Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (sometimes known as PCOS) is one of the most common causes of infertility. The internet is literally littered with information out there, but there’s still a lot to understand about it and women searching for answers about PCOS are common in our Fertility Warriors Support + Chat Group. I wanted to put together a monster podcast on all things PCOS and what you can do to improve your cycles and fertility if you have PCOS.
Did you know there’s actually a difference between having Polycystic Ovaries and PCOS?
The four main symptoms of PCOS:
- Stubborn weight that won’t go away (but lean PCOS also exists).
- Non-existent or scant periods.
- Hair in all the wrong places.
- Thinning hair on top of your head.
What causes PCOS?
It’s a hormone imbalance, typically categorised by an excess of androgen hormones (like testosterone), and it causes your ovaries each month to release lots of little fluid filled cysts inside your ovaries (follicles) but they don’t mature. Hence no period. No period = no ovulation = no baby making.
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but they have done studies in rats that have shown that by creating the right (or wrong) conditions in mothers, they have caused PCOS and infertility in offspring–so it could be something that occurred in utero for you or your partner.
There’s so much that can be done in terms of lifestyle interventions which can have a major impact. A lot of that comes down to insulin resistance.
The changes you can make:
It’s the number one way we can impact our insulin levels. Focus on insulin levels–lowering sugar intake is crucial. Don’t do crazy restriction diets–focus on health NOT weight, and look into the Insulin Index. The main thing you want to eliminate is sugar.
Listen to Dairy Products and Fertility
One thing you can do, for example, is fasting for 14 hours every night. What that might look like to you is basically fasting from 6pm at night to 8am in the morning. This will allow you to feel feelings of fullness and hunger. For fasting for 14 hours or 16 hours, that gives our bodies a chance to reset in terms of those levels. This can be one of the most effective ways for us to reset our insulin levels and our sensitivity.
Listen to Fertility Diet Myths Busted
Try and focus on weight bearing exercises such as walking or HIIT, you’ll be increasing your muscle tone and you’ll be helping your body in the long term.
If you’re at a fertility clinic, often Metformin is prescribed. but if you’re on the natural route, you may consider Myo-Inositol.
- Eliminate plastics such as BPA
Bisphenol A (BPA) is typically used in plastics, such as cling film. If food items are wet or heated, BPA can release toxic chemicals. People with PCOS have a higher sensitivity to it, which can then become an endocrine disruptor which can perpetuate the cycle and exacerbate the symptoms more.
- Work on improving your stress levels
Stress is often a big trigger and a big part of PCOS. I recommend:
- Start writing in a gratitude journal everyday
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
- Get help or see a therapist
- Join the My Missing Piece Membership or the Fertility Warrior Intensive Program
- See a Fertility Coach
- Join or start a support group
- Start a journal where you get to download your feelings and what’s going on in your life
- Start meditating.
Nat Kringoudis – Debunking PCOS
Book – Dr Fiona McCulloch – 8 Steps to Reverse Your PCOS
Book – Lara Briden – Period Repair Manual