Attain Fertility Releases Video for PCOS Awareness Month:
(Purchase, NY) September is PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) Awareness month and Attain Fertility®, in partnership with The American Fertility Association (AFA), has added a new video to their extensive educational library: How to Stabilize Your Hormones, a Guide for PCOS Patients. The video is narrated by Dr. Mary Ramie Hinkley, a reproductive endocrinologist with the Reproductive Science Center of the Bay Area, who discusses the many ways hormones and insulin resistance can be controlled for women with PCOS.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, between one in ten women of reproductive age in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
“One of the best things about receiving a diagnosis of PCOS, is that you now know your enemy and you know what you’re up against,” says Dr. Hinkley. The diagnosis allows doctors to develop the best advice and strategies to treat patients so that they will be able to achieve a safe and healthy pregnancy. The 4 symptoms that Dr. Hinkley focuses on in the video are: excessive hair growth, acne, obesity, and insulin resistance.
Hair Growth and Acne: Many women with PCOS experience excessive hair grown on their upper lip, chin and other body parts. For those who are not trying to conceive, birth control pills and dermatologic agents are often prescribed. However, for women with PCOS who are trying to get pregnant, hormonal treatments to help balance and stabilize the hormones are the safest ways to control hair growth. The treatment for Acne is much the same for women trying to conceive. A delicate balance of hormones will often safely help to control this common symptom of PCOS.
Obesity is probably the most well-known symptom of PCOS. It is important for women to understand that controlling their weight isn’t simply about counting calories. “With PCOS we often have to educate women about the right kind of diet to control their obesity,” explains Dr. Hinkley. Along with eating a healthy low carbohydrate diet, it is very important for women with PCOS to get adequate exercise. Eating smaller, more frequent meals may also help to balance the bloodstream by reducing the ups and downs of larger meals.
Insulin resistance, which serves as a main driver for some symptoms of PCOS, exists when there are elevated levels of insulin in the blood stream. A delicate balance between insulin and glucose gives the body the energy it needs to function in everyday life. Too much insulin or too much glucose causes excess hormones to float in the blood stream. This has a negative impact on every cell in the body, including the pancreas, liver, hair, and especially the ovaries, and is the cause of many problems for women with PCOS who are trying to conceive. To treat Insulin resistance, a change in diet and increase in exercise may be recommended and the drug Metformin, used to help regulate the insulin / glucose balance, may be prescribed.
Along with proper diet and exercise, Dr. Hinkley explains that there are several other ways to stabilize hormones.
- Create a balance of ovulatory hormone and luteal support hormones
- Use herbal supplements, including cinnamon
- Seek acupuncture treatment
Treatment for women with PCOS who are trying to become pregnant often starts with a change in diet and exercise, and will sometimes include medications to control glucose (such as Metformin) or assist in ovulation (such as Clomid). “Once a woman ovulates they are often able to conceive, carry a pregnancy, and begin the family of their dreams,” according to Dr. Hinkley.
Dr. Hinkley goes on to explain that sometimes more aggressive treatment, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), is recommended. IVF is used to harvest eggs in a safe context. The eggs are fertilized and the embryos are transferred back into the woman’s uterus to help them achieve a “safe pregnancy and be assured that a healthy embryo has been transferred to the right place” explains Dr. Hinkley. IVF has proven to be a very successful option for women with PCOS.
“My last and best advice to women with PCOS who hope to start a family is not to despair. Understand what you can do to help yourself and what we, as professionals in the fertility field, can do to help you. And even though you may be getting a year or two older as you go through the process, your disease is improving and you are on your way to having a healthy family,” concludes Dr. Hinkley in the video.
Throughout PCOS Awareness Month, Attain Fertility will provide community education and support, including guest blogs from PCOS sufferers who will share their experience as well as guided conversations on Facebook.
More About PCOS: http://attainfertility.com/topic/pcos-treatment