PCOS is a common health issue that can affect the outcomes of fertility and pregnancy.  When properly diagnosed and treated, many women go on to have healthy pregnancies.

Each month, a woman’s ovaries produce a balance of estrogen, progesterone and androgens to regulate the menstrual cycle and ovulation.  PCOS involves an overproduction of androgens, caused by increased production of insulin in the body, which can interfere with the development and release of the egg at ovulation. These eggs transform into small cysts (fluid filled sacs), which proliferate in the ovary and may result in irregular of missed periods.  Some additional signs of PCOS include:

•    Weight gain or obesity
•    Heavy menstrual bleeding
•    Excessive facial hair
•    High blood sugar levels, diabetes
•    High cholesterol
•    High blood pressure
•    Hair loss/thinning
•    Acne

Your gynecologist can help you with diagnosis and may recommend different forms of treatment including an ultrasound to view the cysts and various medications to help restore hormonal balance.   In Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, Dr. Christiane Northrup recommends women re-establish a connection the cyclical nature of the menstruation:

•    Release negative messages from childhood through positive affirmations
•    Reconnect with the cyclical nature of the tides of the ocean and the moon
•    Access natural light to re-establish healthy hypothalamic brain function

There are several things you can do to help reduce symptoms of PCOS.  Begin by optimizing your weight and insulin resistance with exercise and diet. Acupuncture and herbs can also be a helpful tool. Find an acupuncturist that specializes in fertility and is licensed to prescribe herbs.

Get regular exercise each day to:

•    Support a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index of 18-25)
•    Release toxins and cleanse the pores for healthy skin
•    Manage excess hormones stored in fat cells

Change your Diet

•    Reduce intake of refined carbohydrates and sugar, which spike blood sugar levels (yams are also overly sweet for those with PCOS)
•    Eat balanced protein, carbohydrate meals and snacks to keep insulin levels steady
•    Consume lots of organic leafy greens, whole grains and lean sources of protein

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