What You Need To Know About PCOS & Menstruation
I often meet women in my practice who suffer from PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. This syndrome involves the ripening of not just one, but several egg cells at a time. As a result, ovulation may not occur or at varying times, resulting in an irregular period or none at all.
OVULATION FAILS TO OCCUR
In many cases, small cysts (egg cells that have not ovulated) can be seen on the ovaries when an ultrasound scan is made. Next to infertility, the failure to ovulate may have a wide range of other consequences as well.
In case of a normal cycle, the ripening follicle (with the egg cell) will be producing oestrogen from day 1. If multiple egg cells ripen at the same time, this may upset the oestrogen balance. Normally, ovulation will take place on day 14 of the cycle, after which the corpus luteum that develops will start producing progesterone. If there is no ovulation, there will be no corpus luteum and, hence, a lot less progesterone. Without a corpus luteum, the pituitary gland will not stimulate the production of progesterone, but the production of testosterone instead.
- First symptom is a considerably raised testosterone level. This will result in masculinisation, such as excessive hair growth, male baldness, and acne.
- A second imbalance concerns the large proportion oestrogen/progesterone, which is also called oestrogen dominance. This will often cause overweightness and moisture retention.
Naturally, my blog is about tackling the causes, which may, in some cases, be rather difficult, but by no means impossible! In practice, there are four possible causes of PCOS.
- By far the most common cause is insulin resistance. Because the number of people suffering from insulin resistance is growing by the year, PCOS is becoming more widespread as well.
- Chronic, severe stress (link to: Adrenal fatigue, the stress syndrome of the 21st century).
- A slowed down thyroid gland (link to: Slowed down thyroid gland; causes and solutions).
STIMULATING THE OVULATION
It is very important, where PCOS is concerned, to stimulate ovulation. In the medical circuit, this is often done by means of medication such as the pill, metformin (improved sugar digestion), LDN, and a number of other chemical drugs. On the other hand, I have seen a number of women in my practice who managed to overcome the problem and stimulate their menstrual cycle by tackling the causes.
- If the cause is insulin resistance, thing is to remove fast sugars from the daily diet wherever possible and to replace these by slow carbohydrates. Other means to reduce insulin resistance is to reduce stress, lose weight, and take regular exercise.
- In case of stress and emotional traumas, it is important to banish all forms of stress, wherever possible, including too much exercise. It is recommended to call in the services of a good therapist or mental coach.
- Have the thyroid gland tested to find out whether it may be the cause. In this case, the symptoms are often more important than the blood values.
Take the stress out of cooking with 21-days of guided meal plans, shopping lists, and nutrition support. You’ll find all of this, and more, in our signature Clean Eating Program.