Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is a condition in which a woman has an imbalance of female sex hormones. This may lead to menstrual cycle changes, cysts in the ovaries, trouble getting pregnant, and other health changes.
In this condition the ovary stops cyclic maturation of follicles (Water filled sacs containing egg) leading to anovulation or non production of mature eggs. This leads to increased production of male hormones and unbalanced production of oestrogen which is the principal female hormone. There is also absence of progesterone, the hormone which comes only after ovulation and balances the side effects of increased oestrogen production.
What are the causes?
PCOS is linked to changes in the level of certain hormones:
- Estrogen and progesterone, the female hormones that help a woman’s ovaries release eggs.
- Androgen, a male hormone found in small amounts in women.
Increased luteinising hormone (LH) is produced compared to follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which in turn causes the follicles on the ovaries to produce more of the male hormone testosterone than the female hormone oestrogen. The adrenal glands start to produce increased amounts of testosterone as well.
The changes make it harder for a woman’s ovaries to release fully grown (mature) eggs. Normally, one or more eggs are released during a woman’s period. This is called ovulation. In PCOS, mature eggs are not released from the ovaries. Instead, they can form very small cysts in the ovary.
These changes can contribute to infertility. The other symptoms of this disorder are due to the hormone imbalances.
What are the symptoms?
- Menstrual irregularity : This may range from short irregularcycles, having menstrual bleeding which stops only with medicines or abnormally delayed or absent menses.
- Obesity : Increased weight is both a cause and an effect often PCOD.
- Hirrsutism : Increased hair growth on face and other parts of the body due to increased male hormones.
PCOS can cause you to develop male-like characteristics. This is called virilization. Symptoms include:
- Body hair growing on the chest, belly, face, and around the nipples
- Decreased breast size
- Enlargement of the clitoris
- Thinning of the hair on the head, called male-pattern baldness
- Voice gets deeper
- Polycystic appearance of ovaries: These are small egg containing sacs which increase in size but do not attain full maturation and thus enlarge the ovary and give it its classical look. These are not tumors or growth and do not require operation for removal.
- If the condition remains untreated the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart problems is greatly increased, others like – oily skin, acne increased, dandruff, skin discolorations, high cholesterol levels, elevated blood pressure etc.
- Infertility : Since there is no ovulation or timely egg release infertility is the most common problem.
How Homoeopathy can help in PCOD conditions?
- In homeopathy every woman with symptoms of PCOS presents differently and so too will each woman’s treatment plan. The weighting of PCOS symptoms will vary and so the focus of treatment will too. Whether it is help with hormonal imbalances or regulating periods, seeking relief from the side effects of prescribed medications or support in dealing with the stress and frustration associated with trying to get pregnant, or the emotional turmoil of being diagnosed with PCOS or infertile, homeopathy can help restore health on both the physcial and emotional levels.
- In homeopathic treatment we take a holistic approach to health and treat the person rather than the diagnosis alone. There is not “one” specific remedy designed for the treatment of PCOS. Instead each prescription and treatment plan is unique and designed according to the individual’s needs.
- Homeopathic treatment is safe, non addictive, has no side effects and can be taken alongside conventional medicine. Combining a homeopathy routine, with good lifestyle choices, diet and exercise can be most effective in helping women with PCOS.
The main aim is to regularize the cycles and minimize or prevent the formation of the cyst.