Pregnant Women Need to Watch Their Hormones

Polycystic ovary syndrome mothers need extra care

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common hormonal disorder, are more likely to experience problems in pregnancy - and their babies will experience problems after birth - says a new study.

If you’ve been diagnosed with this disorder and are expecting, you should be monitored closely by your doctors to make sure you and your baby are healthy.

The researchers found that mothers with the condition were more likely to experience pregnancy-related high blood pressure (preeclampsia) and premature delivery, and faced a doubled risk for developing gestational diabetes.

Also, the babies they delivered were typically large (for the baby's age) and had an increased risk for breathing problems.

"Women with PCOS should receive extra care during pregnancy."

The researchers note that women with PCOS are often obese and more likely to use assisted reproductive measures, such as fertility treatment. The researchers say that reproductive measures did not cause problems during pregnancy and after birth (in the babies). The study looked at records of 3,787 Swedish mothers with PCOS and more than 1 million mothers without the condition.

The adverse health effects were also not attributed to obesity or age. The study authors think that more answers may surface if further research is done on glucose control, hormones and medical care in women with PCOS.

Earlier studies have linked premature birth to reproductive measures, obesity and PCOS.

PCOS affects about 5-15% of women of reproductive age, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Doctors aren’t sure what causes the disorder, but they believe too much insulin, inflammation and family history of the disease may play a role. Symptoms include difficulty getting pregnant, unexplained weight gain, irregular menstrual cycle and excess facial and body hair.

This clilnical study was published in the British Medical Journal.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 13, 2011
Last Updated:
October 16, 2011