5 Steps to Get Pregnant If You Have PCOS

If you have PCOS, there’s a good chance your doctor has told you you may have difficulty becoming pregnant. And while it’s true that fertility statistics surrounding women with PCOS can be disheartening, it doesn’t tell the whole story. 

Despite the concerning statistics, you can become pregnant with PCOS, and experience a healthy pregnancy. There are 5 basic steps for getting pregnant with PCOS:

  • Discontinue birth control
  • Support healthy hormone balance
  • Balance your blood sugar
  • Get ovulation back
  • Add nutrients & supplements your body is missing

1. The First Step To Get Pregnant with PCOS is Stopping Birth Control

It should probably come as no surprise that if you want to get pregnant, you first have to stop using birth control. You’ll want to speak with your doctor about discontinuing a pill, or removing things like an IUD if you have one. 

Many women who have PCOS begin taking birth control for reasons other than preventing pregnancy–like PMS, acne, weight gain–and these initial symptoms may pop back up after discontinuing your birth control.

Contrary to popular belief, hormonal contraceptives don’t actually regulate your cycle (or your hormones), so when you stop taking it, those underlying issues that were causing your initial symptoms are likely still present. It may take some time for your period to come back and for your hormones to regain their baseline.

The following tips can help you both balance your hormones after stopping birth control and support your efforts for a healthy pregnancy if you have PCOS.

Download FREE The PCOS Digital Guide. Get diet tips, exercise recommendations, and ways to promote healthy hormone balance.

2. Balance Blood Sugar

Having a healthy blood sugar balance is key for getting pregnant if you have PCOS, and you may need to pay extra attention to this balance. 

Blood sugar is a measurement of glucose in your bloodstream. It rises after you eat, and goes down as your cells use the glucose for energy. But the glucose needs a helper to make it inside the cell–and insulin is like the key that allows glucose to open the door. 

With PCOS, I often see insulin resistance, where insulin levels remain too high for too long, because the cells aren’t responding to their message. 

Why is this a problem? 

High levels of insulin can interfere with ovulation. Basically, too much insulin causes the ovaries to produce more testosterone than normal, which interferes with healthy follicle development (where eggs are made in the ovaries) and prevents ovulation. Without ovulation, pregnancy cannot occur.

Related: Natural Solutions for PCOS

So how can you make sure a blood sugar imbalance isn’t affecting ovulation? You might start with reducing inflammation.

Is inflammation to blame for blood sugar imbalance?

Recent evidence suggests that inflammation may actually cause the insulin resistance that’s common with PCOS, rather than insulin resistance being a result of PCOS itself (1).

We already know that chronic inflammation causes blood sugar imbalance. Everything from an underlying infection to high rates of stress contributes to this kind of inflammation.

Inflammation is a big problem for your blood sugar because it makes it harder for insulin to do its job–which is to allow sugar inside the cell to use as energy. Now, your blood sugar is higher much longer than normal. Your body notices this and tries to pump out more insulin to fix the issue. 

Except when your cells are constantly hounded with insulin, they’re less likely to respond to its message. Like a spam call over and over again. Eventually, they just stop picking up.  

If insulin can’t do its job properly, this triggers a condition known as insulin resistance, and it increases risks for diabetes and other metabolic problems.

Find your go-to anti-inflammatory foods: 9 Anti-Inflammatory Recipes Worth Trying

3. Getting Ovulation Back with PCOS

You need to ovulate in order to become pregnant, but with PCOS your ovaries may not be releasing an egg every cycle, which is the primary act of ovulation.

In normal ovulation, an egg grows in a tiny sac in the ovaries. These are called follicles. When ovulation occurs, these follicles break open and release the egg. But for those with PCOS, due to hormonal changes in the ovaries, these follicles cannot break open to release the egg. This is why those with PCOS experience irregular or absent periods.

There are several ways you can support healthy ovulation. Keeping blood sugar balanced reduces high insulin levels that ramp up testosterone production in the ovaries. If we can reduce testosterone production in the ovaries, you’ll be much more likely to ovulate.

Read more: 6 Easy PCOS Diet Recipes

Nutrients helpful for ovulation include (2):

  • Zinc
  • B Vitamins (especially B6, folate, and B12)
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium 

Other helpful behaviors to encourage ovulation are:

Get regular exercise – Daily movement (even if it’s moderate-to-low intensity) can help reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity. Both of these things are important for healthy ovulation and getting pregnant.

Reduce stress – In times of stress, your body will produce more stress hormones like cortisol instead of fertility hormones like progesterone (2). Having activities that help you relax is incredibly important for your overall health and fertility.

Eat healthy fats – Healthy dietary fats not only help balance blood sugar, but they support healthy hormone production as well (2). Things like grass fed meat, fish, coconut and coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds, and avocado are all great sources of fats to include.

4. Balance Hormones Like Estrogen, Testosterone, and Progesterone

It’s common to have a hormone imbalance secondary to PCOS. It’s not usual to experience symptoms of estrogen dominance, as well as signs of high androgens like excess body hair and acne breakouts. 

Related: Signs of Estrogen Dominance + How to Balance Hormones

After ovulation, progesterone rises as a result of a structure formed called the corpus luteum. The trouble is, if you don’t ovulate, this special tissue isn’t present and your body can’t make enough progesterone to sustain a pregnancy. One common symptom of PCOS is a lack of ovulation, and therefore much lower progesterone levels. 

Here’s how to support a healthy hormone balance to improve chances of becoming pregnant with PCOS:

  • Eat an anti-inflammatory diet: Plenty of nutrient-dense veggies, healthy omega-3 fats, and quality protein will serve your blood sugar and hormone balance best. 
  • Keep blood sugar balanced: Since insulin dysregulation is at the heart of PCOS, aim for fiber-rich carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables, and legumes, and eat protein and fat with each meal and snack.
  • Exercise: As mentioned above, movement helps decrease inflammation, improve stress markers, and maintain a healthy response to insulin.
  • Work on gut health: The microbiome plays a key role in healthy hormones.

5. Supplements that can support ovulation and pregnancy if you have PCOS

There’s no replacement for quality nutrition to support hormone balance and fertility, but there are several herbs, vitamins, and minerals that promote hormone balance and may help you become pregnant with PCOS. 

Berberine supports a healthy response to insulin, keeping blood sugar balanced and healthy (3).

Magnesium helps mediate metabolic syndrome, which is not uncommon in PCOS (4).

Vitex, or chaste tree, helps shift the ratio of estrogen and progesterone in favor of progesterone, creating more comfortable periods and lessening symptoms of PMS like cramps and tender breasts (5). 

Myo-inositol reduces androgens, supports ovarian function, and insulin sensitivity (6,7).

Maca root helps to support estrogen production, energy, and vitality

Omega-3 is powerful for reducing inflammation and promoting healthy cholesterol levels (8). 

Hormone Helper contains both maca and myo-inositol for comprehensive hormone support to balance estrogen and progesterone, and increase fertility.

Getting Pregnant with PCOS

Getting pregnant with PCOS involves decreasing systemic inflammation and maintaining a healthy blood sugar balance which can interfere with ovulation and pregnancy. With the right foods, lifestyle changes, and addressing nutrient deficiencies you can support healthy hormones and ovarian function for conception.

A healthy pregnancy when you have PCOS is possible, and it’s well within your power to manage PCOS symptoms holistically with the right support. I encourage you to reach out to a qualified holistic practitioner to set in motion diet, lifestyle, and leverage the right supplements that support fertility and pregnancy with PCOS.



  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20708064/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6568019/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2410097/ 
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4198467/ 
  5. https://www.ccnm.edu/sites/default/files/Aucoin-Vitex-low-progresterone-pregnancy-case-report-AJHNM.pdf
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18335328 
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17952759
  8. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15548627.2017.1345411