What is PCOS?
PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is when the hormone levels are out of balance in the female body. This leads to the ovaries not releasing an egg on a regular basis but instead develop several egg follicles which end up as cysts on the ovary. The cysts aren't harmful but they do lead to hormonal imbalances. Women with PCOS often experience anovulatory cycles, cycles where no egg gets released.
When there is no ovulation, the hormone progesterone is not made and without progesterone, a woman's menstruation is irregular or absent. PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility and is often diagnosed as the woman struggles with conceiving.
What causes it?
Everyone has testosterone in their body, both men, and women - although men have a higher amount. For a person with PCOS, there’s extra testosterone in the body which may cause weight gain, breakouts, increased bodily hair, etc. It may also cause beard growth for women.
Photo Credit FertilityChef
How will Natural Cycles work for you with PCOS?
For those of you that have PCOS, Natural Cycles will help you visualize and track your cycles with basal body temperature. It will capture whether or not you have ovulated, and how long your cycles are, which is useful information to start discussions about with your doctor or fertility clinic. Please note that it is quite common to have "false positive" LH tests around your predicted ovulation day, so in order to confirm that ovulation has happened there must be a rise in temperature.
You will have many red (for Prevent) or brown (for Plan) days if you use Natural Cycles with PCOS, as you’re not ovulating very often. Condoms will be needed during sex on all red days for a Prevent user, so it’s good to keep that in mind if you wish to use Natural Cycles. The app’s possibility to detect ovulation remains the same, but green days will only be given after ovulation. It may also be difficult for the app to give a good prognosis for the coming cycles, which affects Plan users.
How will the basal body temperature act?
Your basal body temperature will remain low during your cycle, so it should be below your cover line. When/if ovulation occurs, the basal body temperature will increase to above the cover line where it'll remain until your period shows up. Read more about how the temperature looks throughout the cycle here.