PCOS affects a woman’s ability to conceive and is linked to higher blood sugar and insulin levels.
Worldwide, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 8% to 20% of women of childbearing age. It is caused by excess of the male hormone androgen. The overload of androgen prevents the eggs from being released from the ovary. As a result, the egg remains trapped in the ovarian follicle, causing multiple cysts—a characteristic of PCOS.
PCOS is also linked to several health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Thus, women with PCOS tend also to be insulin-resistant by having higher blood sugar and insulin levels. This causes a disturbance in the normal functioning of several organ systems in addition to the reproductive system.
Women with PCOS report at least two of the following symptoms:
- Lower abdominal pain (due to the increased number of ovarian cysts)
- Weight gain, excess body hair (especially on the face) and/or acne breakout
- Irregular menstrual periods or none at all
There are several ways to ease PCOS symptoms.
- Introduce more fibrous foods into your diet such as organic meat, fruits, and vegetables, which improve blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Incorporate more exercise into your lifestyle.
- Consider doing intermittent fasting - as a way to control your blood sugar levels - which reduces inflammation and helps in improving metabolism.
- Include healthy fats in your diet such as avocado, salmon, coconut oil, nuts, etc.
- Avoid contact with environmental chemicals (endocrine disruptors) like BPA, dioxin, and lead; and avoid the use of plastic, toxic mercury, unfiltered water, and non-stick pans to limit exposure to endocrine disruptors.
- Use plant-based medicines such as rhodiola and cordyceps to reduce stress as stress contributes significantly to PCOS symptoms.
- Get a sufficient amount of sleep (8 hours is recommended).
If you suspect of having PCOS, a good start is to check your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Opionato (www.opionato.com) is your trusted go-to fertility expert accessible at anytime from anywhere. We assess your fertility potential and provide next-step fertility advice so your path to pregnancy is short and stress-free.
Opionato started with one woman’s personal fertility experience and the vision to give others what she lacked. Read Maja’s story here: https://www.opionato.com/blog/what-i-wish-i-knew-my-fertility-journey.