Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects a woman's menstrual cycle, fertility, hormones, insulin production, circulatory system, and appearance. Women have both male and female hormones, but women who have PCOS have higher levels of male hormones and experience irregular or absent menstrual cycles and small-fluid filled cysts on their ovaries. It is estimated that 5% to 10% of women who are of child bearing age have PCOS.
When you have PCOS, it changes the hormonal pathways in your body that produce eggs and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. The three most important reasons why becoming pregnant, or staying pregnant may be more challenging for women with PCOS are: