Some changes to your diet and lifestyle could greatly improve your chances of becoming pregnant!
The Relationship Between Weight, PCOS, and Fertility
To start, insulin resistance presents a problem for fertility regardless of whether a woman has PCOS or not. Insulin resistance is also a known risk factor for complications like preeclampsia and preterm delivery. If you are currently overweight, losing as little as 5-10% of body weight can balance your hormones, increase your odds of conceiving and help reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes. If you have had difficulty conceiving, one of the most important things you can do is to get any underlying insulin resistance under control to improve the quality of your eggs during ovulation.
Taking the Steps Toward a Healthy Pregnancy
Besides taking a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin, abstaining from unsafe substances, and watching caffeine intake, what are some other PCOS-specific steps that improve fertility and encourage a healthy pregnancy?
1. Know your Numbers
If you have diabetes, you want your blood glucose levels to be as close to normal as possible to reduce the risk of your baby developing any birth defects in the first trimester
2. Evaluate Your Weight
Ideally, you want your BMI to fall between 20 and 24.9. If a BMI below 25 seems difficult, don’t stress! Research has shown that even modest weight lost can improve fertility in women with PCOS.
3. Move it!
Exercise naturally helps improve the body’s insulin sensitivity. During exercise, your body burns glycogen, a form of glucose stored in muscles. After exercise, the muscles restore their glycogen stores with glucose from the bloodstream. The more glycogen that is burned during exercise, the longer the body’s insulin sensitivity is improved
4. Become Familiar with Pregnancy Weight Gain (BMI Values)
- Less than 18.5 (underweight), weight gain range is between 28-40 pounds
- Between 18.5 – 24.9 (normal weight) weight gain range is between 25-35 pounds
- Between 25 – 29.9 (overweight) weight gain range is between 15-25 pounds
- BMI greater than 30 (obese) weight gain range is between 11 – 20 pounds
For information on foods to boost fertility, click here.
For more information about PCOS or for information about a personalized meal plan, visit us at www.rbitzer.com
Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients. Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.