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.
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PCOS is also linked to several health conditions such as diabetes. Also, women with PCOS tend 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 your metabolism.
- Include healthy fats in your diet such as avocado, salmon, coconut oil, and nuts.
- 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.