PCOS – Symptoms, Causes, Homeopathy Treatment
What is PCOS
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that women commonly get during their childbearing years. It can affect adversely women’s ability to have pregnancy (causing infertility).
PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility, affecting 6% to 12% women of reproductive age in countries like United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, India.
PCOS is a “syndrome,” or group of symptoms that affects the ovaries and ovulation. It is characterised by three main findings:
- Cysts in the ovaries: The ovaries may develop numerous fluid-filled sacs (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs. The word "polycystic" means "many cysts". These sacs are actually follicles, each one containing an immature egg. The eggs never mature enough to trigger ovulation. The lack of ovulation alters levels of female hormones like Oestrogen, Progesterone, FSH, and LH.
- High levels of male hormones: Women with PCOS produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones (Androgen). Progesterone levels are lower than usual. This hormone imbalance causes their body to skip menstrual periods and makes it harder for them to get pregnant.
- Irregular or skipped periods: Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods. Hormonal imbalance disrupts the menstrual cycle, so women with PCOS get fewer periods than usual affecting their fertility.
It also causes acne and unwanted body and facial hair. It raises your risk of other health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure.
In conventional medicine, birth control pills and diabetes drugs (which combat insulin resistance, a PCOS symptom) are employed to help fix the hormone imbalance and relieve symptoms. Homeopathy, an alternative therapy (CAM) has effective treatment for PCOS. Homeopathy employs ultra-dilutions of natural substances which helps restore hormonal balance in a very natural way giving long lasting relief from the condition. So homeopathy may prove helpful for those who are looking for permanent cure of PCOS without surgery and without hormones. Homeopathy never uses synthetic hormones for the treatment.
Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Symptoms of PCOS
Some women start seeing symptoms around the time of their first period. Others only discover they have PCOS after they have gained a lot of weight or they have had trouble getting pregnant.
Most common symptoms and signs of PCOS are as below:
- Irregular menstrual periods: Infrequent, missed, irregular or prolonged menstrual cycles are the most common signs of PCOS. Three can be fewer than nine periods a year (or none at all), more than 35 days between periods and abnormally heavy periods.
- Infertility: Difficulty in getting pregnant is due to hormonal imbalance and irregular menstrual periods. Women who don't ovulate regularly don't release as many eggs to be fertilized. PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in women.
- Unwanted facial hair, hair loss: Hair in places you don't want it, like on your face and body (Hirsutism) including on back, belly, and chest. Hair loss resulting in male–pattern baldness. It can be due to excess Androgen, a male hormone.
- Severe acne, darkened skin or excess skin (skin tags) on the neck or in the armpits
- Mood changes
- Pelvic pain
- Weight gain: Up to 80 percent of women with PCOS are overweight or have obesity
- Polycystic ovaries. Your ovaries might be enlarged and contain follicles that surround the eggs. As a result, the ovaries might fail to function regularly.
PCOS signs and symptoms are typically more severe if you're obese.
Complications of PCOS: PCOS if not treated, may lead to:
- Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- Miscarriage or premature birth
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis — a severe liver inflammation caused by fat accumulation in the liver
- Metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels that significantly increase your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes
- Sleep Apnea: This condition causes repeated pauses in breathing during the night, which interrupt sleep. Sleep apnea is more common in women who are overweight — especially if they also have PCOS. The risk for sleep apnea is 5 to 10 times higher in women who have both obesity and PCOS than in those without PCOS.
- Depression, anxiety: Both hormonal changes and symptoms like unwanted hair growth can negatively affect emotions. Many with PCOS eventually experience depression and anxiety.
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer): During ovulation, the uterine lining sheds. If you don't ovulate every month, the lining can build up. A thickened uterine lining can increase your risk for endometrial cancer.
Obesity is associated with PCOS and can worsen complications of the disorder.
Causes of PCOS
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Factors that might play a role include:
- Excess insulin. Insulin is the hormone produced in the pancreas that allows cells to use sugar, your body's primary energy supply. If your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, then your blood sugar levels can rise and your body might produce more insulin. Excess insulin can affect your ovaries and their ability to ovulate (or release eggs).
- Low-grade inflammation. This term is used to describe white blood cells' production of substances to fight infection. Research has shown that women with PCOS have a type of low-grade inflammation that stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce androgens, which can lead to heart and blood vessel problems.
- Heredity. Research suggests that certain genes might be linked to PCOS. You might be more likely to have PCOS if your sister or mother also has it.
- Excess androgen. High levels of male hormones (Androgen) prevent the ovaries from producing hormones and making eggs normally.
Diagnosis of PCOS
Your doctor might perform:
- Symptoms and medical history, including your menstrual periods and weight changes.
- physical exam will include checking for signs of excess hair growth, insulin resistance and acne.
- A pelvic exam. The doctor visually and manually inspects your reproductive organs for masses, growths or other abnormalities.
- Blood tests. Your blood may be analyzed for higher-than-normal levels of male hormones. You might have additional blood testing to measure glucose tolerance (Blood Sugar) and fasting cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- An ultrasound (USG). Your doctor checks the appearance of your ovaries for cysts, tumours and the thickness of the lining of your uterus. A wandlike device (transducer) is placed in your vagina (transvaginal ultrasound). The transducer emits sound waves that are translated into images on a computer screen.
If you have a diagnosis of PCOS, your doctor might recommend additional tests for complications. Those tests can include:
- Periodic checks of blood pressure, glucose tolerance, and cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Screening for depression and anxiety
- Screening for obstructive sleep apnea
Treatment of PCOS
PCOS treatment focuses on managing your individual concerns, such as Irregular or missed menstrual cycles, infertility, hirsutism, acne or obesity. Treatment consists of medication and lifestyle changes like weight loss, diet and exercise.
Even a modest reduction in your weight - for example, losing 5 percent of your body weight - might help regulate your menstrual cycle and improve PCOS symptoms. Losing weight may also increase the effectiveness of treatment that you are receiving for PCOS, and can help with infertility. Weight loss can also improve cholesterol levels, lower insulin, reduce heart disease and diabetes risks.
A few studies have found that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least 3 days a week can help women with PCOS lose weight. Losing weight with exercise also improves ovulation and insulin levels. If you have PCOS, increasing your daily activity and participating in a regular exercise program may treat or even prevent insulin resistance and help you keep your weight under control and avoid developing diabetes.
Exercise is even more beneficial when combined with a healthy diet. Diet plus exercise helps you lose more weight than either intervention alone, and it lowers your risks for diabetes and heart disease.
Studies comparing diets for PCOS have found that low carbohydrate diets are effective for both weight loss and lowering insulin levels.
A low glycemic index (low GI) diet that gets most carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains helps regulate the menstrual cycle better than a regular weight loss diet.
As regards supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B complex are some nutritional supplements that can effectively manage PCOS according to a research study.
To regulate your menstrual cycle, conventional medicine uses Combination birth control pills - Pills that contain estrogen and progestin hormones. Instead of pills, you might use a skin patch or vaginal ring that contains a combination of estrogen and progestin.
Few other medications like Clomiphene, Letrozole, Metformin, Gonadotropins, Spironolactone, Eflornithine etc are used in conventional medicine.
Homeopathic Treatment of PCOS
Homeopathy as a healing method doesn't use any synthetic hormones in the treatment of PCOS. Homeopathy treatment of PCOS is completely non hormonal and non surgical. Instead of giving synthetic hormones from outside, personalized homeopathy remedy chosen for a particular case stimulates ovaries and other endocrine glands to produce hormones in a balanced and physiological way thus restoring the health in a very natural way. That is why homeopathic remedies for PCOD can work great as an adjunct to conventional medications.
So while getting treated for PCOS, do include homeopathy system of medicine in your treatment plan for its unique benefits. Also homeopathy is preferred in chronic PCOS cases where synthetic hormones are not recommended frequently and for long durations. Homeopathy medicine's ultimate goal is to cure the disease from the roots and not just suppressing the symptoms.
Homeopathy medicines like Aurum Muriaticum Natronatum, Lachesis, Apis Mellifica, Iodium, Palladium are the few remedies which are indicated in PCOS cases, however, for any particular case, the best treatment for PCOS is the one which is selected by studying the case from homeopathy angle. At our clinic, we study carefully the details of case history that you submit in our Questionnaire for online homeopathy treatment.
Advantages of homeopathy treatment in PCOS
Homeopathy is highly recommended in every case of PCOS along with lifestyle modifications like weight loss, exercise and diet changes. Problems like irregular menses, infertility, hirsutism, obesity is taken care of with well planned homeopathy treatment over a duration of few months. All homeopathy medicines are:
- Non hormonal, Non Surgical
- Safe and effective for all age groups
- Don't have any kind of side effects or adverse effects
- Safe on all vital organs: No homeopathy medicine is hepatotoxic or nephrotoxic or cause gastric irritation
- Can be taken along with other medications, if any.