Causes & Treatment

How I Conceived Naturally with PCOS Against the Odds

Eloise Edington  |   16 Jul 2021

It can be a lot harder to get pregnant when you have been diagnosed with PCOS, which makes your trying to conceive journey all the more difficult, especially when a successful pregnancy seems like an anomaly.

The big question we’re all thinking: is can you conceive naturally with PCOS? The Ribbon Box have reached out to Tania to share her inspiring story of how she conceived naturally, following a diagnosis of PCOS. Hearing from Tania may be just the thing you need to help you on your personal journey. Tania’s story is one filled with hope, that it is possible to get pregnant with PCOS.

Read on to hear what fertility advice Tania has for other women with PCOS who are right where she was.

Words by Tania Villalta

It was quickly determined that I had PCOS early on in my life. From the moment I got my period (at 12 years old), I noticed that I never got it regularly, like my sisters or friends did. My mom decided to take me to the gynaecologist and it was right there when I heard the words PCOS for the first time. We weren’t as educated on the subject back then, so we decided to go to several other fertility specialists just to confirm – they all came back with the same opinion.

They diagnosed me with an ultrasound by taking a look at my ovaries and noticing I had a lot of cysts (which is typical for people with PCOS), along with not having regular cycles and acne. Then they took blood tests which all concluded that I had PCOS.

Back then (and I’m talking ten years ago), I was just a teenager who did not investigate much into PCOS. I just went with what the fertility specialist said — to take birth control pills. He said that this way I would get a period every month, and if I didn’t, then in the future, all of the years of not having my period would have negative repercussions on my body.

I didn’t question it, and followed his fertility / PCOS advice. He also asked me to take a medicine called ‘metmorfin’ which is for insulin resistance and I did so willingly for a few months. This part was tough because it caused a lot of nausea and I lost a lot of weight, so I ended up not taking it for long because of it being too hard on my body. It wasn’t until many, many years later, when I actually wanted to become pregnant and stopped taking birth control, that I started to look up more natural ways to try to conceive without medication. This is when I managed to get pregnant. 

Becoming a mom had always been my number one dream in life. Knowing that it is harder to get pregnant with PCOS, the thought of not being able to have my baby haunted me ever since my teenage years, when I was diagnosed. Every month that I didn’t ovulate was rough, but in order to manage our expectations, my husband and I always thought that if nothing worked we would try IVF.

We love modern day medicine (AKA Western Medicine), which helps so many women achieve motherhood, and knowing we had other options helped keep the pressure under control. When I decided to stop focusing on pregnancy, we also decided to take a break from having a baby and travelled for a year or two. We decided that at the end of those years, we would definitely try IVF.

If only we had known that two months later I was going to be pregnant naturally, but that’s just how life works, I guess.

Related Article – Podcast – PCOS, Keto Diets and Nutrition for Conception with The Dietologist

Getting pregnant naturally with PCOS is possible, but it was definitely not easy. Ever since I was a teenager, fertility specialists told me it is harder for me to get pregnant with PCOS. Since I have no cycles, I do not ovulate, which meant that I could not plan sex or even know the days that I was most fertile (that’s if I ever was!)

Whether or not it is possible to get pregnant with PCOS was a big concern of mine. Once my husband and I were ready to try to have babies, I stopped taking birth control and I waited for around a year before we started fertility treatments (fertility supplements and drugs). I did five rounds of Clomid, but sadly it didn’t work for me and I had one chemical pregnancy in the five months of us trying to conceive.

Finally, when I decided to take my focus OFF getting pregnant, and instead on getting healthy and restoring my hormonal balance, in order to (someday) get a period, I started taking natural, fertility supplements for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. This was supposed to help me ovulate and start having periods again, but I got pregnant instead, before even getting a period! It was super surprising and such a blessing.

When I’d initially intended to get pregnant, some doctors had told me that once I stopped taking birth control it might take up to a year to get my cycles back, so I’d tried that at first, but they never came back. Then, I’d started taking metmorfin on its own, but I didn’t ovulate either. Clomid made me ovulate in one out of five cycles – I still didn’t manage to get pregnant. I’d begun to wonder if you can even get pregnant naturally with PCOS until I took a combination of natural supplements and fertility drugs including inositol, melatonin, VITEX, and a few others, and I then had a successful pregnancy. 

While I don’t think that shifting my focus away from getting pregnant was what made the biggest impact on my fertility, the change in pressure definitely contributed. Everything I tried had a hand in the success of getting pregnant. I definitely think that taking the pressure off can help — and I’ve seen so many stories of women that, once they stop trying, actually manage to get pregnant. I could understand why — there’s nothing more stressful than counting down the days, tracking your temperature to detect ovulation and monitoring every body change. Taking that pressure off helped with the mental part of pregnancy but I do think that you can also get pregnant naturally with PCOS, with the use of supplements, fertility drugs and whole body health too. 

I have always been super healthy. I have had balanced, whole food and healthy meals for years, but I would not say this was the ultimate change that caused my pregnancy. What I did in the last few months before getting pregnant, was take fertility supplements and change my mindset. I would say that the most important things that helped me to get pregnant were:

  • Focusing on changing my mindset to de-stress
  • Living a healthy lifestyle with the right nutrition
  • Taking fertility supplements

Some of the supplements I used to improve fertility were vitex, omega 3, inositol (in the 40:1 ratio), melatonin, dandelion root, folic acid and a good multivitamin. I made these part of my every-day routine and started implementing them little by little. Roughly six months before getting pregnant, I started with some of these and then every month I’d add around two more I had recently discovered, and so on, until I had a complete routine. I did sometimes feel very weird taking so many fertility supplements, but I thought it was worth a try and in the end it was.

Related Article – Male Supplements For Fertility – Why it’s Time to Swap Your Multivitamin for a Men’s Prenatal

The moment I realised I was pregnant is a crazy story. As I said before, we had decided to stop trying for at least two years and just focus on ‘us’. I decided to get a breast lift (since so much weight loss had caused a few body changes in me, I had been wanting one for a while!) I had taken a pregnancy test before the surgery and it was negative (which was no surprise).

After I had the surgery, a week later, I started feeling super weird, I just thought it was the effect of the surgery and the medication I was taking for the pain. Then on a whim, I decided to try one of the many ovulation detection tests I had at home (I had no pregnancy tests). Since I never ovulated, they NEVER came out positive, but this time it was very positive. I freaked out and thought, “whoa am I ovulating right now?!”

At night I took another one and it was just as positive, which is unusual because they are usually only positive for a few hours. I googled it and many women say that sometimes when you are pregnant, ovulation tests show up very positive. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so the next day I went out for a walk by myself (because I didn’t want to disappoint my husband if it was a negative) and I went to the mall for a pregnancy test – to my disbelief, it showed up positive immediately. I ran home to tell him of course!

It’s hard to say what the best advice would be for other women who are TTC with PCOS, because I don’t think there’s a fix-all solution. But, first of all, I would send you all hugs because I feel for you and I know how hard it is. I would stress the importance of being healthy and seeing an RE (fertility specialist), who is an expert on this syndrome, since each case is different. Some women hugely benefit from metmorfin (if they have insulin resistance and excess weight), while some others could make some tweaks to their diet and start exercising to improve fertility, others (like me), have already been practising these things but could try to make that pivotal change to their state of mind, while also taking natural fertility supplements.

Every case is different, but definitely something that can help everyone is being patient — take it one day at a time and look at it as a PROCESS because you can’t expect instant results, otherwise you will live your life frustrated.

Related Article – How to Increase Egg Quality and Sperm Quality Through Diet and Lifestyle

As Tania said, everybody is different and what works for her may not be a one solution fixes all. You should definitely always consult with your health professional before taking any supplements. But hopefully Tania’s inspiring story about conceiving naturally with PCOS, can give you the confidence and hope you need for your journey to a successful pregnancy. 

If you are interested in including fertility supplements into your daily routine, visit Beli for 15% off with code FHH15. 

If you feel inspired to make small tweaks to your fertility exercise routine or if you want to know which foods can help with fertility, our FHH App will more than suffice, as we have articles with tips from nutritionists and specialists, who can help point you in the right direction.

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