PCOS infertility is the most common cause of infertility today. If you were wondering how to solve PCOS, while there is no known way to completely overcome PCOS, the symptoms can be successfully managed naturally. In this article, you’ll learn what is PCOS and how you can treat PCOS infertility naturally.
PCOS is considered as the most common endocrine disorder in women of childbearing age (15-44 years) and it affects 5 to 10% of women in the United States and 6 to 8% of women worldwide. Women with PCOS tend to produce more male hormones (androgens) than normal, which leads to a host of symptoms leading to infertility.
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.
Most women with PCOS don’t know they have it. In one study involving women with PCOS, 68 to 69% of the participants did not have a pre-existing diagnosis. In most cases, women only find out they have PCOS after they find it difficult to conceive or after they have gained some weight.
The three main features of PCOS are the following:
Women with two or three of the above symptoms are given a definitive PCOS diagnosis by their doctors. Until now doctors can’t pinpoint what causes PCOS, although the condition is usually linked to genetics, poor lifestyle choices, inflammation, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.
Some of the most common symptoms of PCOS are:
Severe cases manifest with all of the symptoms while mild and moderate cases only have some.
In women with PCOS, 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 cannot mature and ovulate. And without ovulation, there won’t be an egg for the sperm to fertilize, which makes it difficult for women with PCOS to conceive.
Many of my clients with PCOS often ask me how to overcome PCOS naturally. While PCOS falls into a group of conditions which don’t have a solution 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.
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.
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 the 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 bloodstream 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.
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 you lose weight and correct insulin resistance.
Excess androgens (testosterone) stem from too much LH (luteinizing 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 lose weight if you are overweight.
Normalizing your hormones and getting your body to produce a sufficient amount of hormones to ovulate and maintain pregnancy is the key and the end result of all the treatment strategies for PCOS infertility.
While presently there is no specific cure for PCOS, here are 10 natural remedies for PCOS you can try at home:
To balance your blood sugar, do this every 3 hours.
Do more cardio and weight training to help build muscle—the more muscles you have the more fat you’ll burn.
Cinnamon 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.
Even if they are organic, minimize dairy and meat 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 fiber 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 favourably react to the intake of licorice, so find some dried licorice root in your organic store and drink it as a herbal tea.
7. Eat more of the following PCOS superfoods:
Try these stress relievers to improve PCOS: yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, 8 hours of sleep, regular exercise, lavender, lemon balm and chamomile tea.
For professional advice on many herbal treatments that have been shown to address PCOS successfully, consult your naturopath.
Make sure that your fish oil has been tested for mercury and stabilized with vitamin E.
Herbal tea can be an excellent addition to managing your PCOS.
The PCOS fertility tea can help:
You can have the fertility tea for PCOS all year round, warm or cold. We’ve made these PCOS fertility tea recipes especially for you:
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!
Place all the ingredients in the blender (use 1 or 2 cups of nut 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 nut 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.
PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age and affects a significant percentage of women globally. Most women suffering from PCOS don’t know they have it and only discover they have PCOS after they’ve gained so much weight or if their cycles are irregular or if they’re finding it difficult to get pregnant.
There is no pinpoint cause of PCOS, but this condition is usually related to genetics, poor lifestyle choices, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. While there is no known cure for PCOS, there are ways to manage the condition naturally, like avoiding certain food and drinks that can exacerbate your PCOS, incorporating exercise into your lifestyle, eating healthier food choices and consulting a naturopath for non-pharmaceutical and herbal treatments that can help address PCOS.
Iva Keene is co-founder and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She has been a qualified, accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 13 years, holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Science and a Masters degree in Reproductive Medicine. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva's articles, videos, guides and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments and integrative reproductive health.