Did you know that there are a variety of natural Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) supplements that can help lessen your pain and even help balance your symptoms?
Growing up I just thought painful periods were part of life. I mean, spending hours in bed in withering pain is normal right?
The truth is PMS shouldn’t be that bad. Of course, you’ll experience light mood swings and some minor cramping, but if your hormones are adequately balanced, it shouldn’t be a debilitating problem. If you balance your hormones, you can even be symptom-free.
Today I want to talk about a disorder that took 7 years for doctors to diagnose me with. I spent years thinking that the pain, hair loss, random weight gain, and then weight loss was normal. Only to learn it isn’t and PCOS symptoms were causing it all.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that is commonly experienced by women during their reproductive ages. It’s estimated that 5-10% of all females have PCOS, whether it’s been diagnosed or not. One common symptom that signals you may have PCOS is infrequent or longer menstrual periods compared to your average menstrual period of 3-5 days.
What Causes PCOS?
Nobody quite knows what causes PCOS, partially because there hasn’t been much funding allocated towards it. But one thing is for sure: PCOS, if untreated, can cause major problems for females. Aside from the present-day pain, one of the largest is infertility. Therefore, it is important to address your PCOS issues and get to the core of the problem.
Many women with PCOS try to heal their issues via prescription drugs or birth control. Unfortunately, these don’t necessarily get to the root cause of the problem. In fact, it can worsen your symptoms during or if you stopped taking the medicine. As a result, you will be forced to depend on something else to help manage your pain. You might even have to face worse symptoms as your body withdraws when you stop taking the medicine.
Luckily, there is a lot you can do holistically to help lessen the blow of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Aside from eating a nutrient-dense diet, participating in aerobic, low-impact exercise, and getting your external stressors under control, you can also add supplements to further aid in your treatment of PCOS.
What are the most common PCOS symptoms?
As mentioned, unfortunately, there is not much research on PCOS. Hormone health, in general, tends to get tossed to the side when it comes to medical research, despite around half the population experiencing hormone health problems in one way or another.
That said, there has been recent research completed with animals that suggests that PCOS may be genetic. From less scientific research, it can be argued that PCOS symptoms do seem to run in families.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome tend to carry similar symptoms, but it can also present in different ways depending on things like your pre-existing conditions, metabolic health, etc.
Some of the most common PCOS symptoms include:
- Periods that are irregular or infrequent
- Amenorrhea (lack of a period)
- Excess facial and/or body hair
- Hormonal acne
- Darkened skin patches
- Mood changes (anxiety, depression)
- Decreased libido
- Weight gain
- Fertility issues
- Pelvic and/or abdominal pain
Again, there isn’t much research tying PCOS to anything in particular, but it is speculated that it is genetic. Two other things that play a major role in PCOS is insulin resistance and increased androgens.
The biggest “cause” of PCOS is when women have an insulin resistance problem, and 85% of all women with PCOS have this issue. Insulin resistance happens when your body’s cells fail to respond to insulin in a healthy, normal way. Instead, they stop glucose from entering your cells and your body fails to keep your glucose levels stable.
As a result, the insulin fails to work correctly, and your body produces more and more causing a high production of the androgen hormones, like testosterone. While insulin resistance can be caused by things like diet, and exercise, it can also be something you are presupposed to in your genetics.
The good news? You can regulate your insulin resistance. If you want to learn more about insulin resistance and its role in hormone imbalance in general, check out this post.
As you read above, when you have an insulin problem, it typically triggers an overproduction of androgen hormones. Androgen hormones are typically coined “male hormones” but females produce them in small amounts as well. The problem arises when these increase to unnatural levels, especially in places like the ovaries.
This change in hormone levels that typically takes place in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, can lead to symptoms like acne, excessive body hair growth, and hair loss on the head. There are supplements for PCOS that can help naturally decrease your androgen level if this is a problem.
Should You See A Doctor?
If you are experiencing PCOS symptoms, you should see your GYN. I will warn you that most of the time they suggest hormonal birth control as the only solution, which is simply a bandaid. And not a very good one at that.
The truth is you can heal your PCOS or at least get it to a place where it minimally impacts you. But like most diseases, doctors will tell you that it is not curable. When I was told that at 15, it was pretty scary. So if you were anything like me, have hope that you can find healing too through more natural methods.
In this article, I will go over 9 of the best supplements for PCOS that can help you manage and treat your Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. As always, I like to point out that I am not a doctor, nor is this medical advice. I am a certified holistic nutritionist. This information is based on my studies and research both as a student and in my personal life.
9 Natural Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Supplements That Can Help Heal Your PCOS
There are many different supplements on the market that can help ease the pain and symptoms that come with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Unfortunately, many women with PCOS aren’t given this information by doctors and instead are just handed the birth control pill. Luckily, there are more natural methods for solving your problems than adding a pharmaceutical to your day-to-day.
While they help your body in a variety of ways, the nine here are more holistic and some of the best supplements for PCOS. From common supplements like Zinc and Vitamin D to others like MYO Inositol, there are countless to try out and test yourself.
According to research, zinc is one of the most commonly used and best supplements for PCOS. Overall, it helps women with Polycystic ovary syndrome with balancing out their hormones. Zinc plays an important role in the metabolism of hormones, including androgen, estrogen, and progesterone. This supplement plays a role in the secretion of insulin, the regulation of thymus hormones, and helping regulate the immune system.
Zinc can help reduce DHT levels, helping women with PCOS reduce their mood disturbances, weight gain, and acne. All of these are typically caused by excess testosterone, which contributes to PCOS.
The recommended amount for taking zinc is around 10 mg. You can also find zinc in many foods. These include oysters, beans, nuts, certain types of seafood, whole grains, and even dairy products.
Check out my favorite zinc product here or here.
2) MYO Inositol
MYO Inositol is one of the most commonly used supplements by women with PCOS – and for good reason.
This supplement, known as vitamin B8, is capable of helping women with PCOS in a variety of ways. This includes regulating your menstrual cycles, reducing blood sugar levels, helping infertility, and improving one’s ovary function. Inositol is such a powerful supplement that it can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes. According to one study, MYO Inositol can aid in improving cholesterol levels (by raising HDL or “good” cholesterol) and help in weight loss.
To note, there are two types of Inositol, D-chiro-inositol and MYO Inositol. These supplements for PCOS are members of the Vitamin-B family but are also carbohydrates that provide consumers with antioxidant properties.
This is the brand of MYO Inositol I have used in the past.
Just like Inositol, magnesium is one of the best supplements for pcos that doesn’t only help women with their PCOS, but also with their overall health.
For one, low magnesium is linked to major diseases like diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, stroke, and other major diseases. Getting a proper amount of magnesium can reduce, if not prevent, your risk of such diseases.
Magnesium can go further than helping you reduce those diseases. Getting a sufficient amount of magnesium can help you with your energy levels, hormonal balance, and mood. Hence, magnesium can help you with PCOS as well.
Magnesium is one of the few supplements I take routinely. This is the brand I trust.
4) Vitamin D
Vitamin D is another important vitamin and supplement not only for women with PCOS but for the general population. This is another common deficiency found in Americans, both males, and females.
Low levels of vitamin D are often associated with low mood, but it can go beyond that. Vitamin-D deficiency can lead to health problems like increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, insulin resistance, and weight gain. These things are linked and amplified by PCOS. Lastly, vitamin D is helpful for the female reproductive system and fertility in both the short term and the long term.
All in all, vitamin D is a powerful aid against PCOS and a powerful vitamin for one’s overall health.
Almost every time I get my vitamin panel done, my vitamin D levels are extremely low. Even in the summer months, when I’m in the sun constantly, I am still in need of vitamin D supplementation. This is the supplement I take.
I typically do a vitamin D test through EverlyWell bi-annually, when I’m heading into winter (October) and coming out of winter (March). This helps me see where my vitamin D levels are at, and how much I should be supplementing with.
They have me a 15% code to get you started: https://refer.everlywell.com/s/hello0.
5) Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found and are abundant in fish oil like tuna and salmon. Other omega-3 rich foods include walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, oysters, soybeans, eggs, and leafy greens. This is convenient because often time you can get all the omega-3’s you need from your diet, instead of taking a supplement. These supplements are some of the best supplements for PCOS and highly accessible.
While omega-3s are great for your body in general, this fish oil supplement is great in helping lessen symptoms for women with PCOS. According to studies, Omega-3 helps women with PCOS by helping them with their menstrual cycle and in reducing testosterone levels in their bodies.
Adding a fish oil supplement to your diet can help incredibly, but it has to be high-quality. Low-quality fish oil supplements can actually do more harm than good, so consider this when purchasing.
If I find that I am not getting enough omega-3’s from my food, then I’ll take this supplement.
Chromium is a mineral that can help improve the function of your insulin product. This can help your insulin work more effectively, and this, in turn, can help you regulate your hormonal balance.
One study shows that chromium aided women with PCOS in reducing their insulin and blood sugar levels. What’s more, chromium can help reduce glucose levels in your blood – too much glucose causes weight gain and hormonal imbalances as well.
Chromium is one great natural PCOS supplements that can help lessen your symptoms, this is one I recommend.
7) Vitex (Chasteberry)
The power of chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus) is gaining popularity in the West, but was used in both early European and Chinese medicine. Chasteberry or vitex, known as the fertility plant, has a range of benefits.
While it was untested for years, modern research has concluded that chasteberry has a positive effect on the female reproductive system. Specifically, it affects the master pituitary gland – the gland that tells your ovary what to do and how much of each hormone to make.
Some studies demonstrate that chasteberry can balance your testosterone level and increase your progesterone level, helping you deal with symptoms of PCOS.
This is the chasteberry that I take.
8) N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
N Acetyl Cysteine is an antioxidant-amino acid that specifically serves our endocrine health. According to one study, NAC can significantly decrease the following:
- Free testosterone (good for women with PCOS)
- Fasting insulin
- Hirsutism (or hairiness)
- BMI level (increased BMI levels meant obesity (or increased risk of), unless you are an athlete and clearly in good shape)
Note that they also found that N Acetyl Cysteine had similar results to metformin, a pharmaceutical that is used to treat high blood sugar. That doesn’t mean you should quit your Metformin if you’re taking it. That’s a conversation for your doctor.
To point out, some research studies show that NAC is good for pregnancy and ovulation rates for women with PCOS.
I have not personally tried this supplement, but there is a lot of research backing up the benefits. Here is a great N Acetyl Cysteine option from a brand that I love.
9) Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto can help in regulating estrogen if your estrogen is way too much in your system. Generally, saw palmetto can help in regulating your hormones, making it a good supplement to treat PCOS.
What’s more, studies have shown when you combine saw palmetto with zinc, together they can both significantly decrease your symptoms with PCOS.
Check out this brand if you want to give it a try!
These are the 9 best natural supplements you can take when you are suffering from PCOS, whether found in foods or supplements. Women with PCOS suffer day-in and day-out with horrible symptoms, and these herbs and supplements can truly help. Of course, there are more supplements out there as well, but these are great ones to start with.
Again, an adjusted lifestyle can also help lessen the blow of PCOS. A nutrient-dense diet, proper sleep, and working on your gut health are of utmost importance. After working on these, adding natural PCOS supplements might be a good choice for you.
My journey with supplements for PCOS, insulin resistance, and endocrine system issues ↓
When I was in middle school I got my period and things went downhill from there. I had talked to my mom before about female health because things like PCOS and endometriosis run in the family but I never imagined the pain and disruption it would bring to my life.
I spent years on birth control, increasing hormone levels, and getting to a point where I didn’t even get a period for as long as 6 months. And not once was I given any warning about the side effects and long term problems of birth control. I was also never informed that hormonal birth control stops your period, and you’re not actually getting a period.
For years I spent days in bed with immense pain, unable to eat without getting sick, and migraines that lasted for days. When I was around 19 I decided to take matters into my own hands despite being told by doctors that I couldn’t do much. I ordered books, watched countless Youtube videos, and quickly learned healing is possible. It just would take a lot of work.
It started with supplementation, life-style changes, and getting to the root causes
I started my PCOS healing by simply taking Vitamin D. With just this in itself I saw major improvements with my PCOS symptoms. From there I moved onto a trial and error period, where I took things like fish oil, B Vitamins (Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12), MYO inositol, N Acetyl Cysteine nac, and even tried a magnesium supplement.
It was trial and error and eventually found a routine that helped. Not only did I try numerous supplements for PCOS but I changed my lifestyle and worked through the underlying issues. I fixed my insulin resistance, leveled out my blood sugar, stabilized my insulin levels, and saw most health problems cease to exists.
If there is anything I can leave you with, I hope it’s a sense of hope. Whether you battle with PCOS, insulin resistance, blood sugar control, or any symptoms of PCOS, I hope you find healing. While this list includes some of the best supplements for PCOS, it is not exhausted.
I did my job if you leave this article feeling even just a little more in control of your health. Feel free to shoot me an email or a message on Instagram if you have any questions or just want to talk.
P.S. If this is a topic that hits close to home, check out some of my other articles on hormone health:
Comments are closed.