Getting Pregnant with PCOS: Should You Take Prenatal Vitamins?
April 13, 2021If you are one of the 5 million women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and are trying to get pregnant, don’t give up.1 Simple lifestyle changes like watching your weight, eating healthy foods, and taking prenatal vitamins can help improve your chances of conceiving.
PCOS, a hormonal and metabolic disorder, is one of the most common reasons women of child-bearing age have trouble becoming pregnant. Some typical symptoms of PCOS include infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods, excess male hormone (androgen) levels, and enlarged ovaries containing follicles that may cause the ovaries not to function regularly. Thankfully, early diagnosis and managing your lifestyle may help reduce the risk of sustained complications such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and infertility.4
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Women who are overweight may be at a higher risk for developing PCOS. Obesity can worsen many of the reproductive and metabolic irregularities associated with PCOS. Sticking to your ideal daily intake of calories – which depends on your age, metabolism, and physical activity level – can help you lose weight. Just a 5 percent loss in weight can help improve symptoms of PCOS.2
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet plays a big role in reducing insulin resistance, common in most women with PCOS. A diet high in carbohydrates such as starchy and sugary foods can lead to insulin resistance, making it difficult to control your weight, which in turn can worsen your PCOS symptoms. The foods you should add to your diet to help lose weight and better manage PCOS include:
- High-fiber vegetables
- Lean proteins
- Anti-inflammatory foods and spices
Regular physical exercise not only helps women with PCOS improve insulin resistance and lose weight, but exercise has also been proven to improve ovulation.3 But regardless of your weight, regular exercise is good for any woman with PCOS who is trying to conceive. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Any physical activity can help, so pick what you enjoy the most. But always consult with your physician first. Activities to try include:
- Lift weights
Increase Your Intake of Key Nutrients
A healthy diet is the best way to get the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs during pregnancy, but prenatal vitamins can help improve your chances of fertility with PCOS by filling nutritional gaps. A good prenatal vitamin should include the nutrients you need the most. Those nutrients include:
- Folic acid, which should be taken before and early in pregnancy to help prevent neural tube defects.5
- Vitamin D, which helps your baby build and maintain strong bones.5
- Iron, which promotes healthy development of baby’s heart, lungs, and muscles and can help prevent anemia in you and your baby.5
- DHA and EPA, which boost brain and heart function for you and your baby.6
- Calcium, which keeps your bones strong before, during, and after pregnancy.5
Prenate® Vitamin Family
This post is brought to you by the Prenate® Vitamin Family, a line of prescription prenatal supplements designed to enhance preconception, prenatal, and postpartum nutrition in women. Talk with your doctor about how taking a daily prescription prenatal or postnatal vitamin could help support a healthy pregnancy and postpartum wellness.