Here are the top 4 risks to discuss with your doctor:
#1:Gestational Diabetes (GD):
Only pregnant women get this variety of diabetes which presents at about 20 weeks in pregnancy and disappears afterward. Since many women with PCOS already have issues with insulin, you may be at increased risk. If not controlled, GD can cause significant problems for mother and fetus such as very high birth weight and need for a caesarean section. Proper medical and nutritional management may not prevent gestational diabetes, but it can greatly lessen the resulting complications.
Even before pregnancy, many women with PCOS have high blood pressure. There are several interconnected risks for women in this situation. Preeclampsia is a sudden increase in blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy and can affect the mother’s liver, brain and kidneys. Unchecked, it can turn into eclampsia which causes organ damage, seizures, or even death.
Miscarriage is a very common result of pregnancy for all women, possibly as high as 25% of all pregnancies. For women with PCOS, that rate may be closer to 45%. Reasons for miscarriage are numerous, and many of them are out of a mother’s control. Environmental, immunological, anatomical, genetic and lifestyle (smoking, alcohol or drug use) factors are all common causes. Two more causes are of particular concern to women with PCOS- progesterone and folate/MTHFR. Progesterone– Many women with PCOS have low levels of progesterone in their system. This is problematic because progesterone is a vital element in preparing the uterus to attach a fertilized egg. If you have deficient progesterone, you may suffer early term miscarriages because your uterus is not prepared to sustain the fetus. Some studies show that progesterone supplementation between 7-10 weeks of pregnancy may help with implantation and maintaining pregnancy. Folate/MTHFR– I have written before about the important difference between folic acid and folate, but pregnancy is an important time to revisit this topic
#4: Hypothyroid Complications:
Many women with PCOS have thyroid issues as well. Ideally, these conditions are diagnosed before pregnancy since many serious complications can arise. Specifically, hypothyroidism increases the risk of pregnancy complications such as miscarriage, still birth, infertility, maternal anemia, pre-eclampsia, placental abruption, postpartum hemorrhage, premature delivery, low birth weight and deficits in intellectual development in infants. Careful testing and monitoring throughout pregnancy is required. For more information | Read More on PCOS Diva