AyurvedicTreatment for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Ayurvedic Treatment for PCOS mainly focuses on ayurvedic medication, Ayurvedic treatment, dietary changes, and lifestyle changes. Ayurveda is one of the oldest healing systems of the world originated and developed in India more than 5000 years ago. It believes that everything in nature has healing potency and when one becomes sick by choosing the right substances from nature (one must know the property of the materials) and using them in an advised way can cure disease. A balanced body, mind, and spirit lead to health and any imbalance can cause discomfort.

Today many women after getting diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) consider taking ayurvedic medication or treatment as ayurvedic medicines are natural and safe without any side effects. Now let’s read further to know what is a polycystic ovarian syndrome and how ayurvedic treatment for PCOS helps.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

The polycystic ovarian syndrome has been so prevalent in our country that it now became a common disease. Almost every family knows a woman suffering from this syndrome.

Knowing the numbers can give us a greater watch over its spread. In women, this endocrine disorder is hitting before menopause. 2.2 to 26 percent of prevalence is seen across the globe variably. Reports and research carried out on women between 18 to 40 years ago of women Stated that 9.13 percent of the prevalence of Polycystic ovarian syndrome is noticed in Indian adolescents. This research dates back to 2019. 28 percent of college-going women show PCOS. This contemplates the attention needed for this disorder. And, the prevalence rates told above are when the criteria and research are done on females from a state in the South Indian region. Thus, the prevalence may vary from region to region and the criteria taken for diagnosis. An average prevalence rate is said as 3 to 22.5 percent in Indian adolescents. The rapidness of the disease is so much that 1 in every 5 women now living with PCOS, be it any reason attributing to it. In South India, it’s more than 10% and Maharashtra is almost 25%. However, the graph with it is growing is always steep and increasing with no drop.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Polycystic ovary syndrome

Signs and symptoms of PCOS

  • The polycystic ovarian syndrome itself is a set of symptoms,  it is not a single disease.  It is a syndrome with a group of symptoms. 
  • It happens because of the increased male hormones called androgens in the body of females. Not it alone, but it can be both genetic or environmental, apart from occupational or physical conditions.
  • This common disorder affects 2 to 20 percent of women between the ages of 18 to 44.
  • There are various ways PCOS changes can be seen in our lives.
  • The skin develops darker pigmentation patches.
  • Mood swings and struggles in becoming pregnant are noticed.
  • Some extreme signs like heart diseases and endometrial cancers are rarely observed.

Menstrual disorders:

  • The menstrual cycle is the system that runs on the work of hormones completely.
  • In summary, the menstrual cycle is a cycle of the period, vaginal bleeding which is normal. This menstruation prepares the body for pregnancy.
  • In a healthy woman, the period happens every month, indicating reproductive health. This health of the reproductive system is maintained by the hormones from the brain and of the ovaries.
  • An ova are released each month by the ovaries. This during a 28-month cycle undergoes changes from ovulation and degrading to a corpus luteum, which is an unfertilized egg.
  • Every step from ovulation is the tertiary follicle releasing ova, it being developed into a corpus. This corpus luteum is influenced by the activity, surge, and fall of menstrual hormones estrogen and progesterone play crucial roles in the cycle of menstruation.
  • They break the uterine lining and also cause the release of the egg cell.
  • The luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland triggers ovulation. All those hormones working together keeps the cycle in a flow.
  • One of those getting less or high or any imbalance in their secretion alters all the reproductive function.
  • The menstruation and the reproductive health of the woman are kept at best by these hormones and their vital roles.
  • All the changes that occur during the menstrual cycle, keep the woman intact and disturbing at the same time.
  • But the troubles or any sign of disorders are more distressing to the woman. Most importantly in the woman of fertile age and unmarried.
  • There will be a herd of abdominal cramps, bloating, mood swings, anxiety in PMS that makes life uneasy.
  • But the signs that follow later in the cycle are said to be calmer and best days of a woman according to some studies, because of the Follicle-stimulating hormone.
  • This hormone is said to bring better coordination and symptoms of the menstrual cycle. In the case of polycystic ovarian syndrome, the menstrual disorders speak first.
  • If there is any oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea or hypermenorrhea, it is considered a menstrual disorder.

Amenorrhea:

  • It is the absence or no occurrence of periods, for more than three consecutive menstrual cycles.  There are two types of amenorrhea, primary and secondary.
  • Primary amenorrhea is when there is no onset of periods in the age of puberty, which means the first period(menarche) takes longer than usual. 
  • The primary amenorrhea, in general, can be told as a delayed start in menstruation. There can be many things associated with this.
  • Not proper development of the ovaries, or hypothalamus, or any genetic abnormalities adds to this condition.
  • Most of the girls face this primary amenorrhea because of the delayed maturation of the pituitary gland.  But a proper examination of the endocrine system and also the ovaries should be done to evaluate the reasons for primary amenorrhea.
  • Secondary amenorrhea is when you have regular periods and they suddenly stop for a few months, or more than 6 months maybe. Or for 3 months consecutively. 
  • Secondary amenorrhea is mainly of weight loss or gain, hormonal imbalances, stress, fitness, other endocrine disorders.
  • This needs to be taken to a gynecologist if symptoms persisted or experienced as told above.

Dysmenorrhea:

  • This is a condition that is severe menstrual pain.
  • Women usually experience menstrual cramps as a part of their period also called widely PMS (premenstrual syndrome).
  • But if the pain is too much and persistent it is called dysmenorrhea.
  • As the uterine linings rapture, the uterine contractions increase and add pain in the periods.
  • The prostaglandins trigger, these uterine contractions during menstrual bleeding. They also speed up the contractions in the bowels and intestines.
  • Fainting, weakness, diarrhea, and contractions are the signs of dysmenorrhea.

Hypermenorrhea:

  • In this condition, the menstrual bleeding goes on longer than normal. If the period extends beyond two weeks and more it is hypermenorrhea.
  • Teenagers to women of fertile age face this prominently in polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Abnormal uterine bleeding:

  • If a period is longer than a month, if it is prolonged and heavy, very unpredictable and irregular, it is not normal. If the answer to the questions like
  • How long it is? or,
  • How often do you have a period? or
  • and Is it a heavy period? is uncertain or complaining.
  • Then it is abnormal and the heavy bleeding is called menorrhagia.
  • Experiencing spotting in between two consecutive periods or bleeding after sex is not normal. The normalcy that should happen is ovulation.
  • It should be assuredly regular and consecutive and the eruptive and shedding of the uterine layers in the form of bleeding should be less than five tablespoons.
  • But in some women, the uterine endometrium builds up too much, that when a period starts all a sudden it causes the bleeding to be heavy and long.
  • Another cause can also be that period being absent for 2-3 months can lead to a heavy period.
  • In women using Intrauterine devices, contraceptive pills, medication for other endocrine disorders also throws out the hormones. This leads to abnormal uterine bleeding and other menstrual disorders.

Read more about Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding (DUB)

Infertility:

  • Infertility is the other sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome.
  • Infertility leaves women and men are childless.
  • Ten to fifteen percent of our population is struggling with infertility. 28 million married couples are unable to bear children.
  • But this infertility is 1.5 percent more severe in men than in women.
  • 46.5 percent of infertility in women is accounted for by polycystic ovarian syndrome.
  • Case studies of different women show that infertility is seen in them mostly as secondary infertility. Which comes after having a child.
  • Infertility is the inability to conceive a child after six months and more of an active married life.

Let us discuss ovulation disorders with respect to polycystic ovarian syndrome.

  • Infertility comes with many reasons, but ovulation is critical for conception.
  • PCOS disturbs the menstrual cycles, ovulation, and causes hormonal imbalance.
  • This syndrome brings along obesity, insulin resistance, acne, growth of facial hair, also told as the development of male features.
  • This is why polycystic ovarian syndrome serves as the commonest cause of infertility all around the globe.

Metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance – a condition where the insulin will not get absorbed by the body cells. They stop responding to insulin, which eventually rises up the glucose sugar levels in the blood.  This leads to type 2 diabetes. The root cause for this can be said as inactive lifestyles and obesity.

  • Obesity, the increasing weight gives chance to many diseases. Particularly in women with heavyweight hormonal imbalances develop alongside.
  • However, 20 percent of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome are lean whale 80 percent are becoming obese.
  • The last sign of PCOS can be stated as the increase in male hormones in women.
  • The male pattern of hair growth, on the chin, face, chest, and arms sometimes.
  • Hair thinning and hair fall also increases.
  • Also, the body mass index of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome gets decreased.

Causes of PCOS

  • The cause of PCOS is uncertain. There is not a specific one.
  • It can be said as genetic and environmental. While there is no particular gene responsible for the occurrence.
  • There is an explained reason through genetics. It appears to be inherited by the autosomal dominance of genes.
  • In simple talk, every child inherits a variant of a gene from the parent’s genes. There is a 50 percent chance for each gene variant of parents to be in children. Be it a son or daughter, they may inherit a disease or not on a 50% chance.
  • If a daughter inherits a recessive variant, she may be asymptomatic, but it shows up in her children or in her grandchildren. If she is carrying dominant genes, she can immediately be caught up with the disease. It all depends on the traits inherited. Not specific genes are responsible for it, but autosomal dominance is. The severity of the disease is scaled by the symptoms and signs shown.

       Cysts:

  • Coming to the crucial note, the cysts in the ovaries are not the cause of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. They are just symptoms of PCOS like obesity and acne.
  • Even if both the ovaries get removed, Polycystic ovarian syndrome can not be taken away. The symptoms still persist in the body. Ovaries are just primarily affected in polycystic ovarian syndrome but, not the organs responsible for the onset of PCOS.
  • The polycystic ovarian syndrome can in actuality be told as a multifunctional disorder disturbing many systems and organs of the body rather than calling it a gynecological disorder.
  • The problem arises in the hypothalamus of the brain. This deals with hormonal regulation and from there goes on to other organs and also shows significant signs in different places.
  • The fact is among all the women with Polycystic ovarian syndrome, only 15 percent shows cysts in their ovaries.
  • Cysts are actually immature follicles in the ovaries and not cysts. This is basic and we should understand the thing about this.

Ovaries

  • The ovaries release an ova for every menstrual cycle of which we have spoken about above. The secondary matured follicle is subjected to release the ova after maturation.
  • In conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and hormonal imbalances, the ova will not be released. This can either be due to the immature follicle or maybe insufficiency of hormones responsible for it to happen.
  • The follicles that are ruptured, become corpus luteum, secretes progesterone for a while, and disappears in a few days.
  • Normal and healthy ovaries show more than twelve follicles in an ultrasound examination. Whereas the ovaries carrying the symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome shows more than 25 follicles in the ultrasound. These appeared as strings of pearls near the edges of the ovaries.
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome demonstrates 28 clinical disorders, of which most of them are reversible.
  • Transgender men who are on testosterone may experience higher rates of PCOS done due to a greater increase in testosterone.

Diagnosis of PCOS:

  • As said above not every woman living with polycystic ovarian syndrome has cysts in her ovaries. Hence before taking any pelvic ultrasound for consideration, there are few definitions looked for. 
  • For every patient suspected of polycystic ovarian cysts, the oligo ovulation is tracked. This condition is an irregularity in the periods. Women with oligo ovulation have less than eight periods in a year.
  • Anovulation is an absence of periods.  All menstrual disorders like menorrhea, oligomenorrhea, amenorrhea are evaluated through this.
  • A history is taken with few questions specific to acne, obesity, menstrual pattern, and androgens. This can specifically diagnose the syndrome by up to 78 percent.
  • Though laparoscopy is not usually done to diagnose polycystic ovarian syndrome, it can show the pearl string appearance that is thickened and smooth on the ovaries. These laparoscopies can confirm the symptoms of PCOS in the ovaries.

Blood tests for Polycystic ovarian syndrome:

  • Women are prescribed for a blood test when suspected of PCOS. They measure the androgens levels in the serum. These increasing androgen levels are responsible for mimicking signs of the polycystic ovarian syndrome.
  • The analysis of free testosterone values is the main. As many as 60 percent of women with PCOS show this as a symptom of the polycystic ovarian syndrome. The hormonal abnormalities are traced through analysis.
  • The ratio of the luteinizing hormone to the follicle-stimulating hormone levels is higher in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. That means the ratio is higher than 2:1 in such women. The anti-Mullerian hormone is another one subjected to a rise in PCOS. This can be considered a diagnosing criterion for polycystic ovarian syndrome.
  • The free androgen index which is a ratio of testosterone to sex hormone-binding globulin is always higher in PCOS.

Other tests:

  • 38 percent of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome are asymptomatic to glucose intolerance Hence the glucose tolerance testing is done without fasting, which can increase the diagnosis of impaired glucose tolerance and frank diabetes.
  • Frank diabetes is nothing but pre-diabetes. With testing for impaired glucose intolerance, frank diabetes can be spotted out. 68 percent of women with PCOS can show frank diabetes.
  • A lipid profile test for triglycerides and cholesterol.
  • Test for fasting insulin levels can help in deciding the range of medication usefulness.
  • The other screenings for depression, sleep apnea, and anxiety are carried on.

Medication and lifestyle changes:

healthy balanced lifestyle for PCOS

We shall start with the dietary changes.

  • Women suffering from PCOS have had suggested a weight loss of about five to 15 percent for a minimum. Overweight and obesity are major concerns in women.
  • The loss of weight to an optimal range can bring ovulation to happen. This not only improves insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and also hormonal disorders.
  • Following a low glucose index diet which consists of fruits, whole foods, and carbohydrates as an important food brings regularity in menstruation.
  • Though the reduction of vitamin D composition in food is not directly responsible for hormonal imbalances, vitamin D can enrich the metabolism.
  • No other dietary supplements can be prescribed for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome as they are not of any proven approval.

Treating infertility

  • Infertility is yet another extremity of polycystic ovarian syndrome.
  • Women generally face this either by blockage of tubes as in sexually transmitted diseases
  • or by overweight, anovulation which causes the polycystic ovarian syndrome.
  • Anovulation or is irregular ovulation is the common sign of PCOS, which in turn is a common cause of infertility.
  • Some women are really lean despite being anovulatory and also with polycystic ovarian syndrome. In fact, not every woman suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome should be obese.
  • Some of the women who are infertile even after the weight loss are prescribed letrozole and clomiphene citrate as a principal medication for treatment. In those women, in whom these medications do not work are suggested with some other effective ways.
  • The other options when medication does not work are assisted reproductive technology which collects eggs and sperms from males and females. These are handled further by fertility treatments to make embryos.
  • Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation uses extracted ova to use in superovulation. Multiple ovulations are done to induce insemination.  There is a very higher chance of multiple pregnancies occurring in this process.
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone is given after in vitro fertilization through injections. A laparoscopy procedure is done to puncture the cysts called ovarian drilling either by laser, biopsy or by electrocautery.

Read more bout Female Infertility Treatment

Medications

  • The medications for polycystic ovarian syndrome are in general oral contraceptives and metformin.
  • Metformin is considered a  standard medication ever since, sometimes used during pregnancies too.
  • A new drug called thiazolidinediones is an efficient substitute for metformin.
  • A combination of birth control pills or contraceptive pills is given to bring back the hormonal balance.
  • Estrogen and progestin-containing pills are prescribed to combat the increased androgen levels. Progestin therapy is used to regulate periods, and also to prevent endometrial cancer. It has no remarkable function to avoid pregnancy. 
  • Clomid is given during the first part of the cycle
  • Spironolactone is to reduce the increased androgens effect and eflornithine to reduce facial hair. Flutamide decreases hirsutism.
  • Liraglutide has proven its effectiveness in reducing the waist and weight among others.
  • 5 alpha reductases are prescribed to stop the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.

Care:

  • Apart from these medications and treatments, women with the polycystic ovarian syndrome and infertility often are falling prey to depression.
  • Holding on to confidence and positive encouragement all through this syndrome is essential for a quick recovery.
  • Quite frequently women living with PCOs have been complaining of emotional trauma. All-round family and spouse support are major in their way to leading a better life.
  • PCOS is not a life-taking syndrome yet a complicated one. Hence this should be dealt with more positivity and more hope instead of stress and panic.

Ayurvedic Treatment for PCOS

Ayurvedic Treatments for PCOS usually include ayurvedic medicines, ayurvedic treatments, dietary changes, and lifestyle changes.

Ayurvedic medicines used in the treatment of PCOS

Here are the medications which are commonly used in treating PCOS. Ayurvedic medicines have multiple indications and it is advised based on the state of the patient and disease. So the suitable medicine is decided by an ayurvedic doctor through proper consultation and tests if required. In Ayurveda, the medications can not be generalized and they will be specific for each individual.

  1. Asanadi Gana Kashaya
  2. Chiruvilwadi kashaya
  3. Chitrakagranthikadi Kashaya
  4. Gandharvahastadi kashaya
  5. Gulguluthikthakam Kashayam
  6. Lodhradi kashaya
  7. Saptasaram kashaya
  8. Sukumaram kashaya
  9. Varanadi kashaya
  10. Abhayarishtam
  11. Panchakola Choorna
  12. Chandraprabha Gulika
  13. Mahanarayana Thaila
  14. Gugguluthiktaka Ghruta
  15. Varanadi Ghruta
  16. Ashwagandhadi Lehyam

Ayurvedic Treatments used in the treatment of PCOS

Ayurvedic treatments helps to eliminate morbid doshas and purifies the body. Here are the few treatments which are used in treating PCOS

  1. Panchakarma Treatments (Vamana, Virechana, Vasti, Nasya, Raktamokshana)
  2. Uwarthana (powder massage)
  3. Snehapaana (internal administration of medicated ghee or oil)
  4. Swedana (sudation therapy)

Diet for PCOS

  1. Eat freshly prepared food while it is hot.
  2. Eat easily digestible food.
  3. Avoid consuming food that takes a long time to get digested.
  4. Avoid intake of Dairy products and meat, egg, fish.
  5. Avoid fermented food like idli, dosa, vada, bread, etc.
  6. Avoid cold drinks including unboiled water.
  7. Have only three meals per day.
  8. Used boiled water for drinking.
  9. Avoid fast & junk foods.
  10. Avoid bakery products.
  11. Have food only after feeling hungry.
  12. Avoid request consumption of sweets and sour predominant products.

Healthy Lifestyle in PCOS

  1. Avoid day time sleep
  2. Exercise daily till you get a good sweat
  3. Lead active life

Conclusion:

Ayurvedic Treatment for PCOS is the natural way of treating PCOS focusing on avoiding the causative factors, eating healthy, and following a healthy lifestyle. Ayurvedic treatments such as panchakarma, powder massage helps in eliminating excess doshas from the body along with a reduction in body weight. Ayurvedic treatments helps in restoring your health back naturally.

References:

  1. Mayo Clinic
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycystic_ovary_syndrome
  3. https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/panorama/infertility-is-rising-in-india-s-populace-788978.html
  4. http://www.jhrsonline.org/article.asp?issn=0974-1208;year=2019;volume=12;issue=4;spage=287;epage=293;aulast=Deshpande
  5. https://www.nhp.gov.in/disease/endocrinal/ovaries/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos
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