Many women first discover they have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) when they try unsuccessfully to conceive. PCOS ovulation can stop as your eggs may not mature, and so can’t be released either regularly or at all. And sadly, without an egg, there can be no conception and baby.
However, hope may be found in some wonderful natural supplements that can boost PCOS ovulation.
Let’s take a look…
Berberine is extracted from several plants, including goldenseal, Oregon grape and European barberry. It can be used topically to prevent infection and may be useful in treating congestive heart failure.For treating PCOS fertility, though, it’s berberine’s antidiabetic properties and significant improvements in glucose tolerance that are of great interest, as insulin resistance is a significant cause of ovulatory dysfunction.Some studies have shown that “berberine is an effective insulin sensitiser with comparable activity to metformin.” Studies of berberine as an adjunct to fertility treatment for women with PCOS indicate it works better than fertility treatment alone or fertility treatment combined with metformin.Berberine plus fertility treatments achieved a better therapeutic effect and had higher live birth rates than metformin.And, berberine is generally considered to be safe with few side effects.
Black cohosh is a plant related to the buttercup. Extracts from the roots of black cohosh are widely used by women to control the symptoms of menopause.
For women with PCOS, black cohosh may be helpful because it can reduce the levels of luteinising hormone (LH) often elevated in women with PCOS. Ovulation is stimulated by a brief surge of LH. In women with PCOS who have a chronically elevated LH level, ovulation is disrupted. One study has shown that women with PCOS who take black cohosh have pregnancy rates that are slightly higher than women who take clomiphene citrate.
Black cohosh can cause headaches and stomach upset. Its safety during pregnancy is unknown, so it is best to discontinue its use as soon as possible after conception.
Ok, so I’ve saved the best until last!
I love vitex castus, or chasteberry. I have recommended this herb for years and helped many women with PCOS to both better balance their hormones and increase their fertility.
This herb is commonly used to treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and irregular menstrual cycles. It has also been used by natural healers to prevent miscarriages and to increase the production of breast milk.
Vitex acts primarily to increase the amount of progesterone in the body but also affects other reproductive hormones. Women with disrupted menstrual cycles often find they return to a normal cycle after taking vitex for several months.
Normalising the menstrual cycle increases the chances of ovulating normally and conceiving. Most studies on vitex have not been conducted on women with PCOS per se, but on a heterogeneous group of women with disrupted menstrual cycles. However, the review study Herbal medicine for the management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and associated oligo/ amenorrhoea and hyperandrogenism; a review of the laboratory evidence for effects with corroborative clinical findings found Vitex was effective at improving menstrual regularity, boosting fertility, and lowering the high levels of prolactin not uncommon
in this syndrome.
As with any treatment, they work because they change our biology, so I always recommend seeking professional support. Saying that there are some wonderful, proven and natural ways to boost PCOS ovulation and we can’t wait to hear your successes!
Had any experiences with these supplements? Leave us your comments below.