PCOS (Polycystic Ovary, or Ovarian, Syndrome, also known as Polycystic Ovary Disease or PCOD) is a condition that affects your whole body. It makes its presence felt in the endocrine system, the organs and pathways that manufacture and distribute the hormones that control so much of your body’s functions.
This means the list of symptom is long. PCOS can cause weight gain, skin discolouration, hair loss and unwanted hairgrowth! It can also have a dramatic effect on your fertility by disrupting your menstrual cycled reducing the frequency and regularity of ovulation, which essentially means you have fewer chances to get pregnant, and identifying those chances is harder.
Fortunately, a diagnosis doesn’t mean all hope of pregnancy and parenthood is lost. Today, we’re looking at how to ovulate with PCOS and how to predict it so you can try at the best time for success.
You can address the infrequency and irregularity of your ovulatory cycle by striking at the root of the PCOS problem. While the symptoms of the syndrome are caused by an excess of the three key hormones Insulin, Oestrogen and Testosterone, the overproductions of Oestrogen and Testosterone (normally thought of as the male sex hormone – it does have a part to play in women’s bodies but in smaller quantities) are actually caused by that excess Insulin as well. If you can lower the amount of Insulin your body creates, you can lower those other two hormones as well and lessen all the symptoms of the condition. This can lead to more frequent ovulations!
Insulin plays an important role in your body, regulating the level of your blood sugar. Disturbances in its production can lead to exhaustion and even collapse, or weight gain, as too much energy is locked up in fat cells. It’s not easy to take back control, but it’s rewarding.
Switching to a low GI-Diet can help. Foods with a low Glycaeimic Index (like whole grains and pulses) break down and release sugar and energy gradually, leading to a steady, low level of insulin production. Foods with a high Glycaemic Index (white bread, sugary foods) break down quickly, releasing sugar into the blood in sudden peaks, followed by deep troughs. This leads to irregular,dramatic peaks and troughs in your insulin levels. As your blood sugar becomes more regular, so will your insulin levels, and your symptoms.
Tracking your BBT is one of the most reliable ways of spotting when you ovulate. It’s not reliant on tracking hormones that can be unreliable in the face of the disruption of PCOS.
An integrated system that measures your BBT and other factors like Progesterone levels and reads out via an app is even better – providing predictions of when you’ll next be fertile and need to try to conceive.