Do your monthlies take frequent leaves? Do you constantly keep thinking whether it will persist for a short while or lifetime? This issue comes into picture majorly due to hormonal imbalances. PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) is a reproductive health disorder that causes cysts to grow on the ovaries, resulting in hormonal imbalances. In the world, it affects 4%–20% of women who are fertile. Every woman holds the wish of conceiving and beautifully raising her child! But, PCOS can add some tags of complications for getting pregnant! Can we do something about it? Lifestyle changes and a proper diet forms the essential parts of the PCOS treatment.
Let us first understand what it is!
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What is PCOS?
The ovaries, which create and release eggs, produce high amounts of male hormones, which leads to a hormonal imbalance known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The ovaries create excessive amounts of androgens if you have PCOS. The hormones related to reproduction fall out of balance as a result. Therefore, irregular menstrual cycles, missed periods, and uncertain ovulation are common in women with PCOS. And thus effective PCOS treatment must be undertaken.
What are the symptoms?
Most common symptoms include:
1. Irregular periods: Absence of periods or no periods at all are symptoms of abnormal menstruation. Also possible is severe menstrual bleeding.
2. Acne or pimples: Acne can be brought on by PCOS, particularly on the back, chest, and face. Acne may persist throughout the teen years and be challenging to treat.
3. Facial hair: Seventy to eighty percent of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) experience hirsutism, which is excessive facial and body hair. It is caused due to overproduction of male sex hormones.
4. Cysts: Lots of small, harmless cysts to develop on the ovaries. The cysts are small egg follicles that do not grow to ovulation. Altered Hormone levels can result in cyst formation.
5. Obesity: Obesity is a common symptom in PCOS and worsens several of its metabolic and reproductive characteristics. PCOS and obesity have a complicated, poorly understood association that most likely includes the combination of hereditary and environmental variables.
6. Infertility: High levels of androgens interfere with the development of your eggs and the regular release of your eggs. And this can in turn lead to infertility in women.
Can we do something about it?
PCOS cannot be completely cured, however there are numerous strategies to treat and control it. And with effective implementation of those strategies, one can get pregnant despite having PCOS. Some effective ways of PCOS treatment include:
1. Healthy weight loss: Many women discover that even a 10% weight loss might enhance hormones and ovulation. Even a 5% drop in body weight can enhance woman’s menstrual cycle, insulin resistance and general fertility.. According to one study, women who exercised frequently had a 5% reduced chance of infertility than those who did not. Overtraining, however, can increase inflammatory levels in the body and harm fertility. Aim for 3-5 days of moderately intense exercise each week for the best benefits.
2. Win over stress: For PCOS to remain under control, stress management is crucial. To reduce your stress levels, get enough sleep, practise meditation, and engage in other relaxing activities. Yoga and different breathing exercises are excellent ways to manage stress and put your body into detox mode.
3. Assisted reproductive technologies: Women may benefit from assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as in vitro fertilization, if ovulation drugs fail to increase fertility. According to studies, IVF therapy is just as successful for women with PCOS as it is for those without the illness. Usually, doctors would start with prescription drugs and lifestyle modifications to increase fertility before suggesting ART as a backup plan if those measures don’t work.
4. Ovarian drilling: It includes surgical techniques available for PCOS treatment for women to increase fertility if other treatment choices are failed. Ovulation-inducing procedures include ovarian drilling surgery. Even though ovarian drilling is not always essential, studies have shown that up to 50% of patients are able to become pregnant within the first year following the procedure.
How can diet contribute to it?
The symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome are largely controlled by diet (PCOS).
PCOS Diet that may help people to manage its symptoms include:
1. A low glycemic index (GI) diet: Foods possessing low GI are digested by the body more slowly and do not raise insulin levels as fast or significantly as other foods, such as some carbs, do. Whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, starchy vegetables, and other unprocessed, low-carbohydrate foods are all included in a low GI diet.
2. Diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids: Leptin and insulin resistance, which are the main causes of PCOS in women, can be treated with the use of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. It is also a good treatment to reduce the cortisol levels in women with PCOS.
3. An anti-inflammatory diet: Berries, fatty fish, leafy greens, and extra virgin olive oil are anti-inflammatory foods that may lessen the symptoms of inflammation, such as tiredness.
4. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet: To lower the risk or impact of heart disease, doctors frequently suggest following the DASH diet. It might also aid in treating PCOS symptoms. Fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products are abundant in a DASH diet and thus can also keep insulin levels under control. This diet discourages foods heavy in sugar and saturated fat.
What foods must be avoided?
People with PCOS should generally stay away from items that are already universally viewed as unhealthy. These consist of:
- Refined carbs, such as white bread and mass-produced pastries
- Meals that are fried, like fast food
- Beverages with added sugar, such as soda and energy drinks
- Processed meats including luncheon meats, hot dogs, and sausages
- Solid fats, such as lard, margarine, and shortening
- Red meat in excess, including steaks, hamburgers, and pork
Thus these approaches can effectively help in curbing the problems arising out of PCOS and make the pregnancy more promising and easy!
Foods that help to manage PCOS
Various types of Nuts bring nutritional benefits to your fertility diet. They include crucial fertility-boosting elements such as Omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, vitamin E, and magnesium, in addition to plant-based proteins.
Almonds are a tasty way to achieve your nutritional requirements. It is high in antioxidants, helping protect against free radical damage and oxidative stress, which are precursors to inflammation and fertility issues in both men and women.
These kidney-shaped nuts are a great source of magnesium and selenium. Cashews are heart-healthy snacks since they are high in unsaturated fat! Studies have linked consumption of cashews to better magnesium absorption and a higher chance of becoming pregnant. Five grams of protein, vitamin C, and folate are all found in one serving of around 18 cashews. It is also crucial for avoiding neural tube birth abnormalities during pregnancy.
They are a good source of selenium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and vitamin E, just like many other nuts. Nutrients in nuts help to regulate hormones by stabilising blood sugar levels, which is a crucial component of healthy fertility.
Nutrient-dense peanuts are the ideal fertility food (when consumed in moderation, of course). They contain a high amount of protein, folates, vitamin E, and a trace amount of fibre. Peanuts include folate, a nutrient that is hard to get from food sources yet is necessary for the female reproductive system. For this reason, women in particular benefit from eating peanuts. In addition, they contain biotin, an essential mineral for pregnant women.
Also check: Benefits of Vitamin C
Pumpkin seeds contain , Omega-3, vitamin E, magnesium, and other important elements in abundance. Pumpkin and flax seeds can help naturally boost estrogen levels while also providing fibre to support healthy estrogen metabolism. It’s an excellent approach to achieving estrogen dominance while balancing estrogen levels. Sunflower and sesame seeds include lignans and important fatty acids, which aid progesterone and hormone production for the menstrual cycle.
Since ancient times, the characteristics of this herb have been used to improve women’s reproductive health. It is known to strengthen the uterus and increase ovarian activity. It can also be used to treat infertility and uterine disorders like endometriosis in some situations. All of this is due to its balancing effects on the hypothalamus. This herb’s herbal mixture is highly effective in treating heavy menstrual cycles, severe uterine bleeding, hormonal imbalance, uterine cyst, uterine polyps, and menopausal osteoporosis.
Shatavari helps in promoting fertility in both men and women by improving sexual desire. Thus it helps in increasing the chances of pregnancy. It aids in ovulation and to correct any hormonal imbalances. Also, tones and nourishes the female reproductive organs. It aids in the synthesis of a hormone that aids in the improvement of ovulation in women.
Ancient Ayurvedic practitioners used Lodhara for treating female reproductive problems . This herb is beneficial for females suffering from PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) since it enhances female hormone levels while decreasing male hormone levels in the female body. It works as a hormone regulator to restore hormonal balance. It also reduces ovarian cell malfunction in PCOS and increases fertility.
Also check: Tips and remedies for PCOS treatment
Ginger contains many vitamins and nutrients that are necessary when trying to conceive, it is a fantastic way to add some ginger spice to your fertility diet. It provides a variety of critical nutrients and vitamins, including vitamin C, B5 and B6, as well as iron, potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Ginger is also known to benefit women with uterine fibroids because it stimulates circulation in the body, supporting a balanced inflammation response and regular detoxification. It also promotes healthy digestion, which is critical for inflammatory diseases like PCOS which in turn affects pregnancy. Ginger may increase the maturity of ovarian follicles during the process of folliculogenesis, which may increase female fertility.
11. ALOE VERA
Aloe vera is a great remedy for the female reproductive system. It is incredibly hydrating and provides extra lubricant to the body, allowing it to remove accumulated chemicals and toxins and clear the digestive tract, which is vital if you have PCOS or hormonal imbalance in the body. It aids in uterine rejuvenation.
Thus PCOS treatment can be made effective with these tips.
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