PCOS and Infertility
Poly cystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in women and a leading cause of infertility. PCOS has no cure and has yet to be clearly understood of its pathogenesis. Although research suggests a genetic composition, many women are looking for answers to help manage the condition.
For any women being told by a specialist that your chances of conceiving naturally are limited or nonexistent with the options of assisted reproductive treatments that are thwart with emotions consistent of being on a roller coaster cannot be underestimated.
It is hardly surprising that women diagnosed with PCOS have the desire to take control by researching the condition and try many treatments in the hope that something will alleviate or control the symptoms with hopes of pregnancy.
The infertility rate for those with PCOS is very high with research suggesting up to 15% of women are effected by the modern condition. For those wanting a family usually require assisted treatment such as ovulating drugs or IVF to help achieve pregnancy.
However, women who do fall pregnant with PCOS have higher risks for certain complications such as ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome during assisted techniques and it doesn’t stop there. PCOS and pregnancy have also shown to have increased risks of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and miscarriage in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
As a natural fertility expert, clinician and scientist I understand the concepts that science brings along with the clinical and natural methods of treatment for many gynecological disorders, and I have noticed an increase of patients who have been diagnosed with PCOS wanting to manage the condition using natural approaches including a change of lifestyle.
The conventional treatment method for PCOS is usually hormonal drug therapy such as the contraceptive pill or metformin to regulate hormones which some find relief in the symptoms. Sometimes this is enough to correct the hormonal imbalance, however the importance of nutrition is being recognised to help manage this condition.
Nutrition is one that not only prevents nutrient deficiencies by ensuring sufficient vitamins, nutrients and minerals for cellular function for human growth and reproduction, but is key in promoting health and to reduce the diet associated long term chronic diseases such as diabetes type 2, vascular disease and cancer.
Insulin resistance is now recognised as a key factor in those with PCOS and nutrition is fast becoming a method in regulating its effects. Recent research shows that increased intake of protein against carbohydrates can help with the management of PCOS.
Equally there has been much interest and the effects of sugar within our diet, and many of those with PCOS are adapting to a reduced sugar diet to help manage the long term insulin effects associated with PCOS.
In clinical practice I have treated many patients with PCOS who increased protein in their diet with great results from having 94 to 32 day cycles over a period of time who then fell pregnant naturally with live births without complication. However, PCOS is a modern and complex syndrome and we have yet to clearly understand the effects of our modern lifestyles and its effect of PCOS.