I get really tensed whenever i gain weight. I just had a knee surgery and was not allowed to move at all for past 6 months now i have gained weight and not having my periods since past 2months. I hate the hard men lie hair growth all over my face.
    I cannot consume my PCOD medicines because of the surgery medications, i cannot move out of bed.

    Please help me guide about the food that i should consume as all i eat is home made food, all kind of green vegetables, a chocolate in a week or 2 to control my low BP and weakness because of the surgery, milk, fruits.

    I am really worried about my future as i hate gaining weight, i don’t wish to face any problems in my married life. I try and being as happy, jovial and stress- free as i can.

  17. me and my husband is successfully completing 3 yrs of marriage,in which these whole three years went with the word “trying for baby”.This is so much painfull some time to have emotions that why i m not being able to get pregnant.Its really a tough time going with us but my hubby always supported,thats a best part always.starting of the years i get diagnosed with Hypothyroid as i was eventually increasing my weight,i dont feel good that time,taken consult and get medicines for everyday started.From starting of our marriage years we have been trying so we think of to meet a proper gynae who suggested us to go for ivf and she started to given injections for regular 15 days,this went for 2 months as it didn’t succeceded.The problem was that my body was non reacting to the injections,becus i was not properly ovulating.Now from the last 5 months we have been in our gynae consult who now triggered that i have a problm with PCOs.She now suggested me for weight reduction,given metformin and a contraceptive pils batch which would all help in reducing effect of pcos in my body.NOw i m walking 30 mins in morning and evening and doing Yoga.Taking a good diet avoiding rice,Sugary products,starch.Letc how all it will gonna help in my way to become pregnant as i m very much eager :.Luv u all and sorry for taking ur time…

  18. Hi Tarryn,
    I got diagnosed with PCOS one month ago and immediately cut out gluten and dairy out of my diet and started excersizing more. I weigh 125 lbs at 5.4, so my weight shouldn’t be an issue to achieve pregnancy. My doctor put me on my first round of Clomid and I will have an U/S on Wednesday to see if it is working. After I stopped birth control, I never ovulated on my own.

    I have a couple of general questions for you:

    I recently made gluten free muffins with a little bit of honey. How often can I eat this? Is this something that is fine for me to eat every other day? Or should this be a once a week or even a once a month thing?

    Can I use unsweetened cocoa powder in almond milk?

    What about alcohol? I drink a glass of wine every now and then. Is this okay or should I cut it out completely?

    Thanks so much,
    Sunflower

  19. Hey Ladies, I just wanted to give you my story as I got pregnant twice drug free. I am 37 and am currently 18 weeks along. The ultimate PCOS handbook was my initial guide and for the last 10 years I have followed a low GI diet, cut out ALL dairy and for the last two years have been gluten free. I took natural supplements and minerals as recommended in the book and I cycled to work (6 miles a day). Acupuncture also helped, but find a decent one who is registered. Specialists tried to give me clomid, but I knew if I ate healthy, exercised and took the right supplements the baby would have the best chance not only for conception but for a sustained pregnancy. Acupuncture made me eat for my type, Traditional Chinese Medicine is great for diet advice and types of food, gooogle debra betts. There are loads of books and website on low GI diets. Good luck, westen drugs are not the only way!!

  20. Hi tarryn I hav just been diagnose wid pcos. 2 weeks ago and my gynae has put me on metformin and provera . But I need to know wat I should be eating to improve my fertillity n lose the weight. My husband and I really want to have kids I need some guidance is there anything else that I shud be taking to hellp. I hav cut out red meat completely from eating and dairy.

  21. Hi Tarryn and everyone,

    I kinda need guidance on the kind of the food that I eat. I was diagnosed with PCOS last 2011, got my first pregnancy by 2013 but had miscarriage around July of that year. PCOS went back a few after I was cuterized and I really gained weight. I currently lose weight. I lost almost 10 lbs, currently at 118.8 lbs. and now I and my husband are ttc hoping to get pregnant this year. I’m currently taking metformin 1500 mg ( 500 mg 3 times per day), vitamin e and folic acid. I used to run but cut it now. I was wondering if you can give tips on the food. I feel a sad and wondering if what types of food should I eat. I though, have few ideas as I research and asked my doctor. She said to go on a low GI diet. I was wondering if you can give me a list of food samples.

  22. Hi Tarryn,

    Thanks for the helpful blog. I have recently come across your blog and have been reading almost all of it.
    I have a question regarding pregnancy diet after PCOS.
    My best friend have been diagnosed with PCOS and she managed to get pregnant (with God’s grace)
    As the golden rule of PCOS diet, she was completely on no dairy products. She is 5 weeks pregnant now. Can she start drinking milk or yogut?

    Thanks in advance,
    Shweta

  23. How about flax meal? Is it like Soy? To be avoided or is it good to take. Was looking at making flax meal wraps and found conflicting info.

  24. Hi Tarryn,

    I was diagnosed with PCOS and my Doctor gave me Metformin, Folic Acid starting 3 days ago and im taking in the omega 3 pills based on your article today. Im tryin to have a baby too. About the supplements, i read on your other article that is good to take Inositol to cure PCOS. Im intend to buy inositol today but after i read the supplements above you did not include inositol inside. If we are trying to conceive should i take inositol or just the supplements stated above?

    Thanks for create this page.

  25. Hello Tarryn,
    I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2007 when I was 17 and took care of myself for awhile and then decided (stupidly I might add) that when I got married I would start taking care of myself again! Well I am married now and we have been trying to conceive a baby for 5 months now with no luck! I am happy to say though that this last month I have been doing a lot more for my PCOS. I have started walking two miles a day five days a week plus watching what I eat. No wheat in any form, sugars and potatoes. My doctor told me to eat dairy as well as calcium in pill form, but now I am wondering if dairy is good for me??? I have been taking almost everything you stated above except for B6, which I will be starting soon. I also have hyperthyroidism and am now on Armorthyroid. Something has finally started working for me, because I am down 10 Lbs and had a period on my own, first time in almost a year!! Hopefully I will be able to keep going down this track and soon conceive our first baby!!! Hope I am doing things right!! Good luck to everyone else fighting this!!!

  26. Hi I was diagnosed with pcos 3 year’s ago I have a lovely son and was diagnosed with pcos after he was born as I had irregular periods. We are now trying for another baby with no luck ive been reading up on pcos ive changed my diet by cutting out white carbs and diary. The thing that’s worrying me most is a symptom I seem to get which is chronic watery mucas the week before im due to ovulate have you ever heard if this as a symptom of pcos and is there anything I can take to help with this. Im going back to the doctors this week to get referred back to gyno but would rather use natural remedies. This website is so helpful thanks for all the info.

  27. Just wanted to say thanks so much for this wonderful site! I was diagnosed with PCOS 4 months ago, and my husband and I are trying for our first baby. Since reading your site and downloading your app, I have completely overhauled my diet and have seen some positive results in shortening my cycles. It’s so helpful to know that there is hope and that so many others are going through the same struggles. I recently tried clomid but it didn’t have any effect, so my doctor has also put me on metformin. I’m hoping that, combined with the diet, the drugs will work this time!
    Keep up the good work with the site!

    1. Thanks so much for the feedback, Emily! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the site.

      I hope you get some amazing baby news soon!

      Tarryn

  28. Hi Tarryn,

    I’ve been reading your articles and find your site brilliant! For the first time I feel hope in dealing with PCOS.

    I see that Soy is not recommended due to it delaying ovulation. I am vegetarian and have a lot of soya products to replace protein. I have recently started having eggs. I also love dairy products. Please can you suggest alternatives for protein, or meal plans? You’ve mentioned in several articles that protein is so important in controlling carbs so I’m at a loss.

    Loving what you’re doing!

  29. Hi my name is Alexis and I was diagnosed with pcos in 2007 when I was about 17 years old of course it wasnt a big deal then but now I just got married and have been ttc and have had such a hard time. I have been put on clomid, metformin and nothing seems to work. I got a period all on my own last month and am hoping I get another this month because useually the doctor has to make my period come. I heard that weight loss helps with pcos but I have had a hard time with that as well. This information has really helped me. Thank you

  30. Hi Tarryn,

    I was recently diagnosed with PCOS. However, a few years ago my doctor informed me I had low Vitamin D levels. I’m currently taking prenatal vitamins as my husband and I are trying to conceive. Would you recommend me taking Vitamin D supplements along with the prenatals or do you think the prenatal vitamins alone are enough to help with my low vitamin d levels?

  31. Your website is very helpful! I started my gluten free, dairy free diet today!! Woot! It’s going to be challenging, but we want babies! 😉

    I have a question about supplements, do you know if a prenatal vitamin is enough or should I be taking more chromium for example?

    Thanks a bunch

    -Krystal

  32. P.S. I have to admit, that metformin made me lose weight in the beginning but you really have to stick to a healthy diet which is hard when you travel or eat out a lot. I’ve always taken supplements and now watching my diet more closely. I haven’t tried acupuncture but I am trying all avenues to improve my health. Thank you for having a web site as a source of support for women with PCOS.

  33. I had an appointment with my endocrionologist yesterday & she’s starting me on metformin, while I’m still on dianette. I’m staying on dianette till July/August because I want clear skin for my wedding.

    I’m also taking Vit B6, Vit D3, zinc, iron, Vit C, choromium, iron, folic acid and evening primose supplements but I’m also thinking of taking agnus cactus (Vitex) while i’m still on dianette & metformin.

    Has anyone any experience of this?

    1. Hi,

      I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2003 after not having any period for 3 years. I went to different ob-gyn and finally to an endocrinologist who put me on metformin which regulated my period. It worked for several years until 2011, I started spotting and went to the ob-gyn who performed a d&c, sent me to get a sonogram and said everything was fine until 2012 when I started spotting again and now a continuous spotting in between periods on top of belly bloating. It’s so frustrating. I started eating quinoa as a substitute for rice. I’m seeing another ob-gyn who will perform a biopsy and another doctor suggested laparascopic surgery since they found several cysts and fluid in my tubes during the 2nd sonogram that was done.

  34. Hi Tarryn,

    This website is fantastic. It is great to know you are not alone and to hear the experiences of other women. I was diagnosed with POCS in 2007 and was devastated. I would just blame my body for everything that was going wrong and ate to make myself feel better. Of course I was not exercising and not looking after my diet and as you can imagine the lovely symptoms of POCS got out of control. I suffered from depression as a result and would lock myself away from my family and friends.

    With the support of my husband and doctor I was able to change my perspective and come out of depression. I started looking after myself better and enjoying life again. 12 months ago we decided to stop using contraception. I did not get my period for over 5 months and was really worried. For unrelated health issues I went to a naturopath and discovered I was intollerant to wheat, dairy and soy among other things. I have cut out wheat and limited dairy and soy and have lost 12 kgs.

    The information on your site has helped me realise that all my health problems were related and that it is possible to take control of your life and increase your chances of having a baby.

    I will be cutting out dairy and soy from now as well as wheat as I can now see the effects this can have with all my other symptoms also.

    You have no idea how much you have opened my eyes and made it all possible for us again. It is tough but so inspiring to hear the stories everyone posts on their experiences.

    Hopefully sometime soon I will be able to post my success in conceiving our first child!

    Thanks again Tarryn

    Cassie

    1. Hi Cassie,

      Thanks so much for sharing your story. It sounds like you’re doing amazingly well and are doing all the right things to get yourself ready for a pregnancy. I also hope we get to hear your baby news soon!

      Tarryn

  35. Hi Tarryn!

    I have a question. I found a lot of websites (including your wonderful site) that recommend the use of Inositol to help alleviate the lovely problems associated with PCOS. You also recommend a multivitamin, folic acid and Chromium in this section, but this is geared more toward fertility. Do you take all of that together, or do one at a time? I am not necessarily trying to boost my chances to conceive, (I mean, if it happens that’s a plus…) but would you recommend taking the multivitamin, etc just to treat the symptoms of PCOS?

    Thanks!
    Brandy

    1. HI Brandy,

      Thanks for the question. All of the research has been done in combination with Folic acid so I would definitely take that, as well as a multivitamin. To be honest, I have stopped taking Chromium as I didn’t feel it made a significant difference for me. You could start with Inositol and Folic Acid, Omega 3 and Magnesium and see how you get on.

      Tarryn

  36. Hi! My husband and I just started a break from 16months of fertility treatments. We started trying just after getting married. My provider never “officially” diagnosed me with PCOS, and even though I am a registered nurse I have been in denial. Recently we saw a fertility specialist who wrote the diagnosis on paper, along with our chances of getting pregnant (which even with IVF are less than 50%). It really hit home and I am trying to snap out of denial and come to terms with PCOS so that I can take control of my lifestyle and try to promote my fertility. The gravity and stress can be overwhelming. I am happy that I discovered this site that has already instilled hope of becoming a mom! I look forward to reading everything you have to offer and changing my lifestyle!

    1. Hi Terry,

      Thanks so much for your comment and sharing your story. Getting any diagnosis is heart breaking, especially one relating to fertility.

      I really think that making changes to your diet, exercising regularly and taking your supplements can give your body the best chance of conceiving.

      Please let me know if I can help in any way!

      Tarryn

  37. Hi Tarryn,
    I was wondering if you have ever used or heard of Maca root for benefiting PCOS and helping with getting pregnant. As of now, I’m not ovulating and haven’t had a cycle since stopping the BC pill.

    1. Hi Ani,

      I haven’t heard of Maca Root and have done some research. There seems to be some good anecdotal evidence for it but I have not found any medical research on it. One woman did say that although she felt much better when taking it, she did not ovulate. Inositol and Folic Acid have been shown to promote ovulation so you may want to consider taking that as well as Maca Root?

      Tarryn

  38. HI Tarryn, I completely agree with the above and also have know that acupuncture has helped people with PCOS. After being diagnosed 7 years ago I have nailed the diet (Low GI and Dairy Gluten free), I teach Pilates and cycle to work every day, but decided on acupuncture to support my fertility and fell pregnant 6 months later. Unfortunately we miscarried at 12 weeks, but I am positive the acupuncture helped my body as I felt calm, stable and my cycled reduced from 35-38 days to 28-31 days and were of better quality – could you do an article on this?
    A study of twenty-four women (age 24-40) with PCOS and oligo-/amenorrhea research shows that repeated electro-acupuncture treatments induced regular ovulations in 9 women (38%), more than one third of the women with PCOS. [1]

    1. Hi Jane,

      Thanks for raising this. I know that acupuncture is often used to treat PCOS but have never really investigated it any further. I’m a bit of a geek and would be interested in understanding the mechanism and physiology to help me understand why it works. I’ll definitely look into it and will look into doing an article.

      Thanks again,

      Tarryn

  39. Thanks for this info! It has been very useful. My husband and I are trying to conceive #2, but I don’t have regular cycles which is making things difficult. Hopefully your tips will help me with my cycles. 🙂

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