A diagnosis of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) has an effect on every aspect of your life, including how you eat and even the condition of your hair and skin. Given its wide-ranging reach, this medical condition can also affect your pregnancy by putting you at risk for a variety of different conditions. Educate yourself on some of the PCOS risks brought about by pregnancy so that you can better protect your health and the health of your unborn child.
Women with PCOS typically have insulin resistance, which can often put them in a constant state of prediabetes. This medical condition can also lead to weight gain and make losing the extra pounds an uphill battle. As a result, women with PCOS are often prediabetic and overweight at the time of pregnancy.
Both of these factors elevate the risk of developing gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy and then disappears shortly after birth. In addition to uncontrolled glucose levels, gestational diabetes increases your risk of preterm labor and the need for delivery by cesarean, as babies born by mothers with this condition are generally large.
Making sure your diet is full of healthy, balanced foods and drinks throughout your pregnancy can help reduce your risk even when other risk factors are present.
Elevated Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a serious medical condition that can affect the health and function of your organs, as well as those of the child you are carrying. While there are safe and effective medical treatments that can be used during pregnancy, the ultimate goal is to avoid the condition altogether.
The increase in weight, insulin resistance, and prediabetes that is often prevalent in women with PCOS increases the risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy. However, unlike gestational diabetes, the disease does not necessarily disappear after childbirth. Speak with your obstetrician to see if you can get clearance to exercise during pregnancy, as even a brisk walk several times a week can help lower your risk of elevated blood pressure.
You can also minimize your consumption of sodium in your diet by avoiding processed foods and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables to lower your risk of developing this condition.
Do you have concerns about how PCOS will affect your pregnancy? It's important to remember that every situation is different. However, you can bring all your concerns to your obstetrician.
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