Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

It is estimated that 1 in 10 women of child-bearing age suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This is a condition that is unfortunately, a common cause of infertility.

Women with PCOS may have irregular or prolonged menstrual cycles. They may also have excess male hormones (androgens). The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluids (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs at ovulation.

Symptoms may include (but not limited to):

  • Irregular periods — cycles lasting longer than 35 days
  • Excess Androgens – increased “male-like” hormones in women
  • Polycystic Ovaries – numerous cysts on the ovaries

Causes May Include:

  • Underlying Infection – can cause increases in white blood cells (WBCs) that can lead to increased inflammatory cell production. Women with PCOS typically have high levels of inflammation.
  • Insulin Resistance – Insulin works to keep blood glucose levels normal. With insulin resistance, the pancreas keeps trying to make more insulin to regulate blood glucose levels. High insulin can impair ovulation and stimulates the ovaries to make excess testosterone.
  • Cortisol Imbalance – Elevated cortisol is commonly seen in PCOS due to increased hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. Disruption to this axis can also increase testosterone production.
  • Genetics – Women who have an aunt, mother, or sister with PCOS are at a higher risk of developing similar issues.

Complications May Include:

  • Type II Diabetes
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Infertility
  • Amenorrhea
  • Depression and/or Anxiety
  • Anovulation
  • Pain in pelvic region

To make a diagnosis, your doctor may order extensive laboratory testing, perform physical and/or gynecological examination, and an ultrasound. Your doctor will use this information to create a treatment plan that is specific to YOU.

Treatment May Include:

  • Addressing Lifestyle Changes
    • Improving diet
    • Weight loss
    • Exercise recommendations
    • Stress management techniques
  • Regulating Ovulation
    • Black Cohosh – Can be used to help induce ovulation.
    • Licorice Root – Can be used to regulate hormones and reduce cortisol production.
    • Chaste Tree – Can improve progesterone production.
    • Additional hormonal supplementation when indicated.
  • Improving Insulin Resistance and/or Metabolic Syndrome
    • Inositol – Helps to regulate levels and reduce insulin resistance.
    • Berberine – Can reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
    • Niacin – Can help reduce elevated cholesterol levels.

PCOS is a complex syndrome that affects each woman differently. This can affect women that are overweight/obese or women who are a healthy weight. Women may or may not have all of the symptoms listed above. That’s why it’s important to work with someone who can take a thorough approach to managing your case.

More information can be found here: https://gatewaynaturalmedicine.com/polycystic-ovarian-syndrome-pcos-causes-diagnosis/

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