Help for PCOS
One of the most common conditions I see in the clinic is PCOS. There are several different ways it can present, but the most common symptoms and signs include irregular or long cycles, multiple ovarian cysts on ultrasound, insulin resistance, and elevated androgens. This syndrome can make it difficult to conceive, so when I see it in the clinic, there are many tool I use to help.
Regulating your cycle: One of the biggest challenges with trying to conceive with PCOS is having irregular and long cycles. Any cycle length over 35 days is considered diagnostic, but many women cycle much less frequently. It’s not uncommon for me to meet a patient who only has 3 or 4 periods per year. This means, unfortunately, she is only ovulated a few times a year, which can make getting pregnant very difficult. Therefore regulating her cycle is the number one priority. We do this in a number of ways. Firstly, acupuncture is very effective at regulating hormones and thus helping to normalize menstrual cycles. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to encourage blood flow into the pelvic basin, thus nourishing the eggs and uterine lining with lots of arterial blood. Laser light therapy also has the effect of promoting blood flow.
Low Egg Quality: Another concern with PCOS is that although you may have lots of follicles and lots of eggs, the quality of those eggs is often poor. Again, acupuncture and laser, as well as the right supplements are an excellent way to improve the quality of your eggs.
Here’s more information on the use of LLLT and its use for fertility. As far as supplements are concerned, there are several excellent supplements for PCOS.
Myo-inositol: This supplement is great for egg quality.
It’s an insulin-sensitizing supplement that decreases testosterone, which is great news for PCOS patients. Insulin-resistance is a common indicator of PCOS.
N-acetyl Cysteine is also gaining traction lately for PCOS. NAC has the effect of supporting fertility by reducing inflammation and increasing the production of the antioxidant glutathione. In addition, it reduces insulin by increasing insulin sensitivity.
Vit D: There are several very good reasons to have adequate levels of Vitamin D. Low Vitamin D levels are associated with low AMH levels. For PCOS, it also improves insulin resistance and reduces androgens.
Omegas: Omega fish oils have a wide spectrum of beneficial effects. They reduce inflammation, relieve depression, and improve cardiovascular health. In the case of PCOS, it also improves insulin resistance.
Improving Egg quality doesn’t happen overnight, though. It takes your body 100 days to recruit, develop and mature your eggs. This is called folliculogenesis. The idea is to improve their quality by improving the environment in which the follicles are developing. Therefore I always recommend at least 3 months of treatment to have the greatest effect on the quality of those eggs as they mature and develop. Here’s some more information on the effect we can have on egg quality.
PCOS is a complex metabolic disorder, and no two cases are exactly alike. If you have questions about your individual health issues, feel free to call the clinic and book in a 15 minute discovery call. I’m always available for a chat.