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Pregnancy and PCOS

Many women who have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) find it hard to conceive, because often their ovaries don’t regularly release eggs. When a woman does not ovulate during her monthly cycle, there is no window for conception.  

If you have PCOS and you’re trying for a baby, our team of gynaecologists are here to help.

Thankfully, there are now ways to effectively manage PCOS, and dramatically improve the chances of getting pregnant.

Many patients who’ve visited our clinic have successfully conceived: not only can our team of gynaecologists diagnose PCOS, but they can offer you ongoing, integrated care that provides you with the very best treatment from women’s healthcare experts. From regular monitoring to finding the right treatment for you, it’s our mission to ensure that we offer you the best pre-conceptual care, whatever your symptoms.

Pandelis Athanasias, Consultant Gynaecologist at our clinic, discusses PCOS diagnosis, the tailored approach he takes when helping his patients to manage their symptoms, and the effective ways he manages PCOS in order to increase a woman’s chances of conceiving.  


Do some women who’ve failed to conceive not know that they have PCOS?

“Yes. Many women might not know that the reason they are finding it difficult to get pregnant is because they have PCOS. Conversely, I have seen many women who say they have PCOS but actually don’t. So misdiagnosis is quite common.

If I believe a woman’s symptoms are PCOS-related, I take a detailed history, perform a clinical examination, a pelvic ultrasound scan, and arrange blood tests. When I put everything together, I’m able to reach a diagnosis,”


How do you help women to manage PCOS if they’re trying to conceive?

Women with PCOS may find it difficult to get pregnant, because their ovaries will not always be able to release eggs. So I advise lifestyle changes and often use medication to induce ovulation. To optimise the chances of conception for women with PCOS I often liaise with a nutritionist, a fertility specialist and an endocrinologist. At the same time I address other issues that are not directly related to conception but affect a woman’s lifestyle or self-esteem, such as excessive hair growth. It’s all about an integrated, tailored, holistic approach.”


Why is a healthy weight important for increasing chances of conception?

If a woman is overweight I would suggest certain dietary and lifestyle changes to encourage weight loss. Weight loss is proven to increase the chances of ovulation and makes the periods more regular. In other words, it would have a positive effect for a woman trying to conceive.

Often a woman presents with more than one symptom, and unfortunately there’s no magic tablet to prescribe that can deal with everything. What I suggest is a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, weight loss through diet and exercise and nutritional changes if weight is normal, in order to counteract the consequences of the syndrome.


Is there a greater risk of complication during pregnancy for women with PCOS?

There is a higher risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy, and miscarrying in the first trimester of pregnancy if a woman has PCOS. That’s why a diagnosis prior to conceiving is extremely important.


Would you like to find out more?

To make an appointment with Pandelis Athanasias, or to find out how our private PCOS specialists can help you, please telephone 020 7244 4200 for a chat.