Don’t Let PCOS Dictate Your Family Planning

Yet another month has passed and the stick still reads a big fat negative.

Trying to conceive can be a long and frustrating process. It seems that your cousin gets sneezed on by her husband and “poof!”, there they are bringing another bouncing baby boy into the world.

When you feel you are ready to have more children, you don’t want to wait weeks, months, or even years to get pregnant. And for women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), the process is increasingly difficult, and at times impossible.

If you have PCOS you know what I am talking about; the lack of ovulation, hormonal imbalances, and increased risk of miscarriage.

Bur firstly, it would be beneficial to know what PCOS truly is—whether you have been diagnosed with it, suspect you have it, or have forgotten the lengthy details of the disorder your doctor originally presented to you.

PCOS most typically presents itself in obesity, polycystic ovaries (multiple ovarian cysts), elevated levels of androgens, and absent or irregular menstrual cycles.

There has been no known cure or direct cause of PCOS to date.

If you are just now getting acquainted with the syndrome, it would be good to educate yourself even more, because more women suffer from its health effects than you may think.

The National Institute Of Health reports:

PCOS affects between 8% and 20% of reproductive-age women worldwide.”

For many women who unsuccessfully conceive due to PCOS, especially after a long time has passed, become incredibly discouraged and deduce that having that school bus full of children just wasn’t meant for them.

But I am glad to tell you that is not the case, and having your school bus full of kids is not a lost dream.

Hethir Rodriguez C.H., C.M.T., and author of “How to Reduce the Damaging Effects of PCOS on Fertility Through Diet and Herbs”, presents research that mostly encompasses both traditional and natural approaches to putting your fertility woes at bay.

Rodriguez writes, “PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age.”

Rodriguez also notes there are:

links including genes, possible abnormal fetal development, insulin resistance and inflammatory response contributing to the cause.”

It’s also been shown that a poor diet and certain environmental toxins increase theh symptoms of PCOS.

And although fertility problems are the most popular complications in PCOS, the syndrome also comes with some serious health complications if left untreated.

Rodriguez presents the health and fertility risks associated with PCOS to be:

-Infertility
-Menstrual cycle irregularities
-Possible increased risk for endometrial and breast cancer due to unopposed estrogen
-Cardiovascular disease
-Diabetes
-Gestational diabetes

If you suffer from these symptoms, talk to your doctor about getting blood tests that cover all the diagnosing factors of PCOS, which include:

-Pituitary and ovarian hormone serum levels
-Circulating androgens
-Endometrial biopsy
-Glucose tolerance test
-Thyroid panel
-Blood lipid profile

The most commonly prescribed medication by a medical doctor to regulate your menstrual cycle would be the oral contraceptive pill. The obvious problem here is—you thought it was tough to conceive with PCOS? Try conceiving on the pill!

The next approach would be Clomid. This drug hyper-stimulates the ovaries, encouraging the body to ovulate. On the upside, it is often successful. The downside is that it doesn’t fix the underlying problem, and it has a slew of side effects to boot.

Another popular route is Metformin. This drug is commonly prescribed for insulin resistance in patients with type-2 diabetes, but can help PCOS by controlling the amount of glucose in the blood. But this drug, like most pharmaceuticals, also comes with a long list of warnings.

The reason Metformin is one of the first lines of defense for PCOS is because insulin resistance is the biggest nuisance when trying to get things under control.

This is when the body’s cells become resistant to insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas and makes your body operate the way it’s supposed to. When it’s not being distributed, things get whacky.

Insulin resistance plays a huge factor in PCOS because it affects ovulation by stunting the maturation of the egg, which could prevent or delay ovulation. In addition, it makes it hard for the embryo to attach to the uterus.

But just like with insulin resistance in diabetes, the insulin resistance with PCOS will drastically improve with a healthy, whole food diet.

Rodriguez points out the benefits of following a PCOS diet:

-Increases the rate of spontaneous ovulation
-Significantly improves the environment of the uterus, preparing it for implantation
-Increases the likelihood of a healthy conception
-Decreases the potential for miscarriage
-Helps to prevent insulin resistance from turning into diabetes

If you know how to eat clean, then you know how to improve your PCOS. And if you need some encouragement to begin clean eating, check out our article The Seamless Transition To Clean Eating to get started now!

Be sure to maintain a diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in quality proteins.

When you do eat carbohydrates, eat low-glycemic foods that break down slowly in the body, aiding in a gradual rise of insulin instead of a dangerous spike.

Low-glycemic foods include greens, beans, and nuts. When consuming breads, choose whole-grain or, even better, sprouted grains. You want the grains high in fiber for the same reason you want to keep food choices low-glycemic; to slow down digestion.

Aim to eat five small meals a day to keep proper glucose levels in your body. The more drastic the up-and-down spikes caused by going long periods between meals and eating unhealthy options, the more damage on your fertility goals.

Rodriguez also says:

Eating essential fatty acids (EFA’s) helps you to lose weight, aids hormonal balance, and are important building blocks for the body to create a healthy environment for conception”

You can get EFA’s through cod liver oil, flax seed oil, or evening primrose oil.

Eating whole and mostly organic food is the first all-natural line of defense to combat your infertility. So every time you cringe looking at yet another plate of steamed broccoli, meditate on the moment when that stick will finally read a big fat positive!

If you want that extra boost in fertility enhancement, and want to—hopefully—push that date of conception up, try taking vitamins and herbs that have effectively aided other women with PCOS to become pregnant.

The most proven herbal treatments and regimens for PCOS to enhance fertility can be presented by a naturopath. Of course, consult with your family physician before implementing a new herbal regimen, especially if you are currently on medication.

Here are the most effective herbs for enhancing fertility for reproductive-age women with PCOS:

-Chromium
-Multivitamin (choose a whole food multivitamin)
-Calcium
-Vitamin D
-Maca
-Vitex
-Tribulus
-Gymnema
-Licorice root
-Myo-Inositol

Myo-inositol has received the most comprehensive peer-reviewed research as an effective fertility treatment in women with PCOS. In the International Journal of Endocrinology of August 2016, Regidor and Schindler found Myo-inositol to be more superior in treating infertility for PCOS patients than Metformin. There were 500 pregnancies in their test subjects during the experimental phase.

While conceiving will most likely not occur overnight when implementing these protocols, your chances of a growing family are drastically increased when you diligently allow nature’s medicine to fix the root cause of the problem, rather than simply masking your symptoms.

Changing your lifestyle to fit within these parameters may seem overwhelming, but it’s all worth the effort. Your hope is not lost just because you body is being defiant!

When you are taking your beautiful baby home, wondering how you could be so blessed, the last thing on your mind is going to be the 300 kale salads you ate to get there!

If you have been through these struggles and have become victorious, please let us know and give encouragement to our ladies trying to conceive!

We would love to hear what worked for you in the comments section below.

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