FOOD/HEALTH

Living With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

“Fertility Issues”

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Photo Credit: womenshealth.gov - Normal ovary and polycystic ovary.
Photo Credit: womenshealth.gov – Normal ovary and polycystic ovary.

There are many women living with this disorder. PCOS is a complex hormonal disorder which is characterized by many small cysts (fluid sacs) in the ovaries.  There are two ovaries which form part of the female organs and their main function is the production of eggs, female hormones. The female hormones are estrogen, progesterone. The male hormone androgen is also present.

The abnormal multiple cysts in the ovaries result in a hormone imbalance and this can cause infertility. Women with PCOS can develop one of the following; no ovulation, no menstruation or irregular periods.

Fertility Risks include:

  • Infrequent or no periods
  • Infertility, inability to conceive
  • Miscarriage

Related symptoms

  • Weight gain
  • Pelvic pain

Causes

The cause is still unclear and some researches have classified the disorder as a genetic disease as it is not unusual that sisters and mothers and their daughters have the disorder.

Treatment-Medical

Medical treatment typically involves treatment of the complications. Oral contraceptive is used to regulate the menstrual cycle. Drugs are used to treat infertility and a well- known drug is clomid. Clomid hyper-stimulates the ovary to produce eggs.

Treatment-Surgical

The surgical intervention offered is the laparoscopic (keyhole surgery) ovarian drilling. This is a way of stimulating ovulation (the production of eggs).

The Diet recommended for Fertility is the whole food diet (organic)

This diet promotes the health of the womb (uterus), increases ovulation and decreases the incidence of miscarriages.

  • Whole food include:
    • Whole grain
    • Sprouted grain
  • Vegetables
    • Kale
    • Turnip
    • Collard
    • Mustard green
    • Kelp
  • Chinese herbs
    • Wakame seaweed
  • Lean protein (organic)
  • Omega fatty acid
    • Cod liver oil
    • Salmon
    • Tuna
    • Mackerel
  • Whole grain
  • Multi-vitamins, minerals and micronutrients
    • Vitamin D
    • Calcium
    • Chromium (normalizes blood sugar)
  • Limit processed foods and foods with added sugar

There are herbs which promote hormonal balance and these include the following:

  • Licorice
  • Maca
  • Vitex
  • Tribulus
  • White peony

The approach should always be a Wellness Approach for Mind and Body as emotional issues need to be addressed in order to achieve complete health and readiness for pregnancy. Some of these issues are: anxiety, depression, anger, disappointment and impatience with the medical condition.

Physical fitness contributes to overall wellbeing and should be a part of the fertility program. Start with walking if you have not been exercising and gradually add more to the routine for greater results. Low impact aerobics, dancing, swimming are some of the activities for physical fitness. Do what you absolutely love and can maintain for the long term.

Find a support group if you have been diagnosed with PCOS. Living with a chronic illness can be better tolerated if one has others to relate to who are having similar experiences and challenges. The sharing of information and tips for improved well-being offers invaluable support for individuals with PCOS.

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