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Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is estimated to affect between 5% and 10% of women of reproductive age, making it the most common hormonal disorder in this age group.

What is PCOS?

In a normal menstrual cycle several follicles develop on the surface of your ovaries and within these follicles eggs develop, one of which will reach maturity faster than the others and be released into the Fallopian tube (this process is called ovulation). All the remaining follicles then die away. If you have polycystic ovaries you have a number of undeveloped follicles remaining on the surface of your ovaries making them appear much larger than normal.

Polycystic ovaries are not particularly troublesome and in many cases women may have regular menstrual cycles without any complications. However, in some women the cysts cause a hormonal imbalance, particularly with higher-than-normal levels of certain sex hormones such as androgens (“male” hormones, including testosterone) and luteinising hormone (LH). These hormonal imbalances (and their associated symptoms) are the difference between someone suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome or just having polycystic ovaries.

How natural therapies can help you

Depending on your blood or salvia hormone profile, your symptoms and your pregnancy desire, specific herbal medicines can be prescribed to work directly on hormone balance, encouraging regular menstruation (thus protecting your endometrium against cellular change) and normalizing ovulation.

Your thyroid and adrenal health will also be investigated as PCOS is a poly-glandular condition and all glands need to be addressed and treated so they work as efficiently as they can.

Normalising insulin and blood sugar levels and reducing body fat, through dietary advice, lifestyle, and self-help techniques, is an essential part of treatment for anyone with PCOS regardless of whether they are overweight or not. Dietary and lifestyle changes are also absolutely necessary to prevent long-term complications such as insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

If you are having trouble conceiving and are thinking of going down the IVF route, naturopathic treatment for 3 months beforehand can help increase the chances of successful IVF and a healthy baby. Please look at the preconception healthcare page for more information.

If you have PCOS and want great effective natural advice, book in for a Bella Wellbeing Naturopathic Consultation today.

Common PCOS Symptoms:

Absent periods, acne, excess hair and weight gain (especially around the abdomen), fertility issues. The symptoms and severity can vary from woman to woman.