Let’s begin by taking a look at what polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is to understand how we can resolve this condition with a natural and integrative approach. PCOS is a complex hormonal disorder that affects 6 to 10% of women of childbearing age and can present differently in each person. Although it is a common disorder, it frequently remains undiagnosed and unmanaged in most women who have it. One of the most common ways people learn they have a PCOS diagnosis is when they have been trying to have a baby but haven’t been able to and here we will discuss why.
PCOS must be understood as a multi-tiered hormonal disorder that involves 3 endocrine glands: the ovaries, the adrenals, and the pancreas. Its diagnosis usually involves at least two of the following criteria:
- oligo or anovulation (infrequent or lack of ovulation),
- hyperandrogenism (high amount of androgens/testosterone),
- polycystic ovaries on ultrasound.
However, it has also been shown to be present in women who do not present any of the pancreatic-like symptoms of blood sugar imbalances, insulin resistance, or weight gain but do experience adrenal and ovarian disorders.
One of the biggest challenges when suffering from PCOS and trying to get pregnant is having irregular cycles and not ovulating. Ovulation cessation in PCOS occurs when your brain sends an increased frequency of messages to your pituitary gland (also in your brain) to produce more Lutenizing Hormone (LH) and less Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)-necessary for ovulation and for having regular menstrual cycles. Although there may be enough FSH produced to trigger follicular growth (egg growth in your ovaries), it is not enough to take them to their mature stage so follicles break down and can become cysts (usually seen on ultrasound).
Additionally, people with PCOS can have high levels of a form of testosterone called ‘free testosterone’. Left untreated, high levels of androgens, regardless of whether a person has PCOS or not, are associated with serious health consequences, such as insulin resistance, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Furthermore, androgens inhibit FSH posing a greater challenge to ovulate and therefore get pregnant.
Acubalance Vancouver treatment for PCOS
The great news is that PCOS is a condition that can be managed naturally with high success rates. Our approach here at Acubalance is multifaceted and includes the best combination of modern and traditional medicine. What sets us apart from conventional medical treatment is that we perform a detailed health assessment to find the root cause of your condition whether it’s related to high androgen levels, blood sugar dysregulation, obesity, or hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian dysfunction. An example of our PCOS pre-conception support would include:
- Acupuncture and Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT/photobiomodulation): Two to four times per week to regulate your blood sugars and hormones, improve blood flow to your reproductive organs and reduce inflammation (usually seen as a result of blood sugar dysregulation). This will have a systemic effect to bring back ovulation and regulate menstruation.
- Chinese herbal medicine: We make a careful and detailed diagnosis of your condition according to Chinese medicine principles and use formulas that have been used for thousands of years to correct menstrual and reproductive disorders.
- Naturopathic assessment: Through an in-depth look at your health and detailed testing, our naturopathic doctors search for the underlying cause of your condition and correct dysbiosis, prescribe therapeutic dose of supplements and nutritional IV drips, provide herbal tinctures and other remedies to help regulate your cycle, get you ovulating naturally, improve sensitivity to insulin, and correct PCOS related symptoms.
- Lifestyle counseling, and mind-body stress reduction tools: Our clinical director Dr. Lorne Brown is a certified clinical Hypnotherapist and Dr. of Traditional Chinese Medicine who offers mindfulness and belief change work. Through this work, you can unblock negative thought patterns that can be causing you stress and impact you on your journey to getting pregnant.
- Nutritional support: Our practitioners are experts in Chinese dietary therapy and functional nutrition and will take a detailed look at nutrition to tailor a plan specifically for you and will coach you through it to make it easier and more accessible to implement. Download a free copy of our Acubalance Fertility Diet
Acubalance has helped people with PCOS by stabilizing blood glucose levels, significantly increasing energy levels, enjoyment of a clearer mind, more restful sleep, reduced hirsutism, less acne, fewer skin rashes, healthier weight, stronger nails, improved digestion, including no longer having to take medication, more stable moods, more everyday happiness, and more confidence in self. Through this improvement in health, our patients have been able to regulate their menstrual cycles, brought back ovulation, and improved egg quality and uterine environment all resulting in taking a healthy baby home.
For more information on PCOS:
What PCOS patients are missing when it comes to testing and treatments
PCOS: Egg Quality and Beyond
What is PCOS and How is it Diagnosed
Sources: Jaclyn Chasse-Smeaton Clinical Algorithms for Naturopathic Fertility: More Than Just the Cliff Notes – Distance Education– Healthy Seminars