When you’re first married, you assume that you will decide when to start a family. Unfortunately, for many women who have PCOS, having a baby seems almost impossible. When this was the case for us when trying to conceive baby number 2, I consulted my doctor. What ended up getting us pregnant were the tips that I share here, but I found numerous women online who had success with my doctor’s tips as well – including some of my doctor’s very own friends.
The Most Important Thing
You absolutely need to be more than your PCOS.
When you’re struggling to get pregnant with PCOS – it consumes you. At least that’s how it was for me.
I felt completely out of control, angry, sometimes even frantic.
This is exactly how I record absolutely everything related to my PCOS, but you need to do whatever works for YOU!
What My Doctor Recommended
Before I realized I was pregnant, I actually used this tea and really enjoyed it. If you just scroll through some of the reviews for this product, you can see that many, many women claim to have experienced success getting pregnant after just a few weeks or months of drinking this tea.
This is the exact one I bought.
The main active ingredients in it are Vitex and Red Raspberry Leaf. A lot of women plagued with PCOS have taken Vitex to increase their fertility.
I really recommend giving this one a try. One packet is all you’ll need for one month. By looking at the reviews, that’s all some people need! One reviewer claimed to have struggled with fertility for 7 years and became pregnant almost immediately after starting Fertilitea.
Now, I’m usually pretty skeptical when it comes to extremely positive, too-good-to-be-true sounding reviews. However, this is the exact kind of review I was able to give Inositol after conceiving our second baby. The way I see it, it’s cheaper than IVF!
If you do have success with Fertilitea, it’s worth mentioning that some find Vitex to be unsafe during pregnancy. This means you should discontinue its use immediately after you get that BFP! (Big Fat Positive test for those of you who don’t spend a ton of time on fertility forums!)
This one nearly killed me. First of all, I’m vegetarian, so taking away my carbs is basically taking away any food that I care to eat. Honestly, the first thought I had after getting my positive pregnancy test was “thank GOD, we’re eating pizza tonight!”
If you have PCOS, then it’s not news to you that carbs aren’t exactly your friend. In fact, PCOS can be controlled in lots of cases with diet and exercise.
This low carb cookbook is also available in Kindle format, so you can download it and start your diet today without waiting for a book to come in the mail, or tracking it down at a bookstore. I don’t own a Kindle, but I downloaded the app and use my Amazon Prime membership to download books or the Kindle Unlimited membership. Highly recommend this method when you’re as time-strapped as me!
During my few days on a low carb diet, I ate mostly egg salad and tried not to sneak carbs while my husband Scotty was at work. If you’re extremely serious about conceiving a baby though, you know that there are basically no lengths you won’t go to to make that dream come true.
Sure, going low-carb is a pain, but some people actually live on low-carb diets by choice and are all the healthier for it. Give it a try, especially if you think you can combine some of these therapies, and see if it helps.
The PCOS Planner that Maintains My Sanity
Basal Body Temperature
I wrote a lot about this in my post about how I got pregnant with baby number 2, but it’s something my doctor recommended and definitely worth revisiting.
There are many apps that you can use to track your basal body temperature – Fertility Friend and Ovuview are two good ones. I actually used both.
Pick up a good thermometer made specifically for basal body temperature charting. This is the exact one I used.
Next, be diligent about taking your temperature as soon as you wake up. Don’t get up to go to the bathroom, don’t wait until you’ve had breakfast. I’m talking the second you wake up, take your temperature. You don’t have to record it right away because the thermometer saves your last reading making it easy to chart later.
I kept my thermometer under my pillow to make it easily accessible so that I was more likely to do it. I actually got frustrated with the charting at one point and stopped. As soon as I started “temping” again, I noticed a huge difference in my temperature in October compared to when I had been diligently taking it in July and August.
Sure enough, on October 12th, I got my positive pregnancy test. Well, about 12 positive pregnancy tests because I couldn’t believe I was actually pregnant!
If you do nothing else to increase your fertility odds with PCOS, absolutely start charting your basal temperature. The purpose is to show you when you ovulate, or hopefully, when you conceive. Over time, you’ll start to notice a baseline in your chart. If you see a spike, you can bet that you’ve likely ovulated. Now is the time to grab the hubby and get busy!
This is especially important for those of us with PCOS because ovulation tests aren’t reliable. I could take an ovulation test every day and end up with a positive one every month, even though I knew I wasn’t ovulating.
Basal body temping helps to take out some of the guesswork.
This was a non-negotiable for me, but it is true that breastfeeding quells fertility. I get it, but I wasn’t willing to sacrifice breastfeeding benefits for baby number one to quickly conceive baby number 2.
Nugget was about 8 months old when our Dumplin’ was conceived and he was still nursing constantly. Plus, we bedshare, so he was also nursing on demand all night long. I still managed to conceive during this time with the help of Inositol and a very sleep-deprived, over-sexed husband. I can honestly say I didn’t hear any complaints!
Breastfeeding is a very personal thing, but if you can conceive without giving up your breastfeeding relationship, absolutely try to do it.
It seems pretty obvious to most that in order to get pregnant, you better be having fun with your partner pretty frequently. When you’re so stressed about your fertility, or lack thereof, it can be tough to feel like doing anything except researching how to get pregnant.
My doctor told us to make sure we were having unprotected sex at least twice a week, preferably more. Her thoughts were echoed by a fertility doctor we spoke with. With PCOS, you never know when you may spontaneously ovulate, so it’s important to make sure there is always a supply of sperm available.
Another thing I learned through this process is that you aren’t considered to be facing infertility until you’ve been having unprotected sex twice a week for at least a year, without a positive pregnancy test. This is the case even for women with very regular cycles.
My doctor suggested the book “Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility” by Sami David, MD and Jill Blakeway, Lac. You can pick up a copy here.
I haven’t read it, but for those of you who like to research, this is a doctor recommended resource that just might help.
Between doing your research, taking Fertilitea, and charting your basal body temperature, you can give yourself a leg up on the infertility struggle. None of these options are guaranteed to work, but each of them have had proven success in others with PCOS. My hope is that you feel empowered to take on PCOS and infertility and take control of your own medical situation without just relying on a doctor’s advice.
I absolutely support going to your doctor regularly and giving great thought to the advice that they have to give. However, if you don’t like what you’re hearing or aren’t getting the results you’d like, please please please take it upon yourself to do some of your own digging. You just might find a solution that a doctor hasn’t recommended.
Have you used any of these methods to get pregnant after a PCOS diagnosis? Have you ever had to take your health into your own hands? What are some of your success stories? Let me know in the comments!