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Although a particular diet has not been proven to be effective in helping women with PCOS become pregnant, there are many studies that have shown healthy weight loss can help. Research has shown that losing 5 to 10% of your current body weight, if you are overweight, can help with ovulation return and may even lead to pregnancy. Research shows that losing just 5 to 10% of your current weight if you’re overweight, can help with ovulation return and even lead to pregnancy.

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Women with PCOS have also reported higher pregnancy rates through exercise. It’s important to not do too much because too much exercise can harm your pregnancy efforts. Three times per week, thirty minutes of aerobic exercise should be sufficient. However, consult your doctor for the best exercise program.

It is important that you stick to a diet when choosing a diet plan. You won’t be able to stick to a restrictive diet or consult detailed lists of healthy and unhealthy foods. It doesn’t hurt to try a low-GI diet if it suits your needs and you are able to stick with it. If you don’t feel comfortable following a low-calorie, low-fat diet, you can still try it. Research has shown that losing excess weight in a healthy manner is the best way to achieve fertility with PCOS.

What foods to avoid and what types of food you should eat when you have PCOS

A key component of a PCOS treatment program is diet. To improve your PCOS symptoms and to maintain or attain a healthy weight, you should eat more of the expert-recommended food group.

What is PCOS?

PCOS refers to a condition where women suffer from an imbalance in their reproductive hormones. Often, PCOS results from an overproduction of testosterone and an underproduction of estrogen. Because the body doesn’t experience regular ovulation, eggs that aren’t properly released every month often swell around the ovaries and form cysts.

The body’s estrogen receptors may not work correctly, and its entire metabolic system could be affected. This can impact everything from insulin processing to good bacteria.


These healthy foods can reduce inflammation and keep blood sugar levels under control. They also help to maintain a healthy weight and minimize the unpleasant side effects of PCOS.


A high fiber diet has many benefits for women with PCOS. These include lower insulin levels and antioxidants that fight inflammation and better bacteria. Many high-fiber foods have prebiotics that feeds probiotics and helps to sustain your gut microbiome.

These high-fiber foods are examples of a PCOS diet:

  • The seeds (chia, flax, and sunflower seeds)
  • Black beans, lentils, and chickpeas are all legumes
  • Berries (raspberries and blackberries, blueberries, etc.)
  • Whole grains (bulgur, quinoa and brown rice, whole oatmeal)


Lean protein is better than meat high in saturated fat like red meat, cured meats, and fried meats. This will help you lose weight and keep you fuller for longer. When it comes to protein sources, I recommend eating 2 to 3 portions of fish per week (avoiding fish high in mercury), and chicken (grilled or baked).

These are some foods rich in lean proteins that can be used to support a PCOS diet:

  • Fish (salmons, shrimps, tuna, and cod)
  • Lean poultry (skinless turkey and chicken)
  • Beans are a good source of protein.


PCOS sufferers have low-grade inflammation. This can lead to insulin levels rising, which can worsen the symptoms. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and unsaturated oils are the best anti-inflammatory foods.

These are some examples of antioxidant-rich foods that can be used in a PCOS diet:

Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are all fruits

  • Vegetables: artichokes (spinach), artichokes (kale).
  • Whole grains (whole oats and whole wheat, quinoa, and brown rice)
  • Unsaturated fats include nuts like avocado, nut butter, and olive oil.
  • Peas, tofu, and tempeh


You should avoid these foods when you are trying to relieve symptoms of PCOS. They can cause blood sugar to spike, inflammation, and weight gain.


PCOS women don’t process carbohydrates correctly due to their high insulin levels. Limiting carbohydrates, particularly refined and nutrient-void carbs, can cause weight loss which, in turn, decreases androgen levels, which in turn causes acne, abnormal hair growth, and irregular menstrual cycles.

Here are some examples of carbs to avoid when following a PCOS diet

  • White bread
  • Pizza dough
  • Regular pasta
  • White rice


Juice and smoothies may seem healthy. However, pre-bottled products can have up to 30g of sugar. This could cause blood sugar spikes, which can be a problem for those with high insulin levels. These are better quality carbohydrates and are therefore higher in fiber.

You should avoid sugary drinks when following a PCOS diet.

  • Soda
  • Juice
  • Bottled smoothies
  • Cold-pressed juices


Women who have PCOS are more likely to develop fatty liver because of alcohol consumption. This can only be diagnosed by ultrasound.

You should avoid alcohol if you are on a PCOS diet

What do I need to know if I have PCOS?

Many women desire and hope to have children. Women with a chronic condition like polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), have any concerns about having children, and whether or not they will be able to get pregnant. PCOS is a complicated hormonal condition that affects one-fifth of women in their reproductive years. PCOS affects most women. They have high levels of luteinizing hormone which causes ovulation and lower levels of follicle-stimulating hormone which is vital for the development of their ovaries and testes.

PCOS women also have an underproduction of “female” hormones and an excess of androgens (“male”) hormones. These tiny cysts form on the surface and inside the ovaries. These hormonal imbalances cause irregular menstrual periods in women with PCOS. They either don’t ovulate regularly or they don’t ovulate very often. Women with PCOS are more likely than other women to have difficulty conceiving.

A University study found that women with PCOS participated in an online discussion group. They discussed their concerns regarding pregnancy, what they could do for better chances of falling pregnant, the type of information they would love about fertility and PCOS, as well as when they would like it. They were most concerned about getting pregnant. They wanted to know how to prepare for pregnancy, and what to do before they tried to conceive. It was difficult to find reliable, up-to-date information.

How to increase your chances of getting pregnant

Being in good health before having a baby increases your chances of getting pregnant and gives your baby the best start in life. The international, evidence-based guideline for the assessment and management of PCOS states that a healthy lifestyle is a key to improving a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant and having a healthy child. Women who are planning on getting pregnant should consult their doctor before they start to discuss the best way to support and get the right advice. You can also discuss your options if you have fertility problems due to PCOS.

A modest weight loss can sometimes result in regular ovulation for women with PCOS. This increases the likelihood of pregnancy. If you know that you ovulate, it is a good idea to have sex during the fertile windows (the five days preceding and including ovulation). This increases your chances of conception.

What are my options?

  • You should seek medical advice if you have failed to have a baby for more than 12 months or six months if your age is 35 and over. You should first contact your GP, but she may refer you to a fertility specialist.
  • You may not be ovulating if you have irregular or only occasional periods. This is a sign that you need medical attention to have a baby. Ovulation Induction is the first line of medical care. This is a treatment that involves injecting tablets or injections that stimulate the ovaries to produce an egg that can then be fertilized, either through intercourse or intrauterine (IUI) insemination.
  • If that fails, you may need to consider other causes such as IVF.
  • IVF is a series of injections that stimulate the ovaries to make multiple eggs. The eggs are removed under light anesthesia in an ultrasound-guided process once they have matured. For embryo formation, sperm are added to eggs in the laboratory.
  • An embryo is then placed in the uterus, where it can implant and grow into a baby. You can freeze multiple embryos if you don’t want to have a pregnancy.

IVF is considered safe when performed by specialists. However, there are possible health effects that you should be aware of. These include ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. This is a response that exceeds the normal levels of fertility drugs used to stimulate the ovaries in order to produce multiple eggs. This can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, rapid weight gain, and blood clots.

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