PCOS Pregnancy Rate: What are the Chances of Getting Pregnant?

PCOS Pregnancy Rate

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 1 out of 10 women of reproductive age and can make one ovulate irregularly. 


Because ovulation is a key factor when trying to conceive, some women with PCOS may have a harder time getting pregnant than people without the condition.


As such, naturally conceiving and carrying a child to term is a common concern among women with PCOS. 


This is not to say, however, that falling pregnant naturally is impossible when you have PCOS. 


With a proper diet, exercise, and symptom management, you can definitely take charge of your fertility with PCOS.

How Does PCOS Affect Fertility?

Let’s take a look at several ways that PCOS may affect fertility:

Irregular Menstrual Cycles and Anovulation

Excess androgens may cause irregular menses, which typically translates into roughly nine menses a year (instead of the usual twelve). 


Sometimes, a woman with PCOS may not have a period at all, even within a full year. 


Cycles that last 35 days or more may also mean irregular menstrual cycles.


Anovulation, or ovulatory dysfunction, is part of the Rotterdam criteria. This set of criteria is used to diagnose PCOS medically. 


Anovulation technically means that the ovum, or egg, has failed to detach from the ovary during the menstrual cycle.


Ovulation health is important, especially when you have PCOS. 


Regular ovulation raises your chances of naturally falling pregnant because each time you ovulate, an egg is released from your ovary and moves down the fallopian tube where it stays for an entire day.


It then waits to be fertilized, which can result in pregnancy. 


This is why irregular periods and not ovulating at all can make natural conception pretty challenging.


However, there are still many ways to support your fertility naturally and encourage your body to ovulate regularly. These include taking PCOS supplements, tweaking your diet and lifestyle, and managing stress.

Hormonal Imbalances and Elevated Androgen Levels

If you have PCOS, chances are high that your body is also producing excess androgens. 


Androgens cause PCOS symptoms like acne, irregular periods, excess facial hair, and male pattern hair loss. 


A surplus of androgens may also cause problems with ovulation, giving rise to fertility issues.


Those looking to fall pregnant naturally with PCOS have to take certain steps to manage their symptoms and improve their fertility. 


For example, you may have an overabundance of testosterone and androgens with PCOS, so an androgen-blocking supplement may help. 


It all boils down to your PCOS root cause, as your condition may manifest as varying symptoms.

Insulin Resistance and its Role in Fertility

Your body may also produce excess testosterone if you have high insulin levels. 


Insulin resistance is one of the top factors that affect PCOS symptoms. 


How it works is that the pancreas produces insulin to regulate blood sugar. However, when there’s too much sugar, you can develop insulin resistance. 


This will, in turn, encourage the ovaries to produce excess androgens.


High levels of insulin have been shown to elevate the risk of pregnancy complications. 


Studies show a 24% higher risk of preeclampsia and a 40% higher risk of gestational diabetes in women with high insulin levels. 


As such, improving your insulin resistance can also enhance your chances of falling pregnant naturally and having fewer pregnancy complications.

What are the Statistics on PCOS and Pregnancy Rates?

Studies show that around 70% of women with PCOS face fertility challenges, leaving a 30% pregnancy rate. 


Studies also show that with IVF, the chances of getting pregnant with PCOS rise by about 20% to 40%.


Fertility issues may arise when symptoms are unaddressed, and one is not ovulating regularly. 


In some cases, there may not be enough progesterone to support the early stages of pregnancy, as well.


Aside from having more frequent unprotected intercourse, women trying to conceive with PCOS can also monitor their most fertile days—provided they are ovulating regularly. 


For this reason, the number one priority when trying to conceive is learning to restore your natural fertility and supporting healthy ovulation monthly.

Pregnancy Rates in Women with PCOS Vs. Women Without PCOS

There’s an interesting finding regarding pregnancy rates and age when you have PCOS. 


Generally, younger women find it biologically easier to get pregnant, even with PCOS. 


However, since there are many factors to consider when trying to conceive with PCOS, a lot of older women with well-managed PCOS symptoms tend to have higher pregnancy rates.


Scientific data shows that fertility naturally wanes from age 24 to 36, but there have also been higher pregnancy rates in age groups of 35 to 39. 


This is compared to biologically “more fertile” peers aged 25 to 29. 


According to researchers, this is because women in the 35 to 39 age group trying to conceive may already have a better handle on their fertility and health.


In short, they already know how to incorporate healthy habits into their lifestyle and support their fertility naturally.


This highlights how managing PCOS symptoms and supporting overall health is possible at any age. 


In the research mentioned above, scholars noted how the women who fell pregnant despite being older “beat the odds” dictated by natural fertility.


Interestingly, it’s because they did the following:


  • Improved their overall health

  • Focused on getting a regular cycle

  • Tracked their fertility

  • Predicted ovulation dates

  • Reduced smoking and drinking

The Importance of an Individualized Assessment

PCOS can have different root causes, so there’s really no one-size-fits-all approach to managing one’s symptoms.


PCOS is an endocrine system disorder, and there are many different PCOS subtypes that require a targeted approach:


  • Inflammatory PCOS: Low-grade chronic inflammation can be caused by allergies, gut issues, chronic infections, and intolerances. Inflammation can also make PCOS symptoms worse.

  • Insulin-resistant PCOS: This is the root cause of about 80% of PCOS cases. High insulin levels cause the ovaries to produce androgens in excess, giving rise to PCOS symptoms.

  • Post-pill PCOS: If you’ve taken contraceptives for PCOS symptoms, stopping contraceptives when you’re ready to conceive can create a surge of androgens and make PCOS symptoms worse temporarily.

  • Adrenal PCOS: The adrenal androgen DHEA-s may be present in higher levels as an abnormal response to stress hormones in those with PCOS.

How to Assess Your Personal Fertility Status

Here are several ways through which you can assess your fertility:

1. Track Your Menstrual Cycle

Tracking your menstrual cycle is a priority if you’re trying to get pregnant. You can start by:

Using Fertility Tracking Apps and Tools

A period and ovulation tracking app can help you identify the best days to conceive. 


Studies show that 90% of couples get pregnant within a year of actively trying, so using a fertility app can help you optimize your ovulation days when the likelihood of conception is at its highest. 


Apps like Flo, Glow, and Clue are all highly rated for this purpose.

Charting Basal Body Temperature

The basal body temperature (BBT) is your body’s lowest temperature within 24 hours. 


In short, it’s your body’s temperature while at rest. 


Per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, BBT becomes slightly elevated by 0.5 to 1.0 degrees Fahrenheit when ovulating.

2. Get Your Hormones Tested

Hormone testing is another way to monitor the optimal times to try conceiving.

Understanding Hormone Tests

The FSH test measures how much follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is in your blood. 


FSH helps control the menstrual cycle, signals the growth of eggs in the ovaries, and helps them prepare for ovulation.


The LH test, or luteinizing hormone test, is an ovulation test that can provide insight into your fertile window so you know the optimal days to get pregnant. 


The AMH test, or Anti-Mullerian Hormone Test, checks the anti-mullerian hormone levels.


This hormone corresponds to your egg count and may help you determine your ovarian reserve (how many eggs are in your ovaries) if you’re trying to conceive.

Interpretation of Hormone Levels in PCOS

Studies show that women with PCOS usually have an AMH level of 3.8–5 ng/mL, indicating fertility issues and problems with ovulation. 

Additionally, many women with PCOS also tend to have abnormal ratios of FSH to LH. Whereas the normal ratio is 1:1, in women with PCOS, this can be 2:1 or 3:1.

Both hormones are typically in the ranges of 4 to 8 in fertile women without PCOS. 

However, LH may rise to 10 to 20 in those with PCOS, throwing off the delicate ratio between the two. 

This can cause issues as both hormones need to exist at certain levels and times during the cycle to ensure the proper development of follicles and eggs.

3. Predict and Monitor Ovulation

There are also several ways you can predict and monitor ovulation to increase your chances of falling pregnant naturally:

Home Ovulation Kits

An ovulation home test is used by women to help determine the time in the menstrual cycle when getting pregnant is most likely.


The test detects a rise in luteinizing hormone (LH) in the urine. An increase in this hormone signals the ovary to release the egg. 


Women often use this at-home test to help predict when an egg release is likely, as this is when pregnancy is most likely to occur.


These kits can be bought at most drug stores.

Ultrasound Monitoring

A series of vaginal scans done via ultrasound can be used to confirm ovulation and specifically identify when a follicle has ruptured and released an egg. 


This is also called follicle tracking and is typically used to determine the optimal times to have intercourse.

How to Improve Your Chances of Pregnancy with PCOS

PCOS presents fertility issues, but it doesn’t make pregnancy impossible. 

With the right lifestyle changes, you can manage your symptoms and raise your chances of falling pregnant naturally, even with PCOS.

Dietary Recommendations

Diet has a significant effect on PCOS symptoms, especially regarding hormone balance and ovulation. 


Studies indicate a connection between diet and fertility and that a healthy diet can support ovulation, regulate hormones, and reduce inflammation.


An ideal PCOS fertility diet includes vegetables, fruits, healthy protein, gentle starches that won’t spike your insulin, and fiber. 


A low-glycemic index (GI) diet can also benefit women with PCOS, as low-GI foods improve insulin resistance. 


Low GI diets can also speed up weight loss and improve ovulation cycles.

Vitamins and Supplements

If you have PCOS, you can benefit from natural supplementation designed to support your health and fertility. 


Nourished Natural Health has a curated supplement line for women with PCOS to address each of the PCOS root causes.


  • Insulin Resistant PCOS Bundle: This has the Androgen Blocker, PCOS Blood Sugar Balance, and Cycle Regulate + Ovulate to help address blood sugar levels, clarify skin, speed up your metabolism, and normalize androgen levels. The supplements in this bundle work synergistically to help regulate your cycle and support a healthy weight if you have insulin-resistant PCOS.

  • Inflammatory PCOS Bundle: Has the Androgen Blocker, Anti-Inflame + Mood, and Cycle Regulate + Ovulate supplements to help address inflammatory PCOS. The supplements work together to help regulate your cycle and improve egg quality, all while naturally reducing unhealthy inflammation levels.

  • Adrenal PCOS Bundle: This bundle has the Androgen Blocker Plus, Calm + Destress Ashwagandha, and Cycle Regulate + Ovulate 40:1 Inositol supplements to naturally stabilize blood sugar and androgen levels, as well as reduce stress and anxiety.

  • Post-pill PCOS Bundle: This contains a combination of the Cycle Regulate + Ovulate supplements, Androgen Blocker, and Hormone Detox + Digestion supplements for women dealing with post-pill flare-ups.

Exercise and Stress Management

Regular exercise can help improve fertility and treat PCOS symptoms. 


Losing even just 5% to 10% of body weight can help improve hormone health, lower insulin resistance, and restore ovulation. 


While there’s no “PCOS exercise,” the best option is finding a mix of activities that suit your interests and fitness level to stay consistent.


Managing stress is also crucial, as stress can raise inflammation levels. 


Long-term stress is also harmful to your hormones and fertility, as it triggers increases in insulin and worsens PCOS symptoms. 


Proper stress management through exercise, meditation, mindfulness, and engaging in hobbies helps improve overall health and fertility.

Sleep Hygiene

Sleep deprivation can hurt your health, especially when you have PCOS. 


It interrupts your cells’ responsiveness to insulin, worsens inflammation, and increases stress levels. 


Poor sleep can spike insulin resistance and, you guessed it—worsen your PCOS symptoms.

Medical Treatments

Women with PCOS may also be advised to take medications or undergo procedures like the following to help them get pregnant:

  • Clomiphene

  • Metformin

  • Letrozole

  • Gonadotropins

  • Egg freezing

  • In vitro fertilization (IVF)

Surgical Interventions

There are also minor surgical procedures that can be done to address PCOS fertility. 


Laparoscopic ovarian drilling (LOD) is typically done when someone with PCOS is no longer responding to medicine.


Under general anesthesia, the ovaries are surgically treated with a laser to destroy androgen-producing tissues.


Meanwhile, an ovarian block resection involves removing part of the ovary surgically to help regulate the menstrual cycle and restore ovulation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get pregnant with PCOS without medical intervention?

Yes, it’s possible. 


There are ways to naturally manage your PCOS symptoms, especially if you know your root cause. 


By improving your lifestyle and overall health, you can improve your fertility and get pregnant naturally.

What are the chances of natural conception if I have PCOS?

The rate of natural conception with PCOS is 30%, but this increases by 20% to 40% with IVF. 


However, naturally managing PCOS symptoms to improve fertility is also something a lot of women have found very effective in raising the chances of pregnancy.

What are the first steps to take if I have PCOS and want to conceive?

The first step is finding out your unique root cause and tweaking your lifestyle to help your body heal naturally. 


You can find Nourished Natural Health bundles for every root cause, as well as individual supplements for various concerns.

What supplements are recommended for women with PCOS trying to conceive?

It depends on what type of PCOS you have. 


The Androgen Blocker, PCOS Blood Sugar Balance, and Cycle Regulate + Ovulate supplements can help address blood sugar levels, normalize androgen levels, and support your cycle right off the bat. 


However, before beginning any new products (especially if you are TTC or pregnant) we suggest you show the ingredient list to your healthcare provider for approval so that they are able to take into consideration your unique needs.

How long should I try to conceive before seeking medical help?

Around 90% of couples fall pregnant within a year of trying, so it would probably be a good idea to consult with your provider the moment you decide to start trying to conceive and check in regularly to make sure that everything is in order.

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PCOS? Which Type Do You Have?

About The Author - Tamika Woods

Tamika Woods | PCOS Author | Nourished Natural Health
Tamika Woods, Clinical Nutritionist (B.HS; B.Ed), Bestselling Author

For a decade, Tamika battled chronic acne, irregular cycles, mood swings, hair loss, painful periods, severe digestive issues and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). You name it - she's been there!

Tam was finally able to clear her skin, regulate her cycle, be free of period pain and fall pregnant naturally with her daughter in 2020. It took Tam 10 years and tens of thousands of dollars in tertiary education to get the answers she needed to get better.

She didn’t want other women to suffer as long as she did which is why she has dedicated her life to helping women in the same position as she was.

Tam helps women interpret what their bodies are trying to communicate through frustrating symptoms, and then develop a step-by-step roadmap to find balance again. She's here to help you get on track!

Tamika Woods is the author of the Amazon best seller PCOS Repair Protocol. She holds a Bachelor of Health Science degree (Nutritional Medicine) as well as a Bachelor of Education, graduating with Honours in both.

She is a certified Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) Educator and a certified member of the Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA).

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Get evidence-based nutritionist & naturopath hormone support direct to your inbox. Get my 50+ page PCOS repair guide instantly. No spam, ever!

About The Author - Tamika Woods

Tamika Woods | PCOS Author | Nourished Natural Health
Tamika Woods, Clinical Nutritionist (B.HS; B.Ed), Bestselling Author

For a decade, Tamika battled chronic acne, irregular cycles, mood swings, hair loss, painful periods, severe digestive issues and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). You name it - she's been there!

Tam was finally able to clear her skin, regulate her cycle, be free of period pain and fall pregnant naturally with her daughter in 2020. It took Tam 10 years and tens of thousands of dollars in tertiary education to get the answers she needed to get better.

She didn’t want other women to suffer as long as she did which is why she has dedicated her life to helping women in the same position as she was.

Tam helps women interpret what their bodies are trying to communicate through frustrating symptoms, and then develop a step-by-step roadmap to find balance again. She's here to help you get on track!

Tamika Woods is the author of the Amazon best seller PCOS Repair Protocol. She holds a Bachelor of Health Science degree (Nutritional Medicine) as well as a Bachelor of Education, graduating with Honours in both.

She is a certified Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) Educator and a certified member of the Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA).

Related Products

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Nourished Period + PMS Repair
$29.00
Sale Off
Nourished Hormone Detox + Digestion - Nourished Natural Health
$29.00