PCOS is more common than you might expect (with approximately 1 in 10 women affected by the condition). From intermittent fasting to fighting fatigue , there are plenty of lifestyle changes you can implement to help manage the symptoms of PCOS. In addition, taking Inofolic® Alpha can help women with PCOS.
An irregular and unpredictable menstrual cycle is one of the most common and frustrating symptoms of PCOS, but this can be managed through a combination of natural methods. Here, experts from Fertility Family explain exactly what you can do to regulate periods if you are one of the millions of women with PCOS.
What is PCOS?
PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) takes its name from an excess of harmless cysts (meaning follicles in this case) in the ovaries – often twice the normal amount. Usually no bigger than 8mm in size and located just beneath the surface of the ovary, these cysts contain eggs that have not developed properly because of a hormonal imbalance.
This can cause complications in becoming pregnant, as well as a number of other issues caused by hormonal imbalances. Despite the problems that it can cause, PCOS is a manageable and treatable condition.
What are the most common symptoms of PCOS?
PCOS can be a difficult condition to pin down because it often presents a wide variety of symptoms and there is no ‘typical’ person with PCOS – for example, some people with PCOS may be overweight, while others are slim. This means that there are instances where it is not correctly diagnosed.
Specialists have broadly defined PCOS as being characterised by the presence of at least two out of the following three main symptoms:
- Menstrual cycle disturbances (irregular or absent periods), which also indicates irregular or absent ovulation
- Higher testosterone (androgen) levels, which cause symptoms such as hirsutism (unwanted hair growth), male pattern hair loss and acne (caused by overactive sebaceous glands in the skin)
- Small multiple follicles (or cysts) arranged around the outside of the ovary, visible on an ultrasound scan
Why does PCOS cause irregular periods?
In menstruating women without PCOS, a follicle matures once per month and is released by the ovaries in order to be fertilised. However, the hormonal imbalances in women with PCOS can cause this follicle to not mature or release an egg. Instead, many small follicles remain in the ovaries (where it is referred to as a ‘cyst’) and can be visualised on an ultrasound scan. Small follicles not reaching maturity means that the follicle does not rupture and this leads to a deficiency of progesterone. Menstruation normally occurs when the progesterone level falls after being high following ovulation. When there is no ovulation, there is usually no menstruation. This is why women with PCOS often have irregular or absent periods.
Regulating periods with PCOS
Everyone is different, so what works for one woman may not work for another. However, the methods below have often been shown to go some way towards regulating periods in women with PCOS:
Maintaining a healthy weight
In women who are overweight or underweight, achieving a healthier weight can help to regulate periods and relieve the symptoms of PCOS. For overweight women in particular, irregular periods, heavier bleeding and pain are common. Speak to your doctor to find out how to reach a more manageable weight, as the same methods don’t work for everyone.
Exercising more regularly
Exercise is one of the core recommendations in managing the symptoms of PCOS, and this applies to irregular periods too. While the direct impact of regular exercise on menstruation patterns and period pain is still an area of ongoing research, it can help to regulate periods by assisting with weight control. Whether it’s yoga, swimming or running, finding a form of exercise that you enjoy every day can really help to keep PCOS from becoming a disruptive force in your day-to-day life.
While the science is still up for debate, there are numerous overall health benefits to increasing your intake of foods with anti-inflammatory properties such as ginger, cinnamon, pineapple, papaya, turmeric and plenty else. While you can’t rely upon these as an effective treatment, it is always worth investing in a balanced diet that provides a good mix of macro and micro-nutrients.
The benefits of getting your vitamin D are well-documented, and could extend to regulating periods and reducing other symptoms of PCOS. Good sources of vitamin D include oily fish and egg yolks. You can also take daily supplements to help with hormone balance.
Fertility supplements that specifically support PCOS such as Inofolic Alpha, made from natural ingredients, is another way to help. You can see reviews from hundreds of women who have benefited from taking Inofolic Alpha here.
To see how Inofolic Alpha has helped our customers, have a read of our real life success stories.
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The PCOS supplement for women for life