Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which ovulation is rare and tiny cysts (follicles) accumulate in the ovaries. These follicles contain eggs and instead of the follicles growing and going on to ovulate, they stall and secrete male hormones into the blood. Some women experience a lack of periods, some male pattern hair growth and acne and some are completely unaware until they try to conceive.

In my experience, there are basically two types of PCOS patients – those that are overweight and those that are normal weight. Dr John Eden, a reproductive endocrinologist at the Royal Hospital for Women Sydney believes that PCOS could have a more direct evolutionary advantage in some special circumstances. The premise is that in times of starvation, survival of the species requires that some women can ovulate when their weight is optimal or even lower than optimal. I am not saying that anyone needs to be underweight, but am highlighting that optimal weight is a crucial component for ideal ovulation.

From a dietary perspective, focus on eliminating sugars and excessive carbohydrates. Maintaining optimal blood sugar levels is essential. This can also be supported with nutrients such as B vitamins, chromium, magnesium and zinc. If you need to lose weight, do so slowly so that it can be maintained long term. Hormone balancing is best achieved by using herbal medicines. Each person has a unique hormone profile, however, herbal medicines such as Peony, Licorice and Chaste Tree have excellent supportive literature supporting their usage.