Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): Which Supplements Work in PCOS & Why They Work?
PCOS can cause infertility in most women. With the right approach (and we have many verifiable success stories), it is possible to conceive!
- In the next few minutes, you will learn how to combat problems caused by PCOS and increase your chances of getting pregnant.
- Learn why it is so difficult to conceive with PCOS, unless you fix these problems.
- Discover which specific supplements to take when trying to conceive with PCOS and pitfalls to avoid.
Unless these problem areas are properly managed, pregnancy or carrying a pregnancy to term might difficult or impossible.
Stay with Me, Secrets to Follow!
The commonest fertility medications when trying to conceive most women can think of are Clomid & Glucophage (Metformin).
This guide is not about Clomid, Glucophage and other pharmaceutical drugs you may have heard about. It is about natural remedies for infertility when trying to conceive with PCOS
First, let us understand what happens during ovulation, fertilization, and implantation. It will help us understand what is not happening in PCOS.
What is PCOS Anyway?
There are millions of women dealing with infertility issues without knowing what is the underlying cause. PCOS is one of the commonest causes of infertility in women today.
Let’s break things down and make them easier to understand 😀.
The word “Poly” means = Many
The Word “Cystic” means = a sac in the body containing fluid
The word “Ovarian” Means = it is in the ovaries (the organs that produce female eggs)
The word “Syndrome” means = a group of symptoms which consistently occur together
We can, therefore, define PCOS as a condition in women where there is a presence of many fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries producing a known group of symptoms that consistently occur together. 😀
How do I know if I have PCOS?
Most of the times, women with PCOS are diagnosed after an inability to conceive. But there are a few things you can do, early enough, to know if you have PCOS.
- 👉 Facial hair or hair on legs, trunk or arms as a lady
- 👉 Adult acne, especially on the lower jaw
- 👉 Irregular or missed periods (can be just a few a year)
- 👉 Male pattern hair loss and diminishing hairline
- ++ many more.
Common Symptoms of PCOS
- Irregular menstrual cycle. Women with PCOS may miss periods or have fewer periods (fewer than eight in a year). Or, their periods may come every 21 days or more often. Some women with PCOS stop having menstrual periods.
- Too much hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair. This is called “hirsutism.” Hirsutism affects up to 70% of women with PCOS.1
- Acne on the face, chest, and upper back (Women suffering adult acne needs to be evaluated for PCOS)
- Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp; male-pattern baldness
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Darkening of skin, particularly along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath breasts, a condition called Acanthosis Nigricans.
- Skin tags, which are small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area.
- Insulin Resistance, a condition where your pancreas produces more insulin (the hormone that regulates high blood sugar)
Body Facts About PCOS Women
- Irregular menstrual cycle. May not have ovulation or may have a short 21 days cycle. This is medically known as Amenorrhea
- High Androgen (Male Hormone), Causes acne, hair growth in areas like face, arms, legs, chest and on the back. High androgen levels also cause hair thinning and hair loss (baldness). Excess Androgen can induce premature labor, leading to a miscarriage. 😱
- Vitamin-D Deficiency, 67-85% of all women with PCOS have low Vitamin-D levels (2, 3). This causes many other symptoms and complications of PCOS such as Low Leutenizing Hormone, Insulin Resistance and Obesity.
- Low Progesterone, Most (not all) women with PCOS also have low or no progesterone hormone (the hormone that balances the effects of Estrogen Hormone and also maintains a pregnancy). It is the second reason why a good number women with PCOS end up with Miscarriage.
- Painful Periods, For women with PCOS but still having periods, the pain can get unbearable, requiring lots of pain meds and shots. This is called Dysmenorrhea.
- Uterus Fibroids, Due to little or no progesterone hormone, a good number of women with PCOS may also have Uterus Fibroids. In a situation where one has little or no progesterone hormone to counter the effects of Estrogen, this condition is medically known as Estrogen Dominance.
What Causes Infertility in PCOS?
Insulin Resistance. Almost all women with PCOS have insulin resistance. This is what we call medically, pre-diabetes.
With insulin resistance, your body is not utilizing insulin well to lower your blood sugar levels. Higher than normal glucose in the blood causes the follicle (the sac-like part of the ovary that releases the egg) to harden, making it difficult or impossible to release the egg (ovum).
Low or No Progesterone Hormone: This is a big one
- 👉 Progesterone balances Estrogen levels (fertility hormone). Without balanced estrogen, it becomes difficult to conceive or to carry a pregnancy to term (Miscarriage). Most doctors will recommend progesterone cream even for irregular periods.
- 👉 Progesterone prepares the wall of the uterus so that the lining is able to accept a fertilized egg and so that the egg can be implanted and develop. Before menstruation (monthly periods), progesterone drops so low, causing the uterine walls to fall apart (menstruation). (4)
- 👉 Progesterone inhibits muscular contractions of the uterus that would otherwise cause the wall to reject implantation.
High Testosterone Levels: This is another big deal. It causes:-
- 👉 Irregular periods
- 👉 Lack of Ovulation
- 👉 Acne
- 👉 Abnormal hair growth
- 👉 Male pattern balding
- 👉 A deepening voice
- 👉 Increased muscle mass
- 👉 An enlarged clitoris
- High Leutenizing Hormone: High surge of luteinizing hormones are only required to cause ovulation to happen. When levels are always higher than normal, there is no actual surge to cause ovulation. This, together with high testosterone and insulin resistance makes it very difficult to ovulate
The image below shows you which hormones are high or low at what stage of the cycle. Understanding this simple chart (together with the video above) will help you understand why the suggested supplements work.
PCOS Supplements That Works.
There is nothing awesome than being an informed consumer. The idea of a doctor writing a prescription in handwriting you cannot even read without telling you your problems is just insane!
It is about time you became informed!
Supplements That Balance Estrogen Hormone in PCOS
DIM with Vitex Supplement for Estrogen Balance
DIM (Diindolylmethane) is extracted from cruciferous like broccoli. It is one of the MOST POTENT ways to balance your estrogen hormone and also known to lower the next hormone we said it is dangerous the testosterone!
You might hear DIM being mentioned together or interchangeably with Indole-3 Carbinol. DIM is a derivative of Indole-3 Carbinol, or it is a digested form of Indole-3 Carbinol. 👍
DIM has super potent effects on estrogen metabolism and can keep the body relatively balanced (by preventing either drastic increases or decreases in estrogen).
In small amounts (not exceeding 150mg), it can both inhibit the conversion of testosterone into estrogen and it can destroy bad types of estrogen (ESTRONE) and convert them into less potent forms; this conversion reduces the overall effects of estrogen in the body.
Bottom Line: In PCOS, the cysts produced a testrosterone like estrogen called ESTRONE. This is the bad estrogen produced after menopause, causing all the problems during menopause like hair loss, belly fat, depression, hot flashes, etc.
Calcium D-Glucartate is a chemical present in cruciferous vegetables (like DIM above) and fruits like apples, peeled oranges, carrots, and spinach. It is known for short term liver detoxification and may have estrogen lowering properties.
The problem is that very high doses are required and may not be practical or sustainable for a long period of time.
Some people use Calcium D-Glucarate with other supplements.
Bottom Line: While Calcium D-Glucarate is effective, very high doses tend to make compliance poor, especially with PCOS – a lifetime problem
Black Cohosh Supplement
Black Cohosh, primarily from North America is one of the most popular herbal supplements in the United States. It has been shown to lower bad estrogen that causes menopausal symptoms but usually when blended with other herbs.
💡 Be smart! Read Scientific References in brackets 😎
👉 Black cohosh lowers (inhibits) Leutenizing Hormone (5, 6, 7,), the hormone we said causes the follicle to burst open, releasing the egg. In PCOS, we learned that Leutenizing hormone is usually high, denying the surge that causes the follicle to burst open
We also learned above, that with PCOS, most women have little or no progesterone hormone, making it either difficult to conceive or to carry pregnancy leading to miscarriages.
👉 Black Cohosh Increases progesterone levels during the Luteal phase of your cycle (Read References 8, 9, 10).
😒 What is the luteal phase? After ovulation, the body starts preparing for implantation in the uterus.
Corpus Lutum forms in the ovary after releasing the egg to produce progesterone hormone.
Progesterone is the hormone we said is responsible for keeping the uterus walls healthy. It maintains pregnancy.
Bottom Line: Black cohosh has positive effects on Leutenizing Hormone and Progesterone hormones that can help in pregnancy for PCOS sufferers.
Not Done Yet😂 !
We realized that with little or no progesterone levels in PCOS, the uterus walls (endometrium) is usually weak/thin. Black Cohosh goes even further!
Black Cohosh increases the integrity (health) of uterus walls (see its effects on progesterone above) and can be used as an alternative to an expensive pharmaceutical drug, Clomid (11). In fact, black cohosh (and the next supplement – Vitex) can induce ovulation just as the prescription drug, Clomid (11)
Bottom Line: Black Cohosh can induce ovulation in women with PCOS, just like Clomid
Vitex Agnus-Castus for Infertility
Vitex Agnus-Castus is probably one of the most popular supplements for infertility in people with PCOS & Estrogen Dominance. In fact, some scientists have called Vitex, the herbal Clomid!
As much as you may have already liked Black Cohosh, Vitex is far much superior, based on overwhelming evidence. How does it work?
- 👉Vitex lowers high estrogen levels, evident in PCOS
- 👉Vitex increases the good estrogen that is needed to conceive, called Estradiol (12). This is one of the main reasons vitex is so effective!
- 👉Vitex increases progesterone levels (remember, the hormone that maintains uterus walls/pregnancy) (13)
- 👉Among all herbal supplements, vitex is probably #1 supplement in increasing pregnancy rates (14)
Should you take vitex alone and expect to get pregnant with PCOS?
Vitex alone might not be enough but if taken consistently, it can help increase the chances of becoming pregnant. We recommend taking a blend of DIM + Vitex, one of the most successful combinations.
Inositol for PCOS
Remember we earlier discovered that high testosterone levels cause insulin resistance in women with PCOS – Remember?
We also said that insulin resistance hardens the follicle, making it hard to burst open to release the ovum, the egg.
This is the reason why infertility doctors prescribe metformin, to correct insulin resistance.
Inositol helps correct insulin resistance and can increase chances of ovulation, especially when used with DIM + Vitex combo. (Read this article)
Berberine Supplement for PCOS
Berberine is a herb that has been shown to be as effective or even more effective than metformin (15, 16)in controlling insulin resistance and even diabetes.
Berberine is so effective in this area that most people taking it ends up losing weight (a common challenge with hormonal imbalance), reversing insulin resistance and conceiving.
Berberine and inositol should not be taken together.
Which Supplements should you be taking?
PCOS women tend to have different hormone issues. It is not one fits all approach. This is why I would highly recommend you contact us for a free consultation.
Example: not all women with PCOS have low or no progesterone. Some may even have higher than normal progesterone levels.
There are specific lab values that we recommend done in order to know what is the specific issue we are working on, using natural remedies like supplements.
I’d highly discourage just buying these supplements without consulting with us. It is very easy to make a mistake.
Did This Article Answer Your Questions?
I always write articles with you, the reader in mind. I would like to know which questions you may have.
I’m also sure you know someone else who may be dealing with infertility (most people do not know the cause) and suffering quietly.
Kindly share this article with them. They will appreciate. Sharing is caring.
While natural remedies (even surgeries – you should avoid) are never 100% cure, they are safer, cheaper and have good success rates.
You have questions! You have concerns! Leave a comment below and I will personally respond to you.