I have been inclined to write a little something on this syndrome as I deal with many clients who come to me for help with managing PCOS and its effects as well as to ultimately help with successful conception.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition in which a woman's levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance. This leads to the growth of ovarian cysts (benign masses on the ovaries).
Most women with PCOS grow many small cysts on their ovaries. The cysts are not harmful but may lead to hormone imbalances.
These hormone imbalances can produce physical symptoms for a woman. For example, the sex hormones become out of balance meaning that unlike normal ovaries that produce only a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens), the polycystic ovary makes slightly more androgens.
- This may cause ovulation to stop
- Increase in acne
- Growth of facial and body hair
- Insulin resistance -> Diabetes
Infertility & PCOS
How is PCOS diagnosed?
- The diagnosis of PCOS is made based on physical signs and symptoms.
- Blood tests can be used to confirm the diagnosis and to determine the course of treatment.
- Ultrasound is not useful for making the diagnosis of PCOS.
How is PCOS treated?
There is no cure for PCOS. Treatment depends on the particular patient's signs and symptoms, as well as her goals. Treatment options include:
For women who are not ready to become pregnant:
- Birth control pills are an excellent way to replace progesterone, establish regular periods, and lower androgen levels.
- If a woman wants to become pregnant, treatment is aimed at establishing regular ovulation.
- For women with PCOS and insulin resistance, medication (such as metformin) to improve insulin sensitivity may be useful.
Reflexology for PCOS?
As we already know, reflexology can help re-balance and maintain the body’s homeostasis.
For PCOS reflexology would ultimately restore the hormonal imbalance resulting in:
- Reduced pain and inflammation at menstruation
- Menstrual cycles may reduce in length
- Cycles may become more regular
- Regulation of ovulation!