Table of Contents
- 1 Getting Acquainted with PCOS
- 2 PCOS Definition
- 3 What Is The Main Cause of PCOS?
- 4 How Do You Know If You Have PCOS?
- 5 So, what are the first signs of PCOS?
- 6 What tests determine PCOS?
- 7 Is PCOS A Serious Problem?
- 8 PCOS and Pregnancy
- 9 Does PCOS go away?
- 10 Natural Remedies for PCOS
For many, an essential part of the parenthood journey is pregnancy and childbirth. Therefore, hitting a curveball in this journey can be demoralizing, such as when dealing with PCOS and pregnancy.
Getting Acquainted with PCOS
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a complex and multifactorial endocrine condition that affects more than 10% of women of reproductive age worldwide and appears to be on the rise. As a matter of fact, the percentage may be higher because PCOS often goes undiagnosed. That is because; either one may not have any symptoms, or diagnostic workup is delayed.
PCOS is defined as a female reproductive issue with the following three primary features:
- cystic ovaries: multiple fluid-filled sacs surrounding the ovaries
- irregular periods
- elevated testosterone levels
To diagnose a woman with PCOS, at least two of these features must be present.
In addition to elevated testosterone levels, other hormonal imbalances include an increase in Luteinizing Hormones (LH) and normal or elevated Follicle Stimulating Hormones (FSH) or estrogen levels.
What Is The Main Cause of PCOS?
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, however, many factors play a role in the pathogenesis of this condition.
The risk factors of PCOS are:
- Genetic predisposition and family history
- Insulin resistance
- Lifestyle factors: a diet high in sugars and fats or a sedentary lifestyle
- Stress or a weak immune system
To understand insulin resistance it is necessary to know about the hormone insulin. When you consume a meal, particularly one loaded with carbs, your body digests this meal to produce glucose. The rise in glucose levels will stimulate the pancreas to release the hormone insulin. Insulin will then swing into action to clear the body of excess glucose, bringing it down to normal levels. So how does insulin do that?
Insulin will act on cells and tissues, stimulating them to use glucose or store it. Predominantly, insulin regulates glucose storage within the liver, muscle, and fat cells.
Excessive food consumption (primarily carb-rich foods) will lead to persistently elevated glucose and insulin levels (hyperinsulinemia). As a result, cells and tissues stop responding to the actions of insulin, meaning that they stop utilizing glucose or storing it. Consequently, glucose levels will also remain high. Sensing that the glucose levels are still high, the pancreas will secrete more insulin, thus eventually elevating insulin levels as well.
The conclusion? In this perpetual cycle, chronically elevated glucose and insulin levels will gradually increase insulin resistance and reduce insulin sensitivity. Studies show that insulin resistance increases the risk of type II diabetes mellitus and contributes to androgen excess and cystic ovaries in PCOS.
Over the decades, obesity has become a major worldwide health problem. Several types of research indicate a relationship between PCOS and obesity; this relationship is a two-way street, obesity can increase the risk of PCOS, and PCOS can increase the risk of obesity. Insulin resistance also comes into play, as increasing insulin resistance contributes to weight gain. An initial PCOS treatment is to tackle obesity and aim for weight loss.
How Do You Know If You Have PCOS?
The hodge-podge of hormones can cause:
- Oligomenorrhea: menstrual cycles lasting more than 35 days
- Amenorrhea: complete cessation of menses
- Menorrhagia: heavy menstrual bleeding
So, what are the first signs of PCOS?
Apart from changes in the menstrual cycle, the increase in testosterone levels will result in evident changes such as:
- increase in facial hair growth (hirsutism)
- male pattern hair loss
- deepening of voice
- enlarged clitoris
What tests determine PCOS?
There is no single test that definitively determines whether someone has PCOS. A combination of clinical symptoms and tests that ascertain whether one has PCOS are:
- Blood tests: a blood workup will include hormone levels (FSH, LH, estrogen, testosterone), glucose (sugar) levels, lipid (cholesterol, triglyceride levels),
- Imaging: a transvaginal or pelvic ultrasound to demonstrate the presence of cysts on ovaries
Is PCOS A Serious Problem?
Inadequate or lack of PCOS treatment can result in the development of several health problems such as:
- Type II diabetes mellitus
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Cardiovascular disease
- Kidney disease
- Endometrial or breast cancer
- Sleep apnea
PCOS and Pregnancy
Sometimes, PCOS may be diagnosed during a fertility workup, thus allowing for effective treatment before achieving pregnancy. Other times, while dealing with PCOS, one may venture into pregnancy. PCOS and pregnancy are incompatible, as dealing with both simultaneously increases the risk of
- Gestational diabetes
- Preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy)
Does PCOS go away?
If someone with PCOS is overweight, the initial advice will be to lose weight and maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. This approach will take time, but PCOS may go away eventually and very often does.
However, healthcare professionals may sometimes prescribe medications to help one deal with symptoms of PCOS.
Commonly, the first line of medical treatment for PCOS is oral contraceptive pills (OCPs). However, the undesirable side effects of OCPs (such as an increase in blood pressure, breakthrough bleeding, nausea, or vomiting) make them challenging to take daily. This may be a good sign to consider a more natural approach.
So, what else can we do for PCOS? Are there natural remedies for PCOS that can help improve fertility and reduce the risk of the above adverse consequences?
Natural Remedies for PCOS
The earth possesses a wealth of natural remedies that it would be a shame not to utilize. These natural PCOS supplements and creams are pure and unadulterated, thus making them efficient help.
Fertile Balance Progesterone Cream
Infertility is a devastating consequence of PCOS. And dealing with the symptoms of PCOS and infertility at the same time can take a toll on one’s physical and mental health.
Most times, all your body needs is a hormonal boost of progesterone and this is where the Fertile Balance Progesterone Cream may come into play.
The Fertile Balance cream is a transdermal cream that provides your body with natural USP progesterone directly through the skin. The natural progesterone is derived from wild yam.
In PCOS, wild yam regulates the menstrual cycle by boosting declining hormone levels. And it is by restoring the hormonal balance that wild yam can improve fertility.
Furthermore, Fertile Balance cream is enriched with Evening Primrose Oil, Extracts from Burdock Root, Damiana, Chamomile, Milk Thistle, and Grapeseed. The infusion of these traditional herbs may help with the symptoms of PCOS such as acne and also curb mood swings.
Other benefits of wild yam sourced progesterone cream:
Improves glycemic control
Several kinds of research demonstrate that wild yam (of Dioscorea species) and its extracts improve blood glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce insulin resistance. Therefore, in addition to balancing hormone levels in PCOS, wild yam can help to improve blood sugar levels.
Improves cholesterol levels
Research indicates that Diosgenin, an extract of wild yam, improves lipid profile in individuals. Consequently, preventing the build-up of cholesterol and other lipids within blood vessels.
So, why choose Fertile Balance Cream?
Using this cream is effortless. You won’t need to swallow huge bitter pills or tablets or go through the discomfort of vaginal suppositories to restore hormone levels. Because transdermal creams are carried through the bloodstream, no digestion is necessary which also means no strain on the liver or digestive tract as well.
Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a biologically active compound obtained from cruciferous vegetables. Growing research demonstrates the various hormonal properties of DIM, such as regulating estrogen metabolism, and antiandrogenic properties, thus balancing hormone levels.
For this reason, DIM 150 supplements may help ease symptoms of PCOS, especially that painful cystic acne.
Evidence also demonstrates the chemopreventive effects of DIM, particularly in breast cancer.
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