Dianna Martino - Holistic Naturopath & Coach

Holistic Adelaide Naturopath

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Excessive body and facial hair growth, ovarian cysts, obesity, irregular menstrual period and poor blood sugar control are just some of the possible signs of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). All of these signs are not required to be diagnosed with PCOS. Approximately 5 to 10% of women of reproductive age are affected by this syndrome. PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility and approximately 75% of women with PCOS have issues with fertility. PCOS is associated with late to no ovulation, and late ovulation increases rates of miscarriage.

The Diagnostic Criteria for PCOS

Menstrual irregularity:

- Eight or less menstrual cycles per year

- Irregular menstual bleeding

- Unpredictable menstrual cycles

- Absence of period for more than four months (providing you are not pregnant or menopausal)

- Infertility

- History of ovarian cysts

- Excessive or heavy menstrual bleeding

Skin Complications:

- Severe adolescent acne

- Adult acne

- Cystic acne on face, neck, back, shoulders

- Hirsuitism- excessive hair on face, body, upper lip, chin, neck, abdomen

- Thinning of hair on head or male pattern balding

- Acanthosis nigricans: discolouration or darkening of skinaround neck, groin, under arms, skin folds or skin tags

Insulin Resistance:

- Weight gain, especially around trunk ie apple body shape, especially after the age of 30.

- Poor insulin and blood sugar control

- Difficulty losing weight

- Family history of diabetes or menstrual irregularity

- Abnormal cholesterol

Treatment of PCOS is complex but there is great potential for relief with natural medicine. Clinical nutrition and herbal medicine can help to not only alleviate some of the signs and symptoms of PCOS, as well as treat the underlying hormone imbalances, but may improve fertility and the ability to start a family. Treatment can take time as the body undergoes  change to restore it’s natural balance long term. Some of the symptoms of PCOS are irreversible, therefore treatment is best began sooner to prevent worsening of symptoms such as excessive body hair growth. Comprehensive, holistic treatment with an experienced and qualified natural medicine practitioner will ensure the best for your health, quality of life and your potential future family.