As frightening as it might first seem, it can be empowering for a woman to learn that she has Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Discovered sooner rather than later, there are many opportunities for intervention.
While there are many medications and even natural remedies to treat PCOS, taking charge of lifestyle changes will often have a profound impact, and for many, can reverse the presentation of PCOS symptoms. Including infertility.
Any treatment focused on reducing insulin levels in both lean and obese women with PCOS may be beneficial.
Exercise is key to this.
Increasing muscle mass improves glucose regulation (and reduces insulin levels), which in turn can stimulate ovulation.
So, through increasing activity level from sedentary to moderate daily activity, women may see a fall in ovarian androgen secretion and an improvement in cyclic pituitary-ovarian function, which may reduce hair growth and restore menstrual regularity, and presumably fertility.
Exercise and a whole-foods diet can also improve cardiovascular function by lowering high LDL and triglycerides and raising protective HDL. By increasing cardiovascular and weight bearing exercises, choosing whole foods rich in fruits, veggies,and whole grains over processed foods high in fat, sugar, and processed foods, a woman can not only lose weight, but may also improve hormone regulation and longevity.
For overweight or obese women with PCOS, weight loss alone can be the biggest catalyst for change in symptoms like infertility. A healthy BMI is associated with a reduction in serum testosterone concentration, improved glucose regulation, ovulation, and optimally increases one’s ability to achieve spontaneous pregnancy.
With support, a woman with a PCOS diagnosis has many tools available to increase her chances for conception. While weight loss is only one of those tools, with appropriate support it is often a key tool to help regulate cycles and improve ovulation.
If you think you may have PCOS, or already have a diagnosis, give us a call today to schedule an appointment with our women’s healthcare specialist to talk through the tools right for supporting YOUR health needs.