PCOS infertility is the most common cause of infertility today. In this article you’ll learn what is PCOS and how you can treat PCOS infertility naturally. If you were wondering how to cure PCOS, while there is no ‘cure’ as such, the symptoms can be successfully managed naturally.
What Is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome aka Polycystic Ovarian Disease manifests in multiple cysts covering the ovaries, filled with immature follicles (eggs) accompanied by hormonal abnormalities and irregularities in ovulation and menstruation. This is a metabolic condition associated with insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.
What Are The Symptoms Of PCOS?
Common symptoms are failure to ovulate, acne, obesity, menstrual irregularities and hirsutism (hair growth on skin). Severe cases manifest with all of the symptoms while mild and moderate cases only have some.
What Causes PCOS Infertility
Infertility is caused by the inability to ovulate due to excess production of male hormones – androgens (testosterone) and insufficient oestrogen and progesterone production by the ovary. Due to an insufficient amount of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) androgens cannot be converted to oestrogen, and follicles can not mature and ovulate.
Getting Pregnant Naturally With PCOS
Many of my clients with PCOS often ask me how to cure PCOS naturally. While PCOS falls into a group of conditions which don’t have a cure as such, there are natural ways to manage this condition so you don’t experience any symptoms and can get pregnant if you choose to. What this means is that if you stick to a certain dietary and lifestyle regime you will keep the condition under control, but if you revert to the old way of eating and living you will most likely develop PCOS symptoms again.
Natural Remedies For PCOS
Studies have found that the majority of cases of infertility due to ovulatory disorders may be prevented with dietary and lifestyle modifications. Therefore that’s where you should start.
There are several key factors that play a role in PCOS Infertility. Depending on which one is most characteristic for you will determine the first line of treatment.
1. Balancing Insulin
Insulin resistance has been found to contribute to excess production of androgens by the ovaries. Insulin resistance goes hand in hand with obesity or being overweight especially around the middle (visceral fat = fat around the organs). However insulin resistance can also be found among people who are not obese or overweight. If you are overweight and have PCOS infertility it is advisable that that you loose weight and correct insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance means that the cells are not reacting to insulin when it knocks with a new batch of glucose. This is usually due to saturation of insulin at the receptor sites of the cells from a diet high in refined and simple carbohydrates. This leads to excess glucose in the blood stream and not enough in the cells. This in turn leads to fatigue and lethargy and increased risk of bacterial infections (due to excess glucose outside the cells) and diabetes.
2. Addressing Testosterone & Promoting Ovulation and Menstruation
Excess androgens (testosterone) stem from too much LH (lutenizing hormone) being produced by the body over FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). This in turn results in immature eggs which never reach the ovulation stage and end up forming small cysts on the ovaries. A type of estrogen can be converted to testosterone in fat tissue which is another reason for making sure you loose weight if you are overweight.
Normalizing your hormones and getting your body to produce sufficient amount of hormones to ovulate and maintain pregnancy is the key and the end result of all the treatment strategies for PCOS infertility.
Infographic: Addressing Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
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What to do?
- Avoid coffee, alcohol, soft drinks, sugar and juices containing sugar, refined carbs (white bread, biscuits, chocolate, lollies etc…).
- Eat small protein rich meals every 3 hours to balance your blood sugar.
- Exercise regularly – cardio and weights (the more muscles you have the more fat you’ll burn).
- Add cinnamon to your cooking. It has been found to improve insulin sensitivity in women with PCOS. Porridge is a great way to get some cinnamon into your diet as well as apples baked in the oven sprinkled with some cinnamon and crushed nuts.
- Minimize your intake of dairy and animal products (even if they are organic) altogether. This is due to the high content of hormones, pesticides and herbicides which are known endocrine disruptors (they play havoc with your hormones and this can lead to anovulation). Vegetarian diets and diets rich in fibre have been shown to be very beneficial in conditions where hormonal balance is disturbed such as PCOS. Even though the animal was not given synthetic hormones it produced its own hormones which will still be reflected in the dairy or meat.
- Excess androgen production has been shown to favorably react to the intake of licorice, so find some dried licorice root in your organic store and drink it as a herbal tea.
- Eat more: adzuki beans, basil, cayenne, chestnut, chives, eggplant, garlic, ginger, kohlrabi, leek, nutmeg, pepper, rice, rosemary, spearmint and turmeric.
- Reduce stress with yoga, mediation, breathing exercises, 8 hours of sleep, regular exercise, lavender, lemon balm and chamomile tea.
- See a naturopath or a herbalist as many herbal treatments have been shown to address PCOS successfully.
- Take a good quality multivitamin and fish oil (make sure it’s been tested for mercury and stabilized with vitamin E).
Fertility Tea For PCOS
A herbal tea can be an excellent addition to managing your PCOS. We’ve made this PCOS fertility tea recipe, especially for you. The PCOS fertility tea can help to: balance your blood sugar (cinnamon), balance your hormones (licorice), stimulate your metabolism and help fat burning (cayenne), reduce inflammation (turmeric & ginger) and increase circulation (ginger).
The Fertility tea for PCOS can be drunk all year around warm or cold.
Spicy fertility tea for PCOS
- Cinnamon powder ½ tsp
- Licorice root ¼ tsp
- Turmeric powder 1 tsp
- Ground Ginger ¼ tsp
- Cayenne pinch
- 2 cups of your favourite milk ie. Organic cow’s milk, almond, coconut
Combine the herbs and spices in a little bowl or cup and stir until combined
Pour enough hot water to cover the mix and let steep for 5 minutes
Heat the milk in a saucepan on the stove
Strain the water and spice mix evenly into 2 cups
Add the warm milk and enjoy!
- Cinnamon powder ½ tsp
- Licorice root ¼ tsp
- Fresh Turmeric 1 tsp – Peeled and finely chopped
- Fresh Ginger 1 tsp – Peel and roughly chopped
- Cayenne pinch
- 1 or 2 cups of your favourite milk ie. Organic cow’s milk, almond, coconut
Place all the ingredients in the blender (use 1 or 2 cups of milk, depending on how strong you like it)
Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth
Heat the mix in a small saucepan on the stove until warm
Strain and drink!
*Another option is to place all of these ingredients in a saucepan with 2 cups of water and simmer for 20 mins. Strain then add your favourite warm milk.
Is this a turmeric latte, I hear you ask? Well yes, pretty much! It contains roughly the same ingredients, so if your barista is down with the Turmeric/Golden latte, make the most of this new healthy fad.
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