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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

What is PCOS?

 

PCOS is defined as polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is an extremely common disorder.  PCOS does not have well-defined diagnostic criteria and can confuse people who do not fit the typical overweight cystic ovary picture.

Typically at least 2 out of the following 3 complaints must be present to receive a diagnosis of PCOS, (although diagnostic criteria is not concrete):

1.Oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea
2.Hyperandrogenism (symptoms of excess androgen such as acne, hair loss) or hyperandrogenemia (lab tests showing excess androgens)
3.Polycystic ovaries as seen on ultrasound

There are currently 4 main types of PCOS

1 Frank PCOS (46-71%): hyperandrogenism, chronic anovulation, polycystic ovaries
2. Classic PCOS (7-40%): hyperandrogenism, chronic anovulation,  no polycystic ovaries
3. Ovulatory PCOS (7-18%): hyperandrogenism, polycystic ovaries, no chronic anovulation
4. Mild PCOS (7-16%): chronic anovulation, polycystic ovaries, no hyperandrogenism

 

How we can help you with PCOS

Your concern with PCOS may be acne and hair loss due to the elevated androgens, or may be infertility due to lack of or irregular menstrual cycles, or may be related to inability to achieve weight loss.  More and more evidence is pointing to metabolic issue being the primary cause behind PCOS.  However, there are still many PCOS women out there whose primary symptoms seem to be excess androgens whose underlying cause may be more stress related.

As a naturopathic physician, our approach is to manage the key areas:
• regulate the insulin and metabolic dysfunction
• decrease inflammation
• increase the functioning of the liver
• improve digestion
• lower hyperandrogenism.

We achieve this through the use of dietary recommendations, herbal medicine that specifically have been shown to lower androgens, natural remedies to improve the functioning of the liver, and supplementation of key nutrients.