According to the CDC, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the leading causes of female infertility and classified as a lifelong condition. Anywhere between 6 to 12 percent of women are affected by PCOS.
Symptoms of PCOS include:
• ovarian cysts
• insulin resistance
• weight gain
• unwanted or unusual hair growth
• painful menstruation
• infrequent or absent menstruation
Symptoms of PCOS can range anywhere from mildly annoying to full-on heartbreaking. Part of the difficulty in treating this condition is that every woman is different. She may have all of the classic symptoms to varying degrees, or maybe just one or two. Luckily, there are a few natural supplements out there that women with PCOS are seeing results with and are worth giving a try!
• Rhodiola: The useful part of this shrub is the root or berry. It is native throughout India and the Middle East, and it has been used for centuries as a medicinal treatment for many different ailments.
• Milk Thistle: Related to ragweed and daisy, this plant grows in Mediterranean areas. Milk Thistle helps to eliminate toxins built up in the liver over time and is often used to help treat liver problems such as cirrhosis, jaundice, and hepatitis. This supplement is helpful to women with PCOS because of its detoxifying properties, lending it its ability to cleanse and release the build-up of hormones and toxic chemicals from the body. Women taking this supplement may see improvement with acne problems and hair growth.
• Agnus Castus: Vitex, also known as "Chastberry," is a tree that grows in Mediterranean areas. This herb is a commonly promoted remedy for PCOS and infertility because so many women have experienced great results when taking this supplement regularly. Vitex works much like a natural form of progesterone and has been used to treat female infertility, prevent and eliminate uterine cysts, alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), regulate menstrual cycles, and provide postpartum support. However, women are not advised to take Vitex during pregnancy, due to its ability to stimulate and purge the build-up of blood and tissue from the uterus (thus creating its ability to regulate a woman's menstrual cycle).
• Black Cohosh: Black Cohosh is also referred to as "Black Snakeroot." It's native to the eastern part of the United States. This herbal supplement has been used to treat symptoms primarily associated with menopause, such as headache, night sweats, mood changes, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. However, Black Cohosh has also been used to treat PMS symptoms and help women with PCOS by inducing ovulation. It is often used as a natural alternative to Clomid, a commonly used fertility medication prescribed to help women with PCOS.
• Ginseng: This herb is traditional to Chinese medicine in treating hormonal imbalance in infertility. It helps to regulate periods, improves circulation, and even acts as an all-round immunity booster!
Word of Caution
It is not the intent of this article or its author to replace the advice of a licensed medical practitioner in the diagnosis or treatment of a possible or existing medical condition.