Restoring Hormonal Balance in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Question

It has been more than 15 years that I suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The traditional treatment was with birth control pills. That seemed to work for a while but then again the same problem appeared. I stopped them in August 2011 and am now trying a progesterone cream. As a result I have a menstrual cycle but the cysts are still there. I am not obese, rather slim (48 kg and 158 tall), I do yoga and dance 3-4 times a week.

They tell me that due to lack of ovulation it will be very difficult to have children if not stimulated with hormone fertility medications.
Is this the only way to restore hormonal balance?

Thank you for your advice.

Eva

Dr. Patel’s Response:

Sheila Patel, M.D.

Dear Eva,

As you have been coping with PCOS for quite some time, you’re no doubt aware that while medical research has not yet been able to find the definitive cause of this disorder, many doctors believe that PCOS itself is a symptom of an underlying hormonal imbalance.  From the perspective of mind-body  medicine, there are many possible factors that can contribute to hormonal imbalance,  including elevated insulin, emotional stress, and low-grade inflammation.

The healing system of Ayurveda would also look at underlying imbalances in the mind-body energies, known as doshas, as well as other lifestyle influences on health, including your daily routine and sleep patterns. Based on your individual balance and imbalances, Ayurveda would prescribe a multi-dimensional treatment with the goal of restoring balance to the entire mind-body physiology.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, an imbalance in the reproductive tissue layer is the end result of imbalances at multiple levels and therefore likely requires a multi-dimensional approach to the treatment.  A thorough history, physical exam, and lifestyle evaluation would need to be done to give specific recommendations.

I recommend that you find a health care provider in your area who has a holistic approach to health for further guidance. Here are also a few general guidelines that may help you create greater balance.

Meditation.  Meditation is one of the most powerful healing practices we know of for restoring balance in all the tissues of the body.  It helps reduce stress and the production of “stress hormones” such as cortisol and adrenalin and has many other beneficial effects for physical and emotional health.  You may want to consider learning meditation with a Chopra Center certified instructor.  You can see if there is one in your area by clicking here.  Another good way to establish a meditation practice is to complete the Chopra Center’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge, which offers guided audio meditations and instruction. Learn more here.

Cleanse or gentle detox.  You may want to consider a cleanse that is designed to bring you back into balance.  This will address imbalances at all tissue levels and help restore balance to the doshas.  You can find further guidance in  a previous article I wrote on seasonal detoxification. Read the article here. You may want to consider a gentle oral herbal cleanse, such as our signature cleanse to optimize the function of the vital organs and tissues.

Exercise.  From your question, you sound like you are active and at a healthy weight. That is excellent!  Keep up your activity and be sure that it includes aerobic activity in which you  work at an elevated heart rate and break a sweat for 20-30  minutes at least several times a week

Supplements.  There are certain herbs that may help as well, when included in a holistic plan of action.  The specific herbs that are right for you will depend on your individual health – please ask your health care provider for further guidance.

Emotional clearing.  It is important to explore any unresolved emotional issues, which will affect your hormonal functioning.  There are many powerful emotional release techniques, including the process developed by Chopra Center co-founder David Simon, M.D.  His book Free to Love, Free to Heal is a guidebook that you can use on your own to identify and release toxic emotions.  If you’re coping with a particularly deep issue and want to be guided in the process, you may also want to consider attending the Chopra Center’s Healing the Heart workshop.

I wish you the best on your healing journey.

Dr. Sheila Patel

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About the Author

Sheila Patel, M.D.

Medical Director
Dr. Sheila Patel is the Chopra Center’s Medical Director and a board-certified family physician who is passionate about bringing holistic healing practices into the Western medical system. She earned her M.D. at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and completed her residency in family medicine at the Ventura County Medical Center in Southern California. For more than a decade, she practiced full-spectrum family medicine, from prenatal care and deliveries to ER coverage and primary care for all ages. At the Chopra Center, Dr. Patel offers integrative medical consultations that combine the best in conventional medicine with the wisdom of Ayurveda. She also teaches at the Chopra Center’s 6-day...Read more