PCOS and Fertility
Institute of Somatic Therapy students who have taken our course in Fertility Massage have studied the effect of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) on fertility. PCOS is a factor in infertility, and it is also a factor in other conditions. These include hard-to-lose abdominal fat, irregular or infrequent menstrual cycles, hair loss on the head, coarse facial hair growth on chin or sideburns, depression and anxiety.
It is estimated that approximately 10% of women have PCOS, which means that approximately 7 million women in the United States have this condition, although many most likely do not know that they have it.
What is PCOS?
There are three symptom markers, although having only two of the symptoms is a positive diagnosis. The three symptom markers are: 1) irregular ovulation (late, far apart), 2) high levels of androgens (testosterone, adrenal), 3) a specific type of ovarian cysts that are non-ovulated eggs which accumulate in the ovary. This symptom will decrease with age as there are less eggs in the ovary over time.
How is PCOS Treated?
PCOS responds well to dietary and nutrition changes and exercise. It also responds well to supplements, which often work as well as medications with fewer side effects. Inositol (a B-vitamin) is found in fruits, legumes, grains, and nuts, but it is difficult to get enough through diet alone. Of the nine forms of inositol, myo (MYO) and d-chiro-inositol (DCI) types have shown the best results.
Nutrition changes focus on decreasing insulin secretion. A diet that consists of proteins, vegetables, healthy fats, and reduced carbohydrates (especially at breakfast) is recommended. Women should consult with their primary health care provider prior to starting any significant changes to nutrition and supplementation.
A related factor is thyroid deficiency. Women who have hypothyroidism will have a sluggish metabolism, making it more difficult to overcome PCOS.