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PCOS and pregnancy: treating the challenges beyond conception

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JOCELYN HAS BEEN FEATURED ON:

In my clinic in Whitehorse, I treat many women with PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome), where high insulin levels throw off hormone levels – in particular increased testosterone, which leads to fertility challenges. I often use a medication called Metformin to help regulate blood sugars and promote ovulation with PCOS patients, alongside lower-carb dietary changes, acupuncture and hormone-balancing treatments.

The challenges with PCOS don’t end at conception, however. The risk of developing gestational diabetes (GDM) in pregnancy is another real concern that I address in more detail in my online program, including dietary interventions and safe nutrient supplementation for PCOS and non-PCOS women alike. Metformin comes in here again as an option I offer to my patients, since it is a Category B drug in pregnancy and has been show to help reduce the risk of developing GDM in PCOS pregnancies.

On a related note, a new meta-analysis has demonstrated another benefit of using Metformin in pregnancy:  reducing pre-eclampsia, the pregnancy complication where high maternal blood pressure can result in both maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. The risk of pre-eclampsia increases almost three times in obese women and over four times in women with glucose intolerance – of particular concern for women with PCOS and/or a history of glucose intolerance.

Seeing these clear connections drawn between hormonal imbalances like PCOS, blood sugar regulation, and pre-eclampsia make it all the more important to treat these issues holistically during pregnancy, as part of an integrative program that can include prescription medications in addition to other naturopathic strategies.

I hope you have found this helpful – let me know if you have any questions!

If you’re hungry for more evidence-based information in your pregnancy, sign up for my free webinar7 Pregnancy Myths Debunked – and get the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy and a thriving baby.

And if you are a care-provider looking for evidence-based resources for your pregnant patients, please get in touch with us at : support@myhealthypregnancyplan.com.

In health,

Dr Jocelyn Land-Murphy, ND

Terra Life

Disclaimer: The information and content provided is for general educational and informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore. Please consult the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for full details.

References: 

De Jager, J. et al. (2010). Long term treatment with metformin in patients with type 2 diabetes and risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency: randomized placebo controlled trial. British Medical Journal, 340: c2181.

Feig, D. (2018). Meta-analysis suggests that metformin may reduce pre-eclampsia compared with insulin use during pregnancy. British Medical Journal, 2018-110975.

Garrison, A. (2015). Screening, diagnosis, and management of gestational diabetes mellitus. American Family Physician, 91(7) :460 – 467.

Nainggolan, L. (2013). ACOG issues new practice bulletin on gestational diabetes. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 122: 406 – 416.

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