What are natural treatments for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)?

Besides medication and surgery, many doctors encourage you to practice a healthier lifestyle that fosters weight loss for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This is because a lower weight means lower insulin and androgen levels—a factor that contributes to the development of PCOS. Additionally, researchers have found that a lower intake of carbohydrates lowers insulin and androgen levels, helping in the management of PCOS. If you do choose to eat carbohydrates, doctors recommend that you eat carbohydrates with a lot of fiber, rather than foods with a lot of sugars. Exercise also does much to reduce insulin and androgen levels. To date, herbal treatments, acupuncture, and other alternative treatments have not been found effective for treating PCOS.

Dr. Daniel A. Dumesic, MD
Fertility Specialist

The most natural treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is lifestyle. If someone is overweight, the ideal is to have a balanced diet and a deficit of 500 calories per day associated with 150 minutes of exercise per week minimum. The reason exercise is important is that exercise makes muscle mass and muscle burns up sugar. This means that individuals can actually maintain a weight and still improve their sugar metabolism by merely increasing muscle mass.

Some people use some natural herbs to combat PCOS. There’s no clear evidence that any one of them is a standout.

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