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5 things you might be missing when Trying to Conceive with PCOS By Allison Locke

PCOS is one of the most common gynecological and metabolic disorders, and it can have a tremendous impact on fertility. You may be struggling with long, irregular cycles, not knowing when you’re ovulating, insulin resistance or difficulty maintaining a healthy weight, cysts/immature follicles on the ovaries, or high androgens (like acne or facial hair). We often get patients with PCOS who are off to a great start with improving their hormone balance and fertility, but are still struggling with some stubborn symptoms or conceiving successfully. So here are 5 things you might be missing!

  1. The right supplements. There are a million different kinds of supplements you can take for fertility. With PCOS, there are a few specific ones that can make an enormous difference in cycle regulation, blood sugar, and hormone balance. Myoinositol powder (with a certain ratio of d-chiro-inositol powder) along with NAC can be wonderful for regulating insulin and balancing hormones to promote regular ovulation. CoQ10 and omega 3 fatty acids can also be a wonderful addition for inflammation and egg quality support. Vitamin D can boost mood, improve egg quality, and is vital for healthy hormone production (and it’s often low in people with PCOS!). However if you have other things going on like a wonky thyroid, high stress levels and adrenal fatigue, or high androgen levels, it can be hugely beneficial to work with a healthcare professional to create a supplement regimen personalized according to your individual needs.

  1. The right kind of exercise. We know exercise is good for you. For PCOS, it is extremely important for fighting insulin resistance, improving healthy blood flow, and reducing inflammation. However the quality and quantity of exercise is key. High intensity exercises for long periods of time (like HIIT workouts or intense cardio) can aggravate adrenal health secretion leading to further hormone imbalance. Stressing your body out with the wrong kind of exercise can make insulin resistance worse and make weight loss harder. But we also don’t want to be afraid of exercise! Adding in 30-45 minutes of strength training and moderate cardio a few times per week is wonderful to reduce androgens, promote insulin sensitivity, and balance hormones to regulate ovulation.

  2. Stress Relief. Chronic stress can exacerbate PCOS symptoms through dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, leading to further hormonal imbalances and menstrual irregularities. All hormones work in a cascade where if one is out of balance, the rest follow. So when our stress hormones are out of whack, so are our reproductive hormones. Getting your stress levels in balance with the right amount of sleep, stress reduction practices like meditation, regular acupuncture, and the right amount and type of exercise can do wonders for promoting healthy fertility with PCOS. 

  3. Acupuncture. Never underestimate the power of acupuncture for PCOS! Acupuncture has been shown to regulate menstrual cycles, improve ovulation, and reduce levels of circulating androgens, such as testosterone, which are often elevated in PCOS. Additionally, acupuncture may enhance insulin sensitivity and modulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis, leading to improvements in hormonal balance, ovulation, and fertility.

  4. Chinese herbs. A customized Chinese herbal formula can be a great adjunct to acupuncture treatments for those with PCOS! Herbal formulations tailored to individual presentations of PCOS aim to regulate menstrual cycles, balance blood sugar, promote ovulation, and reduce symptoms such as hirsutism and acne. Research suggests that Chinese herbal medicine may exert its therapeutic effects through various mechanisms, including modulation of hormone levels, supporting a healthy microbiome, improvement of insulin sensitivity, and reduction of oxidative stress

If you’re looking for support with your PCOS symptoms, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re local to Vancouver or Burnaby, check me out in person so we can get started on your customized treatment plan to reach your health goals faster and easier. I am also accepting new patients in my virtual health coaching practice.

 

Peace & Periods,

Allison