Have you been diagnosed with PCOS and are trying to conceive? You may have a lot of questions as to whether the Béa Treatment is right for you. Read on to find out more about the condition itself, the intracervical insemination (ICI) treatment and improving your chances of conceiving.

Written by Sandy Christiansen, MSc
Lead Fertility Coach & Embryologist

In this article:

Section 1: Does the Béa Treatment work with PCOS?
Section 2: What is PCOS?
Section 3: How to track ovulation with PCOS?
Section 4: What treatments are available for PCOS?

Does the Béa Treatment work with PCOS?

Yes - it does! If you have PCOS and you know that you’re ovulating, then the Béa Treatment could be a good treatment option. The Béa Applicator needs to be used around the time of ovulation for the best chances of getting pregnant. Once you have a positive ovulation test you should use the Béa Applicator. The Béa Applicator is designed to deliver sperm to the cervix, giving sperm a better chance of getting to the fallopian tube with our custom cervical cap.


Reasons why people try ICI with PCOS

  • Right here, right now.

    Have you been told to “come back later”? Not with us. Instant access to fertility treatment without being on a waitlist.

  • Can be used alongside PCOS treatment

    The Béa Treatment is suitable if you're taking metformin to reduce insulin levels

  • Additional support

    We know that having PCOS can raise concerns about conceiving. We're here to help.


What is PCOS?

PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that affects 1 in 10 women. It affects how the ovaries work and disrupts hormonal balance in the body. The exact cause of PCOS is still unknown. The main features of PCOS include absent or reduced ovulation, high levels of androgens (like testosterone) and polycystic ovaries.

What causes PCOS?

Unfortunately, the cause of PCOS is still not fully understood. There are many different possible symptoms of PCOS, and the condition is likely caused by a combination of factors including environmental, genetic and our own hormonal make up. This can result in abnormally elevated levels of certain hormones.

Common PCOS symptoms

For those who develop symptoms of PCOS, they will usually start to show in your late teens/early twenties. Common symptoms of PCOS include:

  • Irregular or absent periods 
  • Irregular or absent ovulation
  • Heavy or very light bleeding when you have a period
  • Painful periods
  • Excessive body or facial hair growth 
  • Hair loss from your head
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Oily skin and acne
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty getting pregnant 
  • Depression, anxiety

What type of PCOS do you have?

Did you know that there are different types of PCOS? PCOS can present itself in a number of ways, with a range of different symptoms. There are three main features of PCOS. If you have at least two of these features, you may be diagnosed with PCOS. We've summarised this below.

High levels of androgens

Features: Androgens, like testosterone, may cause excess hair on the body or face, acne or weight gain. Everyone responds differently so you may not have all of these symptoms but recognise one or two.

The Béa Treatment is suitable if you have high levels of androgens - if you know you're ovulating.

High levels of circulating insulin or glucose

Features: Weight gain (unintended), excessive tiredness, recurrent infections.

The Béa Treatment is suitable if you have elevated insulin or glucose - if you know you're ovulating.

Polycystic ovaries

Features: Enlarged ovaries with many fluid-filled sacs (this is seen on an ultrasound).

The Béa Treatment is suitable if you have polycystic ovaries - if you know you're ovulating.

Absent ovulation

Features: Ovaries are not releasing eggs during the menstrual cycle.

The Béa Treatment is not suitable for absent ovulation. 

How do I track ovulation with PCOS?

Ovulation tests can be the best way to determine when you're ovulating. They measure LH levels in urine, which rises approximately 36 hours before ovulation. In general, ovulation testing should start 17 days before your next period is due and you should continue testing until you have a positive reading. However, with irregular cycles it can be more difficult to establish when to start testing. Check the shortest cycle you've had in the past 6 months and base your testing on that cycle length!

If you've had particularly long cycles, it can be time-consuming and difficult to test for ovulation. You may want to get multipacks of ovulation test strips - a more budget friendly way to track ovulation.

*If you are receiving persistently positive results, it most likely means that your LH levels are abnormally elevated due to your PCOS. In such a case, the ovulation test may be unreliable.

What if I'm not ovulating?

Many women with PCOS are found to have an imbalance in their hormone levels. This can include having elevated levels of luteinising hormone (LH). A surge in LH will often trigger ovulation, but elevated levels of LH throughout the menstrual cycle can disrupt the normal function of the ovary and cause a lack of ovulation.

What treatments are available to improve ovulation?

Because PCOS effects many systems within our body, there is no one size fits all sadly when it comes to treatment. Some types of treatment can have an impact on your fertility so it's important to be open with your doctor about any plans to conceive now or in the future, so the best treatment type can be prescribed for you. Here are some lifestyle changes, medication options and more that have been proven to benefit many women with PCOS:

1. Lifestyle changes

Some people with PCOS are instructed to lose weight to help improve their symptoms. A 5% weight reduction can significantly improve symptoms, improve ovulation and increase the chances of pregnancy. But we know this is easier said than done. High levels of insulin that can be associated with PCOS can make weight loss difficult. We also want to avoid crash diets - we don't want to deplete your body of nutrients. Adding in nutritional foods rich in omega-3 (for example oily fish), flaxseeds, nuts and mint have been shown to be beneficial in PCOS by reducing the circulating inflammatory markers in the body. Studies have shown a link between ultra-processed foods and sedentary lifestyles as significant factors in PCOS progression so try to cut out the ultra-processed foods and move more.

2. Medication

The main aim here is to initiate ovulation. Ovulation is hindered by various factors including elevated glucose and subsequently insulin levels and elevated androgens (testosterone). The combined oral contraceptive pill or progesterone only pill may be recommended by your doctor to regulate your menstrual cycle. These cannot be used if you are trying to conceive, so you would need to speak to your doctor about coming off treatment before starting ICI.

3. Surgery

A minor surgical procedure called laparoscopic ovarian drilling (LOD) may be a treatment option for fertility problems associated with PCOS that do not respond to medicine. This can help correct the hormone imbalance and restore the function of your ovaries. The key is to make sure that you have healed fully from your surgery before considering getting pregnant and trying ICI. Talk to you doctor about your plans to conceive and get the green light to go ahead after your surgery.

Speaking to your GP about medication for PCOS

If you've been diagnosed with PCOS

If you want to explore medication to restore ovulation, you should make an appointment with your GP. They can prescribe medication that might help:

  • Metformin - Metformin can lower insulin and blood sugar levels in women with PCOS. This can help manage symptoms and it may improve ovulation.
  • Medications to stimulate ovulation - Clomiphene citrate, letrozole or gonadotropins are medications that can be used in women with PCOS to stimulate ovulation. These are often used over multiple cycles and may require monitoring with ultrasound.

If you suspect you have PCOS

You should make an appointment with your GP and discuss the symptoms you have. It is really helpful if you can provide a symptom diary, allowing the GP to see if there is a correlation of symptoms with triggers and the pattern of symptoms you are experiencing. It can include details of your recent menstrual cycles, your cycle length, any information on ovulation testing and other PCOS related symptoms (oily skin and acne, excessive facial hair or body hair and hair loss from the head). This can be beneficial in understanding the type and severity of PCOS. Your GP will determine if you need blood tests to measure your hormone levels and an ultrasound scan to look at your ovaries. PCOS can increase your risk of some other conditions and it’s possible they may request additional tests such as glucose and lipid levels.

Getting a specialist referral

Often you're required to try to conceive for one year before being investigated for fertility issues. However, NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines state that if there is a known predisposing factor for infertility (like PCOS), then you should be offered an earlier referral.

Here's and excerpt from the NICE guidelines should you want show your GP:

NICE Guidelines: Fertility problems: assessment and treatment

Clinical guideline [CG156] Offer an earlier referral for specialist consultation to discuss the options for attempting conception, further assessment and appropriate treatment where:

    • the woman is aged 36 years or over
    • there is a known clinical cause of infertility or a history of predisposing factors for infertility. [new 2013]

Why do I need lifestyle and nutrition advice?

Our research on PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) has revealed that many people feel unsupported following a PCOS diagnosis. Many of them are told to lose weight but aren't given tools to help balance their hormones and improve their symptoms.


Food is a vital part of our lives and provides us with the nutrition we need to function. Many diets can be problematic or over-restrictive and can lead to us having a negative relationship with food. No single food contains the nutrients we need and eating a mixture of foods is optimal for a healthy, balanced diet. These are foods that can help lower insulin levels:

  • Fibre. Fibre helps you stay full after a meal as it slows down digestion. 
  • Protein. Like fibre, protein can help you feel fuller for longer and can stabilise your blood sugar levels.
  • Fruit and vegetables. It’s important to eat fruit and vegetables to ensure you’re getting enough vitamins and antioxidants. 
  • Healthy fats. Eating plenty of healthy fats can help you feel more satisfied after meals as well as reducing your insulin levels and cholesterol.


Regular exercise has a number of health benefits for everyone, including people with PCOS. Exercise can:

  • Increase blood circulation and oxygen intake which can improve your heart and lung health.
  • Help with weight loss or weight maintenance.
  • Reduce insulin resistance (which can improve PCOS symptoms).

What can you do to improve your chances of conceiving?

It is estimated that up to 95% of women presenting with anovulatory infertility have PCOS. Furthermore, a significant proportion of them also have elevated circulating insulin and glucose levels.

Elevated levels of insulin and glucose result in an inflammatory response, and together with elevated androgens - this suppresses the natural ovulatory cycle. This is why we typically see elevated levels of luteinising hormone (LH) and reduced levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) on blood tests.

With this in mind, there are lots of steps that you can take to improve your chances of conceiving;

1. Keep a record of your symptoms

Engage with your current health and lifestyle so that you can monitor any symptoms you're experiencing. This will help you to recognise improvements and the positive effects of the lifestyle changes that you make. Symptom tracking can be very beneficial because we know it might take a while to see your changes reflected in your weight. This can be particularly discouraging and cause a lack of motivation to continue.

2. Build positive lifestyle changes into your daily routine

Think about how you move and what you nourish your body with. This will have a significant immediate impact, not to mention benefit your long-term health and wellbeing, improving your chances of conceiving.

3. Get your baseline blood levels checked

Check the levels of hormones, glucose and fats in the body checked via routine blood tests with your GP. Then, work together with your GP to optimise these.

4. Build a relationship with your GP

This can be difficult if you've previously felt unsupported, but this can be so important when trying to improve your symptoms and optimise your fertility. Having a good relationship can help you discuss potential medications that may help for your own individual hormone profile.

5. Try the Béa Treatment

If you know that you're ovulating - the Béa Treatment is a good option for PCOS. The Béa Applicator places our custom cervical cap against the cervix, holding semen in place for up to one hour.

Speaking to your GP about the Béa ICI Treatment

The Béa Treatment is new on the market – it's possible your GP hasn't heard of it yet. It's an at-home fertility treatment that previously hasn't been accessible or available to purchase online. We know GP appointments are short - so here's the TL:DR version:

The Béa Treatment is the modern take on ICI (intracervical insemination). It's an at-home fertility treatment that's affordable and accessible. It involves placing a cervical cap with semen near the cervix and it has a pregnancy rate of 50% over 6 cycles.