Getting Pregnant with PCOS
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of infertility in women, and affects at least 10% of women. Women with PCOS often have ovaries with many tiny, benign, and painless cysts, as well as higher levels of testosterone, or lack of ovulation. The hormonal imbalance that accompanies PCOS can also lead to irregular periods. Check out how Mira can help.
PCOS and fertility
While it can be frustrating and disheartening when diagnosed with PCOS, it’s definitely not the end of trying to conceive. If you have PCOS, one of the best things you can do is to educate yourself as much as possible, and be proactive about your health and fertility treatment. Mira is hugely helpful for women with PCOS, as it is the only personalized ovulation monitoring system you can use at home that measures your actual hormone concentration, just like in a hospital lab. Because every woman is unique, the quantitative hormone data that Mira provides can be extremely useful for people with irregular cycles and PCOS.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) might have elevated levels of androgen hormones. Androgens in women are usually converted to estrogen, a hormone that controls ovulation. A higher level of androgens disrupts the rhythm of women’s cycle and can interfere with egg development and egg release. If an egg couldn’t be released due to high levels of androgens, the unreleased egg cannot be fertilized, meaning it’s not possible to get pregnant in that cycle. This is why PCOS usually comes with missed periods or irregular menstrual cycles.
Multiple follicular stimulations
Many people expect LH testing to have one peak in one single day during a cycle (this can be called rapid onset). This one-time increase is the hormonal trigger that most people associate with ovulation. However, women with PCOS and irregular cycles may experience more than one peak in LH, or have one medium and one high LH spike that last a couple of days. Ovulation can occur at the onset of, during, at the end, or after the LH peak. It creates a lot of frustration if you want to detect your fertility window and know what time to try to conceive so you can get pregnant faster.
Is it possible to track ovulation with PCOS?
Yes! There are many women with PCOS who used Mira to track their cycles and achieve healthy conception and pregnancy. With Mira, you can see your actual hormone levels and curve even if your baseline LH is high — something that over the counter ovulation prediction kits (OPKs) cannot do. Even if you have irregular cycles, you will be able to see when ovulation happens (as long as you ovulate). For users with PCOS who have multiple LH peaks, Mira is able to show the whole pattern of peaks instead of identifying just one, the way OPKs do.
What makes Mira special is that it does not look for a target number based on statistical averages to give a result as the OPKs do. Instead, Mira learns from and displays an overall trend in your body’s own unique readings. Mira’s prediction of your most fertile window is personalized using your own hormone levels and helps to detect ovulation without giving false-positive prior to ovulation that often happens to OPKs.
Graph 1: Because with gradual onset of LH increase, ovulation can occur before, during, or after the hormone peaks. You can try to conceive whenever you see a peak, such as during the onset or after any peaks, to not miss any opportunity.
Graph 2: Some people with PCOS have an elevated LH baseline in general (LH>10). That’s why OPKs gave a false positive and can’t identify the actual ovulation.
How is it different from other methods?
OPK (Ovulation Prediction Kits)
Every woman is unique. Mira learns your cycle, providing personalized ovulation prediction for variable cycles, while OPK determines ovulation based on the population average.
Because OPKs and other standard products often compare your hormone levels to an “average,” they can provide you with inaccurate information. With PCOS, elevated LH is usually common, and if your LH is generally elevated, an OPK may give you a false positive all the time, even when you can’t conceive. Mira is different from all other OPKs because Mira provides and learns from your actual hormone concentrations. Currently, all other hormone-based fertility trackers on the market still estimate ovulation based on a hormone threshold.
Because every woman’s cycle and hormones are unique, meeting that threshold indicates different things for different people: at best, it can only provide insight into a window of probable peak fertility, and at worst, it can provide a false positive. You are not the “average” — you are your own unique self! Your medical information shouldn’t be distilled to whether or not it is “the same” as someone else’s average.
This is why Mira shows a user’s actual hormone levels and hormonal curve, while an over the counter OPK estimates ovulation based on the population average.
BBT (Basal Body Temperature)
BBT changes due to environmental and lifestyle factors. Mira learns your cycle, providing personalized ovulation detection for variable cycles.
Basal Body Temperature (BBT) has often been a part of individuals tracking their fertility windows. However, interpretation of BBT is not always easy. It was reported that the time of ovulation determined by BBT coincided with the LH surge ± 1 day in only 17 of 77 cycles (22.1%). BBT may change from person to person, and even from cycle to cycle for any number of environmental and lifestyle reasons. This is why it is important that Mira learns your cycle, providing personalized ovulation detection for variable cycles.
How long does it take to get pregnant with PCOS?
There are many factors that influence your chances of conception that should be considered besides, and in addition to, PCOS. Your and partner’s age, your general health, any risk factors and conditions, and more. For women under 35 who ovulate regularly even with PCOS, and absent of other medical conditions, with a healthy partner, experts believe it is likely that you can get pregnant within a year and possibly even sooner. If one or both of the partners has conditions that can further affect fertility, it might take longer than a year.
Your own individual circumstances will vary. However, the information Mira provides can be extremely useful, no matter what your health and cycle are like.
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