Polycystic ovary syndrome is one of the most common female hormone problems. The increased levels of male hormones – aka androgens – sabotage ovulation and make conception challenging.
About 40% of women with PCOS need assistance to get pregnant. When it comes to fertility, PCOS management is not just about regulating blood sugar.
There is a whole range of hormones we need to take care of and normalize if conception is going to happen and pregnancy will proceed normally beyond the 1st trimester.
For a personalized approach we need to take into account many lifestyle and diet factors of every woman and give targeted advice that apply to this woman specifically.
This is not a one-size-fits-all thing. Luckily, scientific research gives us several natural options for treating PCOS issues and improving your fertility.
Below I present 6 miracle “treatments” backed by solid scientific studies that I use as part of a more thorough fertility treatment for women with PCOS.
They may not be part of the standard protocol used to manage PCOS, but, trust me, when used right and in conjunction with proper diet, they are very effective!
6 “Miracle” Fertility Treatments For Women With PCOS
1. Abdominal Acupuncture
Researchers have found that the use of abdominal acupuncture can be beneficial for those that suffer from obesity-type PCOS.1
One study that examined patients before and after treatment found that this abdominal acupuncture improves metabolism and hormone balance.2
Another study found that it can also improve body mass index or BMI, your waist-to-hip ratio or WHR, and the frequency of menstrual cycle, which is great news for women with fertility issues due to an abnormal ovulation cycle.3
2. Vitamin D Supplementation
There is plenty of scientific research showing that there is a definite association between Vitamin D levels and the risk for PCOS development and severity of symptoms.4
Deficiency in vitamin D is a red flag for PCOS and getting enough of this miraculous vitamin is a significant first step for restoring fertility.5
However, supplementing with vitamin D is not enough to bring key reproductive hormones back to normal, which reflects perfectly the complex nature of this disease and the necessity for individualised approach.
3. Elevating Antioxidant Intake (Alpha Lipoic Acid)
PCOS goes hand in hand with increased oxidative stress in the body. This is why antioxidants are considered a reasonable and efficient tool for PCOS. Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant with confirmed therapeutic potential.
In a small pilot study, a group of lean, non-diabetic PCOS patients took this supplement for 16 weeks and researchers found improvements in fundamental PCOS parameters.6
More specifically, there were lower levels of triglycerides in the blood and better insulin response, both of which are of prime importance in achieving hormone balance for fertility.
The two women in this study that were not on a birth control also had an increase in the number of menstrual cycles, which is great news for fertility.
4. Inositol Supplementation
Women with PCOS often have a defective inositol metabolism, which further affects ovulation and reproductive health. It has been theorized and confirmed that supplementing PCOS women with inositol triggers ovulation and increases significantly pregnancy rates.7
Apparently inositol is really good at regulating the amount of insulin and glucose circulating in the bloodstream and is also capable of reducing the level of androgens and high blood pressure.8
In fact, inositol has been found to outperform metformin in normalizing glucose metabolism and helping with fertility!
5. Using Licorice Root/Extract
Licorice is not your average candy. It is in fact, a powerful medicinal plant, used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years. In the case of PCOS, licorice has been shown to lower the levels of testosterone in the blood.9
Pretty cool for a candy! For a starter, this was considered an interesting point for addressing excess hair growth, aka hirsutism. But, if you think that androgens are also the source of many problems for ovulation too, licorice suddenly becomes a tool in restoring ovulation and helping with conception.
Will you restore your fertility with licorice alone? Almost certainly not. But, you have an additional natural way to boost reproductive health in PCOS patients, which when combined with more targeted treatments can make miracles happen!
6. Consuming Probiotics
Probiotics may not sound like something that would be beneficial for PCOS, but researchers are finding that many of the diseases and conditions that we are seeing today may have connections to the gut.
In one animal study, enriching the gut flora with beneficial symbiotic bacteria resulted in an increase in estrogen, improved menstrual cycles and levels of sex hormones, all extremely positive findings for fertility.
While we do not really know what exactly is creating this healthy change, we know that healthy microbiota is of monumental importance for overall health and, thanks to this preliminary research, for fertility as well.
|↑1||Zheng, Yan-Hua, Xin-Hua Wang, Mao-Hua Lai, Hong Yao, Hua Liu, and Hong-Xia Ma. “Effectiveness of abdominal acupuncture for patients with obesity-type polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial.” The journal of alternative and complementary medicine19, no. 9 (2013): 740-745.|
|↑2||Lai, M. H., H. X. Ma, Hong Yao, Hua Liu, X. H. Song, W. Y. Huang, and X. K. Wu. “[Effect of abdominal acupuncture therapy on the endocrine and metabolism in obesity-type polycystic ovarian syndrome patients].” Zhen ci yan jiu= Acupuncture research/[Zhongguo yi xue ke xue yuan Yi xue qing bao yan jiu suo bian ji] 35, no. 4 (2010): 298-302.|
|↑3||Guo, Yanjie, Yane Qi, Xuefei Yang, Lihui Zhao, Shu Wen, Yinhui Liu, and Li Tang. “Association between Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Gut Microbiota.” PloS one 11, no. 4 (2016): e0153196.|
|↑4||Wehr, Elisabeth, Stefan Pilz, Natascha Schweighofer, Albrecht Giuliani, Daisy Kopera, T. R. Pieber, and Barbara Obermayer-Pietsch. “Association of hypovitaminosis D with metabolic disturbances in polycystic ovary syndrome.”European Journal of Endocrinology 161, no. 4 (2009): 575-582.|
|↑5||Jia, Xin‐Zhuan, Yong‐Mei Wang, Na Zhang, Li‐Na Guo, Xiu‐Li Zhen, Hui Li, and Lan Wei. “Effect of vitamin D on clinical and biochemical parameters in polycystic ovary syndrome women: A meta‐analysis.” Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research 41, no. 11 (2015): 1791-1802.|
|↑6||Masharani, U., C. Gjerde, and J. L. Evans. “J Diabetes Sci Technol: effects of controlled-release alpha lipoic acid in lean, nondiabetic patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.” Alternative Medicine Review 15, no. 2 (2010): 175-176.|
|↑7||Gerli, S., M. Mignosa, and G. C. Di Renzo. “Effects of inositol on ovarian function and metabolic factors in women with PCOS: a randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial.”European review for medical and pharmacological sciences 7 (2003): 151-160.|
|↑8||Iuorno, MD, Maria J., Daniela J. Jakubowicz, MD, Jean-Patrice Baillargeon, MD, Pamela Dillon, BS, Ronald D. Gunn, MS, Geoffrey Allan, PhD, and John E. Nestler, MD. “Effects of D-chiro-inositol in lean women with the polycystic ovary syndrome.”Endocrine Practice 8, no. 6 (2002): 417-423.|
|↑9||Armanini, Decio, Mee Jung Mattarello, Cristina Fiore, Guglielmo Bonanni, Carla Scaroni, Paola Sartorato, and Mario Palermo. “Licorice reduces serum testosterone in healthy women.” Steroids69, no. 11 (2004): 763-766.|