How to Reduce the Damaging Effects of PCOS on Fertility Through Diet and Herbs

How to Reduce the Damaging Effects of PCOS on Fertility Through Diet and Herbs

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome may be one of the most complex female health issues of our time. It is the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age. PCOS is accompanied by a variety of different health issues, many of which directly impact fertility. Classic PCOS presents with obesity, polycystic ovaries (multiple ovarian cysts that look like a strand of pearls), elevated levels of androgens and absent or irregular menstrual cycles. Not all women who will go on to be diagnosed with PCOS will have these issues though.

What Causes PCOS?

Doctors are unsure of what causes PCOS, but information suggests there may be a genetic link, possible abnormal fetal development and inflammatory response contributing to the cause. PCOS is also negatively affected by diet, lifestyle and exposure to certain environmental toxins. PCOS directly impacts fertility, but has serious health implications as well, especially if left untreated.

Genetic Predisposition and Abnormal Fetal Development
Women whose mothers, sisters or grandmothers had PCOS are at a higher risk for developing PCOS. Research suggests that exposure to excessive amounts of male hormones (androgens) by the developing fetus may alter proper gene expression. This means that the affected genes will not function properly later in life, which may cause PCOS during the reproductive years of a woman’s life.

An interesting study of 235 women with PCOS were divided into two groups. The groups were categorized by 1. obese women with elevated androgens, elevated LH and testosterone and 2. by thin to normal weight women with elevated LH and normal levels of androgens. The results of the study showed a pattern in their both mothers weight and baby’s birth weight and fetal gestation time. Women in group 1 had above-average birth weight and were born to obese mothers. Group 2 were born after term (over 40 weeks gestation). The conclusion was that events occurring during fetal development may have long-term effects on endocrine function later in life.

Low-grade Inflammation
It has also been found that women with PCOS have low-grade inflammation, which may be a cause for insulin resistance. White blood cells produce substances to fight infection, this is known as inflammatory response. In some predisposed people eating certain foods, or exposure to certain environmental factors may trigger an inflammatory response. When inflammatory response is triggered, white blood cells produce substances that may contribute to insulin resistance and atherosclerosis.

Signs, Symptoms and Health Risks

Signs and Symptoms of PCOS

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Absent period
  • Anovulatory cycles
  • Abnormal mid-cycle bleeding
  • Excessive or heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Alopecia (balding)
  • Hirsutism (excessive body hair)
  • Acne
  • Acanthosis nigricans
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • History of ovarian cysts
  • Mood disorders
  • Obesity
  • Recurrent Miscarriage

Health and Fertility Risks Associated with PCOS

  • Infertility
  • Menstrual cycle irregularities
  • Possible increased risk for Endometrial and Breast Cancer due to unopposed estrogen
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Gestational Diabetes

How is PCOS Diagnosed?

When PCOS was first discovered it was named Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome because of the presence of polycystic ovaries seen by ultrasound. Over time doctors began to realize that PCOS was a complex array of health issues. This lead to certain criteria that must be recognized to be diagnosed with PCOS, rather than just the presence of polycystic ovaries. In fact some women with PCOS do not have polycystic ovaries. In order to be diagnosed with PCOS the following should be evaluated by your healthcare practitioner:

    Pituitary and Ovarian Hormone serum levels
  • Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
  • Estradiol
  • Progesterone
  • Prolactin

    Circulating Androgens
  • Free testosterone
  • Free androgen index (FAI): 17-hydroxyprogesterone
  • Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG): 24 hr. urinary free cortisol
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S)

    Endometrial Biopsy
    Glucose Tolerance Test
    Thyroid Panel
    Blood Lipid Profile

Wondering what your test results mean? Please talk to your doctor in detail about what your test results mean for your fertility. Some doctors may tell you that you have mild PCOS. Women may have some or all of the symptoms of PCOS, some may have normal menstrual cycles and some may not. Testing is the best way to find out if you have PCOS for sure or not.

How PCOS Affects the Menstrual Cycle

What happens in a normal menstrual cycle?

In very simple terms the hypothalamus produces GnRH (gonadotrophin-releasing hormone) which signals to the pituitary to produce LH (luteinising hormones and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). The release of GnRH is pulsatile in women with regular menstrual cycles. This normal pulsatile release of GnRh signals some of the follicles in the ovary to begin maturing and for the ovaries to release estrogen and progesterone. This estrogen/progesterone signal is recognized by the pituitary gland. As the follicles begin maturing they release and increase the hormone estrogen over time. The rising estrogen level signals the pituitary gland to curb release of FSH. This communication allows for ovulation to occur. In women with PCOS the menstrual cycle follows a different pattern of endocrine function and communication.

What the menstrual cycle is typically like in a woman with PCOS…

In women with PCOS the cycle begins irregular, with the hypothalamus releasing GnRH in a higher than normal pulsatile frequency. This allows for increased LH and decreased FSH, this in turn leads to excessive production of the androgens androstenedione and testosterone. This causes the follicle to only mature some, but not enough to achieve full maturity. This also allows for continued increase of estrogen, primarily estrone. During the development of the reproductive stage and during reproductive years for females, estrone is relatively low. Typically we think of estrone to be associated with menopause, not women of reproductive age. The higher levels of androgens and estrogen creates a chronic state of low to very low progesterone.

Classic polycystic ovaries are a result of chronic anovulation. Endocrine function is imbalanced from the very beginning of the cycle causing mild to severe hormonal imbalance, depending on the individual.

Excessive levels of estrogen may also cause uterine hypertrophy, also known as endometrial hyperplasia. Unopposed estrogen may cause excessive cell proliferation of the endometrium. The endometrium is the innermost layer of the uterus that is shed as menses during menstruation. Endometrial hyperplasia may cause heavy menstrual bleeding or prolonged bleeding during menstruation. The uterus may become bulky and larger than normal.

Medical Options for PCOS

Anovulatory Cycles

    Oral Contraceptive Pills (birth control) are the number one most prescribed medication to regulate menstruation in women with PCOS. While this may help to create a regular menstrual cycle (which is important) it prevents pregnancy. This is not helpful for women with PCOS who are trying to conceive. OCPs do not solve the root of the problem.

    Other hormonal medications may be commonly used as well. This is determined by case.

    Clomid is commonly used for women with PCOS to hyperstimulate the ovaries to ovulate. Once again the problem we encounter here is that Clomid does not resolve PCOS, though it may help a woman to get pregnant.

Ovarian drilling done by laparascopic surgery. This is done with the intent to stimulate ovulation.

Insulin Resistance

    This drug is commonly prescribed for women with PCOS, even if they are not insulin resistant or have any signs of type 2 diabetes. Metformin helps to control the amount of glucose in the blood. Metformin is used to treat type 2 diabetes. PCOS can often be helped by specific diet changes, similar to a diabetic diet. Metformin comes with many risks and side effects. Talk to your doctor in detail before choosing to use Metformin to control PCOS. Many natural therapies may also be used with Metformin with your doctor’s approval.

There are a variety of other medications prescribed depending on the symptoms of PCOS. There are medications for hirsutism or alopecia, weight gain and more. Your doctor can provide you with specific information on medications.

Learn to Eat a PCOS Fertility Diet

Eating a specific PCOS Fertility Diet is one of the best things you can do to improve your chances of becoming pregnant.

Eating a specific PCOS Fertility Diet is one of the best things you can do to improve your chances of becoming pregnant.A big part of the problem with PCOS is the high insulin resistance. Resistance to insulin increases the body’s insulin levels which effects normal ovulation by preventing the body from ovulating or limiting the maturation process of the released egg.

This directly has an affect on your fertility and ability to conceive.

Women who are insulin resistant are also 4-5 times more likely to have a miscarriage. Imbalanced insulin levels due to PCOS make it difficult for the embryo to attach properly to the uterus.

PCOS is also a huge red flag for the beginning of type 2 diabetes.

I do not say all this to scare you, but I do want you to know that this is a serious matter. But there is a lot you can do to turn this all around, naturally. The biggest step you can take is to change your diet to a PCOS diet.

The benefits of following a PCOS Diet are:

  • Increases the rate of spontaneous ovulation.
  • Significantly improves the environment of the uterus, preparing it for a healthy conception.
  • Decreases the potential for miscarriage
  • Prevents PCOS from turning to diabetes

PCOS Diet Guidelines

1. Balance your daily protein with equal amount carbohydrates

This will help to eliminate the insulin yo-yo. When you eat equal amounts of proteins and carbohydrates this helps to keep your insulin at a balanced level, thus increasing your fertility.

Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet helped insulin resistance. High-carbohydrate, low-protein diet made insulin resistance worse.
-Medical Journal Metabolism; no. 12: 1481-1487

A diet containing 25% carbohydrates improved insulin resistance, whereas a diet that included 45% carbohydrates did not
-International Journal of Obesity and Related metabolic Disorders 20 no. 12:1067-1072

The types of carbohydrates you choose are also an important factor. Choose whole grain, or sprouted grain products. They contain more protein and fiber (thus balancing insulin better) than the processed counterparts. Avoid white processed carbohydrates which cause a spike in your insulin levels and provide no fiber, or nutrients.

Some examples of whole grain and sprouted grain products are:

  • Ezekiel breads
  • Whole spelt- pastas and breads
  • Quinoa – pastas, flour, grain
  • Millet- breads, grains, cereal
  • Brown Rice- cereals, breads, grain

The best place to find these foods are at your local health foods store or Whole Foods Market.

Make sure the proteins you are eating are complete and organic. Organic meats and dairy contain essential fatty acids and will not contribute to any hormonal imbalances.

2. Eat foods low on the glycemic index and glycemic load list

Blood glucose rises and then falls when you eat a meal containing carbs. How high it rises and how long it remains high depends on the kind of carbs (glycemic index GI) and the amount you ate (glycemic load GL). Low glycemic index foods are carbohydrates that break down slowly in the body, and don’t cause such a dramatic spike and then drop in insulin levels. The glycemic load takes into consideration the amount of the glycemic index food you consumed and how that affects your blood sugar. The glycemic load combines both the quality and quantity of carbohydrate into one ‘number’. It’s the best way to predict blood glucose values of different types and amounts of food.

The serving size of the amount of carbohydrates consumed really matter here. Be sure to eat no more than 100g of low glycemic index carbohydrates a day if you have insulin resistant PCOS and are overweight. Increase the amount of low glycemic index carbohydrates consumed a day to over 100g if you are thinner or underweight.

Some examples of low glycemic index foods are:

  • Kale, broccoli, asparagus
  • Beans and lentils
  • Unprocessed foods
  • Grapefruit and apples
  • Walnuts and almonds

Processed carbohydrates that break down quickly are likely to make the insulin levels jump dramatically.

Avoid foods that have a high glycemic index such as sugary and starchy foods: pancakes, syrups, sugar, white potatoes, jams, scones, white bread products, pasta.

3. Eat a diet high in fiber

Fiber helps in two ways with PCOS. The first way they help is by slowing down the digestion of sugars in the body, so there is no spike in insulin. The second way they help is by promoting healthy estrogen metabolism which aids in the reduction of elevated levels of androgens.

Great sources of fiber are: broccoli, celery, whole grains, Ezekiel bread, apples, and dark leafy greens.

4. Eat 5 meals a day

By eating more often, the body will not go into fasting mode. When you look at the way most Americans eat, it is usually three big meals a day. With such a large gap of time between meals the body goes into fasting mode which causes the metabolism to become imbalanced.

The five meals a day should consist of three regular meals and two healthy snacks or 5 small meals. The first snack should be eaten in the mid-morning before lunch and the second snack to be eaten less than an hour before bed. Between eating 5 meals a day and eating a serving of protein (3-4 ounces), low GI/GL carbohydrate (1/4-1/2 cup or serving size), vegetables (1/2 cup to 1 cup) each meal.

Here is what the 5 meals a day could look like:

  • Breakfast (right away, when you wake up): 2 eggs scrambled in 1 tsp. coconut oil with spinach and 1/2 cup of black beans
  • Snack: Smoothie with unsweetened coconut or almond milk, peaches, 1/4 tsp. of ground cinnamon, hemp protein powder and spirulina
  • Lunch: Organic Turkey lettuce wrap with celery sticks and hummus on the side
  • Dinner: Organic chicken with steamed broccoli and half a cup of baked yam
  • Snack (less than an hour before bed): organic unsweetened yogurt with half a serving of low glycemic index fruit (blueberries, raspberries, papaya) and 1/2 tsp. chia seeds

Alternately, you could have your last snack between lunch and dinner, eating your dinner right before bed. Find out what works best with your lifestyle.

5. Eat essential fatty acids daily

Eating essential fatty acids (EFA’s) helps you to lose weight, produce balanced hormones, and creates a healthy environment for conception.

The best source of EFA’s is Fish Oils, and Evening Primrose oil.

Omega 3 EFA supplement- Take 1-3 capsules daily with your snack. Make sure to use an oil that contains DHA which is essential for the baby’s healthy brain. You can take this daily and during pregnancy.

Evening Primrose Oil- Take 1500mg of this oil from day one of your cycle (menstruation) till ovulation. Evening Primrose Oil helps to increase cervical mucous and metabolic function. Use in addition to the flax or cod liver oils.

6. Exercise 30 min. 5 days a week

Exercise helps PCOS by improving your insulin sensitivity, increasing your metabolism and helping to shed any excess weight. Both aerobic and resistance exercises are good. Researchers found that participants of resistance exercises showed better improvement in insulin sensitivity than with aerobic exercise alone.

You could walk and lift weights or take a Pilates class and run on the treadmill. Discover what you enjoy doing and do this 5 days a week for at least thirty minutes.

7. Eat Organic

You will be eating a high protein diet, so it is essential that any animal proteins (meats and dairy) you are eating are organic. In commercial meats there are large amounts of added hormones (estrogens) that make the animals grow bigger, faster, and produce more milk. With PCOS there is usually a progesterone deficiency and adding more estrogens can make it even worse.

Studies have shown that organic foods contain more vitamins, minerals and healthier proteins.

8. Quit Coffee

Caffeine increases estrogen levels. A study from Fertility and Sterility shows that drinking just two cups of coffee a day boosts levels of estradiol, a natural estrogen. Women who drink 4-5 cups of coffee a day produce 70% more estrogen in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle (when the body is trying to produce a viable follicle for ovulation, which is already and issue in women with PCOS.)

If you need help getting off the bean, check out Teccino. It is a coffee alternative that tastes great and is alkalizing for the body.

PCOS Herbs and Supplements

In addition to eating the PCOS diet, supplements have shown to be effective in helping those with PCOS boost there fertility and give birth to healthy babies. The overall goal with PCOS is to balance blood sugar levels in the body, maintain hormonal balance, promote healthy digestion for improved estrogen metabolism, while also working to promote regular ovulation and menses. Adaptogen herbs are also important, this is because adaptogens increase resistance to mind-body stress and enhance overall vitality and health through non-specific adrenal (known as stress glands) support. Plants recognized as adaptogens help to normalize the body’s functions, most importantly the endocrine system, even during diseased states, are non-toxic, nutritive, and have been deemed safe for long term use.

Herbs and supplements are not meant to be a substitute for dietary and lifestyle changes! If important diet and lifestyles changes specific to PCOS are not in place, herbs and supplements cannot aid the body properly!

Supplements that are beneficial for PCOS…

Whole Food Multivitamin
A major part of decreasing the effects of PCOS and preparing the uterine lining is to take a prenatal multivitamin. Making sure your body has all of the nutrients necessary is a lot easier when you are taking a whole food multivitamin. Synthetic multivitamins won’t have the same effect.

Other vitamin and mineral considerations…

    This trace mineral enhances the action of insulin. Some studies have shown supplementing with chromium may improve blood sugar control. In one study women with PCOS were given 1,000 mcg per day of chromium for two months. In that time results showed improved insulin sensitivity by 30% and by 38% in obese women with PCOS.

    Foods that are high in chromium are onions, tomatoes, brewer’s yeast, oysters, and whole grains, bran cereals. Most foods contain little chromium, so supplementation may be need to be considered.

    Calcium and Vitamin D
    Both calcium and vitamin D play significant roles in the health of many parts of the body. Where PCOS is concerned, calcium protects cardiovascular health. Vitamin D plays a role in glucose metabolism. Studies have shown that people with type 2 diabetes are often deficient in vit. D. A small study of 13 women with PCOS showed that 7 out of the 9 who had absent or irregular menstrual cycles, had a return of normal menstrual cycles within two months of being given 50,000 IU once or twice per week of vitamin D and 1,500 mg per day of calcium.10. This is a marked improvement! Of those 13 women, 5 were shown to be vitamin D deficient.

    Good food sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil, eggs, salmon, mackerel, tuna and whole fat yogurt or other dairy products.

    Vitamin D can also be obtained for free by sitting out in the sun for 15 to 20 minutes per day. Forget using sun block though as it will actually block the ultraviolet light that is needed to produce Vitamin D. The warm sun helps your skin to create Vitamin D3 that is then transformed into the active hormone form of Vitamin D by the kidneys and the liver. In fact, by being out in the sun for just a few minutes a day, a woman’s body can create between 10,000 to 25,000 IU of Vitamin D.

    Calcium can be found in kale, turnip, collard, and mustard greens, kelp and wakame seaweed. Hiziki, a type of seaweed has 10 times more calcium than a glass of milk.

Herbs and supplements that promote hormonal balance and support regular ovulation:

    Omega blend

    Eating essential fatty acids (EFA’s) helps you to lose weight, produce balanced hormones, and creates a healthy environment for conception. EFA’s have been shown to support hormonal balance and production.

    Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

    Helps to maintain proper hormone production and release. Licorice supports healthy insulin levels and liver health for hormonal balance support.

    Maca (Lepidium meyenii)

    Maca works to balance the estrogen and progesterone in the body, for a healthy menstrual cycle. Maca is an adaptogen and an incredible fertility superfood. It helps to balance the hormones, but does not contain any hormones itself. It is able to do this by nourishing and balancing the endocrine system.

    Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus)

    Vitex Extract (Chaste Tree Berry) is one of the most powerful herbs for women’s fertility and menstrual health. There are numerous studies and testimonials of Vitex and it’s effects on the body. One of the reasons Vitex is so effective for women who are not ovulating due to PCOS, is because of its ability to balance hormones while not containing hormones itself. Vitex supports hormonal balance in the body by having an effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis (hormonal feedback loop), correcting the problem at the source.

    Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris)

    May normalize ovulation in infertile women when used prior to ovulation. This herb has been found to be wonderful in aiding women with menstrual irregularities, improving timing of the entire menstrual cycle. Tribulus has also been found to be a nourishing tonic for the female reproductive system as a whole, especially concerning the ovaries.

    White Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) and Licorice Rt. (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

    Most clinical trials have found that when White Peony is combined with Licorice Rt., it performs better, especially for relaxing muscles, reducing painful menstruation, as well as lowering serum and free testosterone levels in women with PCOS.

    Natural Progesterone Cream

    Progesterone cream can help to oppose the estrogen dominance that occurs with PCOS. By using progesterone cream you are able to mimic a natural cycle and help the body to establish its own cycle, including ovulating, again. Dr. John Lee believed that with progesterone cream, changes to the PCOS specific diet and exercise, PCOS could become obsolete.

Healthy Estrogen Metabolism


    DIM balances the hormones and aids in the breakdown of estrogen. Estrogen is a major culprit to many of the fertility issues women face today including PCOS. Unopposed estrogen has been shown to cause menstrual cycle irregularities and in more advanced cases, endometrial hyperplasia. Removal of excess estrogen is vital to overall hormonal balance in women with PCOS.

Insulin Resistance

    Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.)

    A pilot study published in 2007 by Fertility and Sterility showed cinnamon to greatly reduce insulin resistance in women with PCOS. Another study suggests cinnamon may also reduce insulin resistance by slowing the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine. This slows the breakdown of carbohydrates, which is important for people with diabetes and women with PCOS.

    Gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre, G.sylvestris)

    Gymnema has been used for hundreds of years to reduce high blood sugar. This herb has a “sugar blocking” action on taste buds and the small intestine. Gymnema blocks the typical paths that sugar molecules take during digestion, delaying the absorption of sugar. It works by stimulating the regeneration of pancreatic cells that produce insulin, which aids in more insulin production; in turn stimulating production of enzymes that help with the uptake of glucose into cells; and then prevents stimulation of the liver to produce more glucose. Gymnema also appears to have a lipid-lowering effect, which aids in weight loss.

Hirsutism and Endometrial Hyperplasia

    Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)

    Saw Palmetto has been found to inhibit DHT production by reducing 5 alpha-reductase production, which may help prevent hirsutism in women with PCOS. This herb also helps to reduce endometrial hyperplasia and hormonal acne symptoms.

To purchase a harmonizing herbal blend supportive of hormonal balance click here…

Inflammatory response
Because women with PCOS usually have low-grade inflammation constantly present in the body, it is important to support the body by promoting healthy inflammation response. Some foods are known to trigger inflammation in the body. If you have food allergies, avoid foods which you are sensitive to, they trigger inflammatory response.


    Omega essential fatty acids decrease the risk of inflammation, especially omega 3 and 6. Getting enough essential fatty acids in the diet may help, whether through foods you eat or through supplementation.

    Systemic Enzyme Therapy

    Systemic Enzyme Therapy using systemic enzymes are another option. Systemic enzyme blends work as a biological response modifier; working with the bodies own immune defense system to moderate inflammatory response. They also break down the proteins in the blood that cause inflammation.

    Royal Jelly and Bee Propolis

    Royal jelly and bee propolis have been shown to reduce inflammation and naturally boost the body’s immune system. They may also aid in hormonal balance through endocrine system support.

Click here to learn about other herbs helpful for women with PCOS…


PCOS is a complex female health issue. It consists of many different health issues and risks. If permanent diet and lifestyle changes are implemented, these risks and health issues may become obsolete. There are many ways to support the proper health of a woman’s body that is dealing with PCOS. Important key tips…

1. Make sure your doctor performs the correct tests and you get a proper diagnosis.

2. Follow a PCOS specific diet to help decrease insulin resistance, balance weight, promote estrogen metabolism.

3. Promote hormonal balance and support regular ovulation. Consider supportive herbs and supplements.

4. Support proper inflammatory response.

5. Stick to your plan, believe in yourself, you have the ability to change your circumstances!

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  1. Hello! I was diagnosed with PCOS 6 years ago. I’ve been married for 8 years, no kids. I had 1 ectopic pregnancy and 2 miscarriages. I’m on Provera now and about to start Clomid. Is Drinking almond milk healthy? Is Maca oatmeal good for me? I’m just trying to eat as healthy as I can. Thanks

  2. Hi! I went to my GYN today because AF hasn’t visited me since Oct. 28th. My Gyn did a vaginal ultrasound and noticed that a few of my follicles were enlarged. She stated that this is because I haven’t ovulated, but could possibly be PCOS. I’m concerned because after AF back in Oct, I took the Fertility Cleanse Kit. I admit that I didn’t follow thru on it as directed (ex. drank the tea once a day instead of 3x’s a day). Could this be the possible cause of my missed periods?

    • Dear Claudia,

      I am sorry this is concerning!

      We have seen temporary shifts in the menstrual cycle as a result of detoxifying the liver and using the Fertility Cleanse as instructed. As a result of cleansing for fertility, toxins are temporarily re-circulating in the body which may cause side effects including a temporary shift in the timing of the menstrual cycle. This means that the menstrual period may come later than expected, or that the length of your cycle may change. We see these shifts regulate in the following cycle.

      I have not heard of menstruation being delayed for multiple months as a result of completing the Fertility Cleanse as instructed. As you will or have read here, absent or irregular menstrual cycles are often issues for those with classic PCOS.

      I hope this article helps you as you decide the best natural care plan for you.

  3. Hello! My name is Amber. I had a Molar Pregnancy in 2010 and after that, 3 years later, I was concerned about not being able to get pregnant and then diagnosed (in 2014) with PCOS. They immediately put me on Metformin, I was sick as a dog, and Clomid as well. I am to a point where I have given up and thrown in the towel. I stopped taking my meds and I haven’t seen my menstrual cycle in 5 months now. I’m tired of crying… I’m tired of being angry or depressed every time I’m asked to be a godmother, or someone invites me to a baby shower, or even tells me there great news that they are pregnant… I’M TIRED!!! I just needed to vent and let it out!!

    • Dear Amber!

      Hi! It is great that you vented! Honestly, holding these emotions, which are completely understandable, inside is not healthy. I hope that you have someone you can do this with on a regular basis.

      I am so sorry have gone through all of this and I honestly hope that you haven’t given up hope and trying to support your body. There are wonderful suggestions in this article that have proven results. It can seem overwhelming to know where to start and if this is so, and you are interested, we have a fertility herbalist on staff who is able to work one on one with you to guide you and create for you a personalized natural fertility program. She does this through a Fertility Consultation.

      If you choose to have a Fertility Consultation, you will fill out a consultation intake form with as much information about yourself, your diet and lifestyle, your fertility health challenges and certainly how emotional they all make you, and also ask your most pressing questions. In return you receive a guide and audio recording or your herbalist explaining your guide to you, in addition to the opportunity to ask questions after the consultation and have an ally in your journey. Click that link above to learn even more or book a consultation.

      We hope to get to work more closely with you to support you!

  4. DIM is Highly estrogenic as it comes from SOY. This is going to have the opposite results of what you want for PCOS. You don’t even mention removing inflammation causing foods out of the diet. Or mention what items are estrogen promoting. Soy, plastic, pesticides, splenda/sucralose, stevia, lavender etc. NEVER cook with plastic if you want to lower estrogens. NEVER Drink from plastic bottles. NEVER eat from plastic or plastic lined containers. Your article is a good start but you miss half of the problem

    • Dear G. Hartley,

      Thank you for taking the time to read our article and for commenting on it. I wanted to take a bit of time to address your concerns.

      DIM is a plant indole, an organic nutrient, occurring in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and cabbage) known to improve the breakdown, synthesis and removal of substances in the body (metabolism) specifically the hormone estrogen. While many DIM supplements may contain isolates of soy, like soy lecithin, isoflavones (a phytoestrogen) from soy are not present in pure DIM and are also not present in soy isolates.

      While, this article addresses inflammation in much of the content, you are correct, there isn’t much information on diet choices for this issue within this article (we touch on this topic in other articles about this issue). I have added it to our publishing updates schedule. Great reminder! In fact, this article is already slated for an update this year. We know new research shows many different presentations of PCOS and perhaps a change in the name of this condition.

      My herbalist colleagues and I are curious if you would be willing to share the resources you have that show Stevia and Lavender are estrogen promoting. We are not familiar with either of these promoting estrogen. Without knowing where you sourced this information, it is difficult for me to respond.

      We do, however, fully understand the impact of xenoestrogens from plastics and pesticides of overall health, as well as fertility health. We in fact have a lot of information on our website about xenoestrogens, xenohormones and how to decrease exposure to them. You are right, NEVER use plastic! I think it is a great idea to add in a lifestyle section to this article to include this information here.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for several great reminders! We appreciate being kept on our toes!

  5. Aloha from Oahu (again)! This November, after a year of trying to conceive, I was found to have PCO (about 20 follicles in each ovary). My fertility doctor suspects that I have mild PCOS due to a hard-wired “brain sensitivity to estrogen” and not insulin resistance. I have always had a healthy weight, good activity level and I’ve been refined sugar/flour conscious for years. I’m surprised to have PCO! Are the recommendations above generally the same for my case? My fertility doctor is focused on getting me pregnant (his job) but I’d like to grapple with my health first- should I seek out a more direct PCOS diagnosis and treatment before considering fertility treatment (likely Clomid)?Mahalo

    • Greetings Elizabeth!

      I can imagine this diagnosis was a bit shocking. Consider taking time to learn about The Many Faces of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, specifically about Non-Insulin Resistant PCOS. It just so happens that we have learned that supporting the body in achieving balance with this type of PCOS tends to be from a more natural approach.

      We do feel it best to work to naturally support fertility health prior to both natural conception and medically fertility treatments. This being said, it is entirely up to you to what degree you do this. Each woman prepares differently, has different health needs and differing amounts of time to prepare. In general we suggest working to support fertility health for a minimum of three months prior to conception.

      All the best!

    • I am so excited about that article, it explains so much! Thank you for taking the time to respond to a girl lost in the woods of PCOS information out there, I really appreciate it. Because my case isn’t as acute as others, perhaps my doctors don’t see it as necessary to focus on. My instincts lead to me to agree with you, though, it’s best to understand and treat my own health before speeding ahead to drug-assisted conception. I’m happy to hear the treatment is usually natural anyway, so I will start pursuing that option. Thanks again!

  6. Hi!
    I was quickly put on the contraceptive pill at the age of 13 to treat a bad case of acne, and had been taking it for 12 years when I decided to stop taking it due to being sexually inactive. I quickly started breaking out badly again, and results were positive for PCOS. My doctor has put me back on the pill and is reluctant to give me any other options – I feel like I’m just masking the problem & I’m concerned about being infertile. Do you think medications like roaccutane to treat acne are my next option?
    If I lose weight & keep it off, is it likely the PCOS will leave my body completely? I really don’t want to rely on medications to fix this!


    • Dear Bec,

      While I understand the emotional component of having acne as an adult, you are right, medications are only masking the problem. They are not addressing the underlying hormonal imbalance that is leading to acne, or PCOS. The program outlined in this very article is designed to address the underlying imbalance.

      By supporting your body in re-learning balance thru weight loss and dietary and lifestyle changes, you will be promoting healthy hormonal balance, a healthy uterine lining, regular ovulation, improved estrogen metabolism, reduced cravings for sweets and improved digestion – all of which is very likely to support your fertility health. I am not aware of a “cure” for PCOS, but the changes outlined in this article have been shown help many manage it and reduce its effects.

      I hope this is helpful!

  7. I’m 16 yrs old. I used to get my periods regularly till 9th grade, but later stopped because I started gaining weight (well that’s what the doctors said!). My bestie who has PCOD (after hearing that even I’m not getting my periods, getting pimples on my uterus and also excessive hair on my body (genetic)) said that even I’m having PCOD and the worst part is that I can’t go for check-ups because my parents have spent a lot on check ups for different things. So, am I actually having PCOD? Anyways thanks for your page!

    • Dear Gayathry,

      I am sorry this is causing concern!

      The only way to know if you have PCOD, or PCOS, is to be evaluated by a healthcare provider, your doctor. You may have similar symptoms as your best friend, but may not have PCOD. I can not know for you either way.

      I hope you are able to see a healthcare provider who can help you soon. You are young and have time to support your health and bring back a normal menstrual cycle.

      Best wishes!

  8. I am 31 years old and was just diagnosed with PCOS after a year of TTC. The doctor prescribed me with Metformine for now. I am still waiting for my test result to come back. While reading and educating myself about PCOS I see alot of people writing about Myo Inositol which is an herb to help with PCOS. What is your input on this herb? Can this be taken along with Metformine?

  9. Hi, this information is so valuable!! I am 30 years old have PCOS and have had 2 children with the help of the drug Clomid but would be interested to see if diet could help us not to have to use it to have more kids. I also grow facial hair and have irregular periods etc. Can you eat dairy on this diet??? How long does it take to start fixing your cycle etc?

    • Hello Anna!

      Yes, dairy can be consumed in moderation while following this diet. Organic or grass-fed dairy is a source of protein, calcium, vitamin D and essential fatty acids, all important for fertility and overall health.

      The length of time it takes to experience changes is different for every woman dependent on diet, health history, stress levels, existing health conditions or imbalances, how well she sticks to the program, and how severe the fertility issue is. Those on our health programs should begin to see changes within 1-3 months. These changes could be increased energy, improved cervical mucous, ovulation, correction in cycle length, etc..

  10. Hi,
    I am 20 years old and recently was told by the gynecologist that I have PCOS. I have seen quite a lot of doctors and they always gave me medicines for continuous 3 or 6 months to regulate my menstrual cycle. Once the dose gets over, my irregular periods begin again as I stop taking the medicines. Recently I discovered a cyst less than 1 cm in my right ovary when my current gynecologist did an ultrasonogram. She gave me duphaston, to be taken for 5 days if I don’t get my period for continuous 3 months. It has already been 2 months now that I am not getting it and have started to get worried. Is there a way to get my period naturally? I am tired of taking medicines since the age of 16.

    • Hello Samiha!

      I am very sorry you are having to deal with this fertility issue.

      We have learned that medications often act like a Band-Aid in the absence of dietary and lifestyle changes. The great part about the herbs, nutritional supplements and natural therapies that we suggest and support often work real well given commitment to dietary and lifestyle changes are made as well.

      Consider the natural therapies we have found to be most supportive of the body in re-learning balance by promoting healthy hormonal balance, a healthy uterine lining, regular ovulation, improved estrogen metabolism, reduced cravings for sweets and improved digestion.

      It can take time to experience results and thankfully you are young. I hope that these natural therapies feel doable/attainable and that if you commit to them, you will soon experience positive results.

  11. My 21 year old daughter has this. I only gained 18 pounds during pregnancy and, at 5 ft 6 in,
    weighed 110 pounds before pregnancy. I found this article very helpful and I will pass the infor-
    mation on to her. Thank you

  12. I was diagnosed with PCOS officially 3 years ago. My husband and I have been trying for baby 2 years now. Actually, I have mild PCOS with a good hormone profile and no insulin resistance. The actual problem is with my LH levels. I always ovulate. On the 3rd cycle day, my LH is around 10 miu. From the 13th to 16th day, I usually have a mild LH surge, but I do not ovulate. I ovulate later with an obvious LH surge and that then lengthens my cycle. At the first mild LH surge, I have spots of blood in my cervical mucus. This happens not every time, but sometimes. I tried unsuccessfully Metfomin, Inositol and Letrozole. Nothing worked. I feel disappointed. Hope for your advice!

    • Hello Maria!

      I am sorry for these challenges. There are in fact many different types of PCOS and each woman experiences this issue to a varying degree.

      How long is your luteal phase? Are you actively trying to conceive when you ovulate? I am curious why the medications you have tried were even tried given you ovulate on your own and don’t have insulin resistance. Has your healthcare provider told you your LH surge isn’t strong enough?

      Consider the suggestions made in this article for supporting healthy FSH and LH levels. We have found that in terms of hormone balance, dietary and lifestyle changes are equally as important as the herbs, nutritional supplement and natural therapies one might try, and especially so with PCOS. Consider rereading through the dietary and lifestyle changes in this article again even though you have mild PCOS.

      Also, blood tinged cervical mucus can be a sign ovulation. Some women experience spotting when they ovulate.

      Is this helpful? Please reach out again if you have any further questions.

      Best wishes!

  13. Hi! Thank you for your article. I wanted a suggestion from you. Someone told me it’s better to go a homeopathic doctor instead of Allopathic doctor because with Homeopathy it’s cured from the root, but with Allopathy it can come back. Please suggest to me something.

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Karishma,

      Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), or integrative medicine, includes a number of different natural therapies, such as naturopathic medicine, herbalism, acupuncture, massage therapy, and homeopathy. Homeopathy or homeopathic medicine is a CAM therapy by which FDCA regulated homeopathic remedies are prescribed by homeopathists. Unlike herbal and nutritional therapies, homeopathy is one of very few CAM therapies that treats symptoms rather than the root of the issue or imbalance.

      Natural healthcare practitioners like naturopathic doctors and herbalists work to discover the root of an imbalance or fertility health issue in order to correct the issue and support the body in finding balance.

      It is a common belief and experience for many that modern medicine focuses primarily on symptom relief. Many go to a doctor with a symptom and leave with a prescription for a medication, or are encouraged to have surgery to relieve that symptom or coax the body into functioning as it is supposed to. Many medications and surgeries do not address the root of the problem.

      I by no means wish to downplay the importance of medicine and medical doctors. Their expertise is invaluable, they have the ability to assist their patience with more in-depth testing than many natural healthcare practitioners can, and the services they offer are also needed by many. In terms of fertility, medical professionals are able to offer assisted reproductive methods as well. There are also medical doctors out there who understand the importance of learning the root of the issues their patience deal with and encourage the use of natural therapies.

      Ultimately, we feel it is important to address the underlying imbalance leading to or contributing to any fertility issue. Whether this is through a natural healthcare practitioner or medical doctor, or both is up to each individual.

      I hope this is helpful!

  14. Hello, thank you for the article. I’ve was diagnosed with PCOS about 2 years ago and I am 25 now. I had been having very bad hair loss for 8 months. Hair is falling off over my head, but most noticeably on the front and sides. After a bit of research, I believe this is a “male pattern hair loss” and it’s very likely due to my PCOS. I will try some of the supplements that you recommended. I am currently on birth control pills already. I am considering Saw Palmetto, Maca and Cinnamon. I am also taking some Vitamin B and fish oil to boost my hair growth. I just wonder whether there would be some side effects when all these supplements work together. Can you please advise? Thanks, Lorraine

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Lorraine,

      I am thankful this article is helpful!

      Consider speaking with your healthcare provider about combining herbs with the birth control you are on. If you are currently already on fertility medications you should not combine herbs with your medications. Herbs that act on the hormonal system could affect how your medications are working.

      Fertilica Maca can be taken with Saw Palmetto, Cinnamon, Vitamin B and a fish oil supplement.

      Best wishes!

  15. Hi, question on Vitex. I ordered some based on the information above, but there is a warning on the label NOT to take if trying to conceive. Please advise

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello April!

      This warning is printed on labels for liability reasons, as a way for some companies to protect themselves because they don’t offer guidance on how to properly use the herb, in this case Vitex. I can not be 100% certain of why the maker of the supplement you purchased states this however.

      Vitex has been used for over 2,000 years by herbalists and midwives for it’s supportive benefits of the female reproductive system with no significant side-effects reported. It can be taken in preparation for pregnancy and when trying to conceive. Fertilica Vitex is to be discontinued in early pregnancy if you learn of pregnancy while you are taking it.

      I hope this offers clarity!

  16. I would love to hear some success stories about women who were able to overcome PCOS.


    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Fatima!

      We offer a Natural Fertility Success Stories area that you are welcome to browse where you will find testimonials and letters that have been sent in from customers, clients and readers.

      We know these inspire so many!

  17. Hello, after 4 month of following your great advices with healthy diet & supplements & plants I noted significant improvements of my skin & I feel much better overall! However, I still don’t have my period for more than 6 month & today I had appointment with my gynaecologist & he noted that my LH level is still very high & PO (no changes). Therefore he strongly recommends that I should take birth control pills (Minerva) for about 6 month in order to help to lower LH level and to get my period back & regulate the cycle. My question is, if I will take again birth control pills, can I keep taking vitax plant mix and add maca in my smoothies or I should stop all plants during this treatment?

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Victoria,

      If you are currently already on fertility medications or going to undergo a procedure, or follow a prescribed program, you should not combine herbs with your medications. Herbs that act on the hormonal system could affect how your medications are working. It is best to only use herbs in preparation beforehand and not mix the two.

      You may also want to consider a Fertility Consultation. Our email Fertility Consultations provide you with a personalized written guide and audio recording from our fertility herbalist explaining the best natural therapies, herbs and nutritional supplements for your unique fertility needs.

      Best wishes!

  18. The list of symptoms sound like it may be related to celiac disease to me. We talk about all of these symptoms on a forum I frequent. If one has PCOS they may wish to be tested for celiac disease by a full panel celiac blood test. This test includes tests for antibodies to gluten and a test of total IgA.

  19. This has been such a helpful read. I was actually dx with endometrial cancer over two years ago due to the unopposed estrogen :-( We made the decision to go on Megace (progesterone) as we have not had children. Well…my biopsies for the last two years have been clear and now off the megace. I had lost so much weight and eaten so well (very little gluten, minimally processed foods, etc) but now I am in the biggest slump of my life…even gained 40 pounds of it back. So…apparently just really burned out. Does anyone have any good recipes that are satisfying and low gly?? Now that we have been given the ok to start trying, I really want to try to make the best of this mess :-)

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Beck!

      You might consider joining The Natural Fertility Community to connect with other who may have recipes and helpful tips for you. This is space to connect with others going through similar challenges as you are… a place to create virtual friendships and find support.

      Best wishes!

  20. hello,
    I was diagnosed with Polycystic right ovary last January. This year when I consulted my OB she gave me medicines, but it didn’t change, it became worse. I have PCOS now. Then last June I change my OB and she changed all my medicines that my old OB gave me. This medicine is for the regulation of my menstruation for 3mos (duphaston). I take this meds every month on my 1st day of menstruation 4-10 days, and last Aug. I finished the 3mos this medication my doctor advised me and had my ultrasound again to check if my ovaries changed yet there was no change. I’m still suffering until now.

    Now I shifted to another Dr. She gave me clomiphen citrate and told me to stay with my husband for all my ovulation periods yet the medicine didn’t work. This day I’m having my 1st day of menstruation.

    I don’t know what to do and what to take to make sure that my PCOS is totally treated because we’ve been waiting almost 3yrs to have our 1st baby. Thanks a lot and I’m happy to see your reply ASAP.

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Lyncee,

      As you have read here, PCOS is considered a complex endocrine system disorder. The main function of the endocrine system is to serve as the message center of the body coordinating the dispersal of our hormones throughout the body. When the endocrine system is not properly nourished, it is not able to properly coordinate where each hormone needs to go, which then causes hormonal imbalance.

      We have learned that because of the complexity of PCOS, it can be hard to live with and manage. PCOS requires long-term dietary and lifestyle changes and these changes often require commitment. Medications are like a Band-Aid without these changes.

      We share in this article important information about the dietary and lifestyle changes we feel benefit those with PCOS the most. These changes we learned through our research and one on one consulting with clients.

      The herbs and nutritional supplements discussed here are designed to support the body in promoting healthy hormonal balance, a healthy uterine lining, regular ovulation, improved estrogen metabolism, reduced cravings for sweets and improve digestion – IN COMBINATION WITH the dietary and lifestyle changes eluded to earlier in this reply. We feel that for optimal hormonal balance this program is best completed alongside a PCOS Fertility Diet and lifestyle changes.

      We are also happy to work one on one with you to help you understand how to make these dietary and lifestyle changes for yourself. We offer this guidance through a Fertility Consultation. Fertility Consultations are designed to support each woman given her specific reproductive health needs.

      Best wishes!

  21. Hi, I am 29, 52kg. I stopped Yasmin 1 year ago, as decided to clean my body & be ready to convince (after 5 years been on it with no issues, perfect skin) & my life become very difficult with cascade of unpleasant various symptoms (terrible ACNE, hair loss, irregular period that has completely stopped in March). I went to gynaecologist in June and was diagnosed PCOS. Since than I went to naturopath and acupuncture, as decided to try to treat it naturally. I am following your healthy diet (no sugar, gluten, milk) exercise regularly, taking Omega, acid folic, magnesium, zinc, & few other plans. I feel better overall, but my Acne gets better than worth again & still no period :-( Please advice.

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Victoria,

      I am very sorry that this has happened! How great that you are seeing results from working with your Naturopath and Acupuncturist! While you definitely could share the information in this article with each of them to help you incorporate that which you feel may benefit you, we feel that if you are currently working with a healthcare practitioner and they have you on a program, it is best to follow that program for the suggested amount of time before you change it or start a different program. Health results take time to appear and often take some patience!

      Again, please feel free to share this article with your Naturopath and Acupuncturist for guidance, or you are welcome to work with our fertility herbalist through a Fertility Consultation.

      I sincerely wish you well!

  22. Hi, wondering if someone could give me advise please. Im 31 and have PCOS. My menstrual cycle is irratic at the moment, sometimes I bleed for 7-8 weeks at a time, sometimes longer. I was at the gynea, and he gave me pills to shrink my cyst that I have, +/- 5cm wide. And that helped, but now everything is back. I would like to know if there is anything I could take to shrink the cyst, and im sure that will help stop my bleeding to. Really need advise PLEASE!!!

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Tarryn,

      For some surgery is a necessary step, but sadly this does not address the underlying imbalance that is contributing to your fertility issue. I am sorry you are having to go through all of this!

      We have found time and time again that it is imperative to hormone balance that we eat a whole food, nutrient dense, clean diet and reduce exposure to excess hormones and toxins that we come into contact with not only via our food, but lifestyles (body care and feminine care products, personal environments, even habits). Working to change the way we eat and our lifestyles is key.

      The suggestions made may support the body’s natural ability to remove excess estrogen from the body (unopposed estrogen fuels hormonal imbalance), aid the body in the formation of a healthy uterine lining through key whole food nutrients and herbs, encourage ovulation through traditionally used herbs and normal circulation to the reproductive system, and may also promote healthy digestion and a reduction in cravings for sweets to help support the body in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

      If you are not certain what you might try, I would recommend a Fertility Consultation with one of our Fertility Herbalists. She will be able to help guide you in the right direction with the right program specifically based on your fertility needs.

      Best wishes!

  23. Very helpful article. Now a days PCOS is becoming common among the women and the major reason is stress. I have come across some PCOS patients for whom the practice of yoga and meditation along with their regular PCOS treatment has helped to a great extent.

  24. I am 30 and I am trying to conceive
    I have PCOS + insulin resistance + hypothyroid
    I am on medication of metformin and thyronorm since 2008 (6 years)
    I am very eager to conceive and off late for a year my cycle duration and length has reduced. It was always a flow of 3-4 days. It has gone down to 1-2 days. Also the cycle length was 28 days and now it has become 25 days. What should be done?

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Shruti!

      I replied to your questions about Shatavari before I saw this post.

      Given it appears you have read through the information I linked you to in that comment (this article), and the complexity or your fertility needs, it may be best for you to consider a Fertility Consultation. A Fertility Consultation offers you the chance to share everything that you can about diet and lifestyle, all that you are doing to support your fertility health and efforts to conceive, in addition to ask detailed questions of your fertility herbalist. You receive in return a personalized program, tailored to your specific needs, shared with you in an audio recording of your herbalist, a written quick guide and the opportunity to ask even more questions of her.

      I do hope you will consider!

  25. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 15, I am now 30. I have most of the symptoms including facial hair, very irregular to non existant periods. My husband and I are trying to conceive, but have not had any luck so far. I am planning on starting the PCOS diet but I am vegan and gluten intolerant so I am not sure what I can do to replace some of the recommended foods. I want to know which supplements you would recommend to help with fertility. Also is there anything I can take that will help with the facial hair and acne that will work well with whatever you recommend for fertility?

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Kay!

      I am sorry about the challenges you are faced with!

      We would be happy to offer you guidance on dietary, lifestyle and herbs, supplements and natural therapies for your unique situation and fertility needs beyond what is offered here. We do this through a Fertility Consultation. Our Fertility Consultations provide you with a personalized written guide and audio recording from a fertility herbalist, explaining the best natural therapies, herbs and supplements for you.

      In the meantime, consider learning more about Saw Palmetto.

      Take Care!

  26. I was diagnosed with PCOS a few months ago, i’m only 15 but am getting a lot of the symptoms. I have many cysts in my ovaries, androgenic alopecia, acne, irregular periods (Haven’t had one for a year), lots of abdomen pain. Among others.

    The main thing that’s upsetting me at the moment is the hair loss, like I said i’m a teenager and losing my hair is very upsetting. I’ve been put on zelleta mini-pill by my GP to stabilise my hormones, but I read that the pill can also make you lose your hair. Which just makes everything worse really.

    If you have any advise for how to stop hair loss I would be incredibly grateful.



    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Cassie,

      I am so sorry that you have to be going through this at a very young age!

      There are herbs to support hormone balance of many faced with this fertility issue, however it is not suggested to use herbs that have an affect on hormone levels with any type of medications for fertility that also affect hormone levels. It may be best for you to seek the specific guidance through a Fertility Consultation or a natural healthcare provider near you, such as a naturopath, who can tailor a plan to your specific needs.

      I hope you are able to find relief!

  27. Hi there :),
    Im 30, I had ultrasound and was told I have cyst few years ago, them developed acne, for a while hot flashes, and facial hair. Trying to conceive now, reading everything on the web, Im taking following:
    Evening Primrose oil
    Hemp Oil
    l tyrosine
    Vit D 30000iu
    Just ordered:
    Gymenna, Burdock root, Tribulus, and more Organic vitex to change brands.
    Im coming from an extremely high diet on fruit now eating with your recommendations.
    I dont know which type of PCOS I fall into, would these supplements contraindicated to any type of PCOS??

    I never knew these categories…

    Thanks in advance.

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Maria!

      Without knowing the proper dose or combination that may be right for you, it would really be best to consider a Fertility Consultation with an herbalist or natural healthcare practitioner, such as a naturopath, someone who can help you determine if these herbs and supplements are right for you.

      Best wishes!

  28. I have pcos
    I was talking metformin n then yasmin
    Wenever I take the yasmin n my period cum after the 3 month supply is finish I didnt see any again

  29. Hello,
    My friend have been diagnosed with PCOS. she has been prescribed for one year medication. I want to ask that what will be the side affects of those medicines and if she is able to cure her problem after doing exercise and quitting the food she loves to eat, can she continue eating that food and doing activities she loves to do but she had to quit because of her PCOS? and please also mention how to get rid of side affects caused by medicines.
    Thank You

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Umamah,

      I am not a medical doctor or pharmacist who is able to explain side effects of the medications your friend is taking. It will be best for her to talk to her doctor or pharmacist about any concerns she has with the medications she is taking.

      Dietary changes have been shown to be critical for those who have PCOS. Medications simply act like a Band-Aid when relied upon alone. While your friend may not need to quit all food she enjoys, it should prove beneficial to her fertility health to follow the PCOS Fertility Diet talked about here. Exercise to maintain a healthy weight and support her overall health is key as well.

      I wish your friend well!

  30. and i have pain just above where my right leg bends.arthritis is in the this related to ovarian cysts 11cm?

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Margaret,

      I have not ever heard of leg pain at the hip being related to ovarian cysts.

      Take Care!

  31. Is it okay to take Vitex while taking Synthroid (50 MCG once daily)? I have PCOS and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hi Julie!
      If you already take medications and are wondering if any of these supplements are safe for use with your medication, please speak with your doctor first, prior to using them. While there are no known drug/herb interactions between Synthroid and Vitex, there is potential for herbs and supplements to alter the amount of thyroid medication and this is only to be done under the supervision and via the guidance of your healthcare provider.
      Be sure to also exercise regularly, eat a whole food diet, while working to keep stress at bay to protect your body from thyroid problems!

  32. I can’t thank u enough for this information. I was actually searching for how to boost ovulation for some with pcos and I stumbled on this excellent information. Thanks ever so much. The info is comprehensive and easy to understand.

  33. Hi, i have had pcos for 5 years and i have been on Metformin for 2 years, im overweight, i exercise regularly as i play soccer and tennis, i eat a balanced diet. I cant seam to lose weight and im hungry all the time, and i don’t get regular periods and haven’t had one since ive been on Metformin. Any advise would be amazing!

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Margaret,
      I am sure it is proving to be a challenge when you are working so hard to change your diet and lifestyle to benefit your body.
      Some thoughts I have for you…
      1. be sure to eat 5 meals each day and that they contain a balanced ratio of protein and carbohydrates.
      2. focus on low glycemic-index foods
      3. be sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day. Start your day with 1 quart of room temperature water, squeeze in the fresh juice of 1/2 a lemon too) and then consume yet another quart throughout the day.
      4. Consider taking a wholefood multivitamin like Fertilica Fertile Woman One Daily and a quality omega supplement like Fertilica Cod Liver Oil.
      5. Consider supporting your body by taking herbs. There are herbs when combined in Bi-Phasic herbal blends that support the different phases of the menstrual cycle… Utilizing two organic herbal blends, one for the first half of your cycle and another for the second half, you are able to support the body’s natural hormone and ovulation cycle with specific herbal blends for each phase. These herbs not only support hormonal balance and an increase in circulation to the reproductive system, but also reduce pelvic congestion and cravings for sweets.
      and lastly, there are also some additional tips for supporting weight loss efforts here…
      I hope this proves to be helpful!

  34. Hi,

    I have recently been diagnosed with PCOS one month ago. I have been having irregular periods since a teenager. I am intending to get married in 6 months and with PCOS diagnosis, I am worried if I could not conceive. I weigh normal, started to exercise regularly and have been maintaining healthy eating habits. However, the doctor told me to shed some weight to improve this condition.

    My Question is, what kind of supplement should I take? Evening Primrose Oil? Fish Oil? I am very confused and worried of this. Could you please help? Thanks.

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Rosy,
      You can take either a balanced fish oil supplement such as Fertilica Omega 3,6,9 or Fertilica Evening Primrose Oil, or both.
      Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are important in overall health and have been shown to be supportive of proper endocrine function, heart and brain function and healthy cholesterol levels, reducing inflammation and important for hormone production and balance.
      Evening Primrose Oil contains the essential fatty acid GLA and is widely used for balancing hormones and assisting the body in increasing cervical mucus. It also supports the reduction of inflammation in the reproductive system.
      They can be taken together. I would encourage you to read about both to learn which (or if both) is best for you. You can learn more at each link below…
      Fertilica Omega 3,6,9
      Fertilica Evening Primrose Oil

  35. Hi,
    I have PCOS and have been trying to conceive for a year now. I have been on dulphaston for 5 months now and my periods are regular, I’m on a diet and exercising regularly as well and I’m not diabetic. Still my husband and I have no luck in conceiving. Could I be doing something wrong???

  36. Hello!
    I am a thin woman with PCOS (cysts, irregular periods after coming off of birth control). I have been taking dong quai and vitex for about 2 months. I have gotten my period twice since taking them! However, my acne (large, painful nodules) has gotten MUCH worse on jawline and back. Do you recommend an herb that functions like vitex w/o the acne?


    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hi Jess! I am sorry this is happening for you!
      A chief complaint by women with PCOS is cystic acne. Saw Palmetto has been shown to help reduce cystic acne.
      Saw Palmetto has been found to combine well with Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus), Licorice Rt. (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and Nettle Root (Urtica dioica) to support a reduction in all of the symptoms of PCOS.

  37. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 21 and I have acne on my chin (its depressing me to the point I cant bear to be in a relationship or ever been in a long term one, the fear of anyone seeing me without my make up scares me to death!!). I’m 31 and have been suffering from mild/moderate acne for 15 years, other than acne my other symptom is irregular periods (I usually miss 1/2 only each year so its fairly regular. I’ve tried low carb diet and even went to a qualified herbalist but with no success to clear the acne. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Can I treat my acne naturally? The only success I’ve had is being on very strong antibiotics prescribed by my dermatologist. I’ve been on them for a good 3-4 years, on different brands. Initially my skin has been crystal clear but then my body gets immune to them and my skin breaks out…so derma kept switching me to different brands but now my body is immune to them all!! My next step is accutane… My next dermatology appointment is on the 7th July. Currently my skin is a big fat mess…. I rather sort this out naturally and be in control of this. Any ideas? I’m from Manchester UK, does anyone know of any professional help I can get from here?

    • Hi Nadia,

      I am sorry to hear you are in both physical and emotional pain from the acne! Until you resolve the root cause, namely the PCOS, it is going to be challenging to resolve the acne. I don’t know of anyone in the U.K. to help you, but we offer excellent consultations via email. With our email consultation you get a clearly written guide and an audio recording of your herbalist explaining each step of your guide/path to health. There are several herbs you could work with, but to be honest, working with one of our herbalists will help you to figure out which herbs and natural lifestyle changes are right for your specific needs. I hope you feel better!

  38. Hello

    I suffer from PCOS, I’ve been TTC for 2 years. I have had ovary drilling done, been on clomid and metformin with no luck. I’m not over weight but quite lean and muscly and have a very clean diet. I have just started taking vitex and DIM. Was just wondering can you fall pregnant on Dim as it is estrogen blocker? I know that the only levels that are out are my test and progest. But for some reason my fertility specialist wouldn’t prescribe me any progesterone. Should I seek a second opinion.

    Thank you :-)

    • Hi Jo,

      DIM doesn’t remove or block all estrogen, that is a misconception. DIM improves estrogen metabolism in the body, aiding in removal of “bad” estrogens and excess estrogen. Yes, you can become pregnant while taking DIM. Once pregnancy is confirmed, discontinue use of DIM. Click here to learn all about how DIM works…

      As an herbalist, I find that it is always best to see if your body will balance hormone levels on its own with the use of herbs, rather than going straight for the progesterone cream or prescription. You may want to give your body more time with the vitex and DIM before choosing to directly increase progesterone levels with progesterone supplementation.

      All the best!

  39. Could you use cinnamon and gymnema as a “natural metformin”? Would using those herbs have the same effect as metformin on your body? I am not diabetic and I have never had any blood sugar issues so I don’t need metformin but metformin helped me conceive so I do have at least some level of insulin resistance with pcos. I am just not a huge fan of medicine so I would prefer a more herbal based alternative.

    • Hi Samantha,

      Cinnamon and Gymnema have been used by herbal practitioners to help people with diabetes and PCOS to improve insulin levels. For anyone interested in using these herbs this way, it would be best to do so under the strict guidance of an herbalist, who can monitor you closely and can provide information and good communication to you to discuss your health with your doctor.

      Cinnamon’s actions are different than Gymnema’s. I am not a medical doctor and not educated on pharmaceuticals to know the mechanism of action of the drug Metformin. From what I do know, I would say each of these acts differently in the body, so I can’t say one should replace the other.

      Women shouldn’t try to control insulin levels with herbs known to help with this, when they have been told they are not diabetic, prediabetic or have any blood sugar issues what-so-ever.

      I think you might like learning about biphasic herbal formulas for PCOS, which include a lower amount of Gymnema in an herbal blend. Click here to learn how biphasic herbal formulas for PCOS work to support a wide range of body issues associated with PCOS…

      Be well and have a wonderful day :)

  40. I was diagnosed with PCOS at 17. The doctor didn’t really explain it to me to well but it wasn’t killing me so I didn’t care. My mom has always had bad facial and chest hair so I thought I just got that from her. I had no idea my PCOS was causing that. I get maybe 2 periods a year so I’ve never complained about that! Now it’s beginning to get hard to lose my weight. I’m only 25. My husband and I were trying to conceive for 5 years and recently we have gotten over that and decided to go through adoption rather than fertility. I would still like to take control of my PCOS just to relieve the symptoms and cancel out my chances of diabetes and breast cancer! I hope this diet can help. But I’m vegan. Is there anyway I cantrade the yogurt, chicken and Turkey?

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hi Jennifer,

      By trade yogurt, chicken and turkey do you mean substitute other foods for these?
      If so, you can omit them or work to eat vegetable sources of protein (not soy however) and coconut yogurt (or none at all).

  41. Hi
    I have been diagnosed with PCOS 2 years back. I am married and trying to concieve but in vain. I have tried all medications which were not successful. After doing so much research I concluded that healthy lifestyle is the cure of PCOS. Now I am on healthy diet, not eating junk food at all but still want to eat sometimes. I am not eating wheat which was my main meal before.

    I want to ask you some questions 1 can I eat whatever I like once in a week?
    2 Which fruits I should not eat becoz some fruits have high sugar contents
    3 where can I get vitex and progesterene cream online?


    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Congratulations on realizing leading a healthy lifestyle is the #1 way to support your body in living with PCOS!

      Below are answers to your questions…
      1. It is my opinion that you should indulge (a very little). If you completely deprive yourself, you will think too much about the food you want and end up binging. Be intentional about what you eat. Choose foods that are special to you and that you can only eat rarely. You can also Google “low glycemic index desserts or treats” for a number of recipes.
      While taking an entire day to eat what you wish may hinder your efforts to make your new diet your new “normal” and a habit, do take time once a week to eat one or two things you have cut out or simply love.

      2. The following fruits are low glycemic index fruits (low in sugar)… Blueberries, mulberries, cranberries, apples, pears, and citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges), and peaches.

      3. Please contact our customer care team for guidance…

  42. I have a question. I have PCOS and I don’t have a lot of the symptoms like excessive hair growth but I do have cysts around my ovaries accompanied by irregular/unusual periods and anovulation. I was wondering what one supplement would you recommend to give me the most “bang for my buck” in dealing with the PCOS symptoms that I am dealing with. I am already following the diet plan and I exercise but I am looking for something to further support my goals but I would rather not take a bunch of different supplements. What one supplement would I potentially benefit the most from? Thanks.


  43. pls I have PCOS but notice when I purge I ovulate well. How can I reduce my weight and eliminate this PCOS. THKS

  44. I have questions, I was diagnosed with PCOS over a year ago after a year of infertility treatments prior. I do not fit the criteria in anyway, which surprised my dr. The only clue was my lack of cycles. Again I was started on treatments with no success. I decided to stop treatments to give myself a break and suddenly my periods are regular. Is it possible my PCOS has corrected itself from all the meds forcing ovulation each month? I’m always nervous my cycles are going to disappear again, is there anything I can do to keep this going without all the doctor visits and medication?

    • Hi Anna,

      There is really no way for me to know if the medications you were taking helped your cycle to regulate on its own or not. The best thing you can do for your health, no matter what your health issues are, or if you are on medications, would be to learn to eat a whole food nutrient dense diet and get in regular exercise daily. The diet guidelines here on this article are critical for women with PCOS!

      Learn more about the different types of PCOS here…

  45. Hi Kulwant,

    Milk may not be the best food for women with PCOS for one reason…
    Conventional milk contains a lot of added hormones (estrogens). Women with PCOS already have an overabundance of estrogen in their systems, so adding more hormones will create even more issues.

  46. Hi Kulwant,

    Progesterone cream has no smell to it at all. It absorbs quickly and easily. The best thing to do with the cream is to rotate application to different parts of the body each day. The cream comes with complete instructions on usage.

  47. Can working ladies use the progesterone cream? Does it have a foul smell? i am worried as working ladies need to apply it before going for work and hope it does not provide a bad body smell which will affect the professional life. What are the precautions to be taken while applying the cream? please suggest.

  48. thanks alot for all the helpful information. What are your views on having milk and milk products. DO they also contribute to PCOS problems? Do we need to avoid them? Can we have Nestle Fitness cornflaskes which are said to be high in fiber? Please suggest. Thanks. Have a nice day