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Polycystic ovary syndrome and being empowered for your health

By Jenetta Haim
from Stressfree Management®

Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is a hormonal condition that affects around up to 13% of women of reproductive age. The condition is difficult to diagnose often but a good naturopath working in unison with your doctor can assist. Symptoms are manageable and if you get your hormone levels right relief is at hand.

The difficulty in diagnosis in PCOS is because the symptoms can be so varied. It’s not just a case of multiple cysts on the ovaries being an indication of PCOS. Blood tests are important to check for the potential high hormone levels and to understand what is going on in the body.

Your ovaries contain follicles which is where your eggs develop. There are normally only two to five follicles that develop at a time. They are usually scattered throughout your ovary. If you have a larger number of follicles or cysts developing at the same time, then you could be diagnosed with PCOS. These follicles rarely grow to maturity or produce eggs that can be fertilised. Polycystic ovaries are larger than normal ones and also have a slightly different appearance.

Many women are not even aware they have PCOS which is why it is often not diagnosed. It usually appears in adolescence, but women are often diagnosed much later. The reason for this is because most adolescents are usually put on the oral contraceptive pill and they don’t find out they’ve got PCOS until their late 20s or early 30s when they choose to have children.

Health problems related to PCOS

PCOS is associated with the increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease. It can also cause fertility issues because of problems with the menstrual cycle. This should not be the case as PCOS can be treated through proper diet, correct supplements, and lifestyle changes.


Some of the most common symptoms for PCOS include weight gain, acne, irregular periods, fertility issues, and excess facial or body hair. Although there is some unknown factors regarding fully understanding this condition medical research shows it could be a combination of genetic, hormonal and environmental factors. There is also a connection between Insulin resistance and POCS. Insulin resistance is a condition where your body produces more insulin than usual. High levels of insulin affect how the ovaries work and this triggers the symptoms. Weight gain, a symptom of PCOS also worsens insulin resistance. Not everyone has the same symptoms. You may have mostly regular periods but have acne and excess hair growth and not be overweight, while someone else may experience symptoms such as being overweight, never having periods and have scalp hair thinning.

Understanding this condition is important because the lifestyle changes you make, the change in diet and the supplements you take will all combine to make your health better and help you find a way to handle PCOS in a much more favourable way. Lifestyle changes such as a healthy weight become important because even a small loss in weight can help improve ovarian function and have an impact. There are medically recognised forms of treatment including medication, hormonal treatments, which include the contraceptive pill, anti-androgen therapy to manage excess hair growth, acne and to regulate your menstrual cycle but as a naturopath I would need to advocate the more natural solutions first. Of course, when you manage your symptoms, not only do you feel better, but you also help to reduce the risk of long-term health problems. Luckily when it comes to fertility, for most women, it is treatable.


POCS is diagnosed by your doctor when you meet 2 of the following criteria: either your ovaries are polycystic which can be seen on a scan that shows there are multiple follicles in your ovaries, or if the size of your ovaries has increased, if there are high levels of male hormones or symptoms of high levels of male hormones or if there is an irregularity with your periods or a lack of ovulation.

What can natural therapies do for PCOS?

Testing for what is causing your inflammation is a good start. Tests such as levels of hormones, stomach enzyme action regarding proper digestion and probiotic/prebiotic levels, thyroid testing, deficiencies in supplements and minerals, improper absorption levels in the gut, acid/alkaline balance etc. are a good start to give insight to the practitioner in what to look for in terms of assisting you as a client.

Add to this a properly structured healthy eating plan, some exercise, destressing with proper relaxation and meditation skills being taught, some psychological assistance in terms of positive mental attitude to increase self-esteem and we are well on the way of producing a recipe for better health for you as our client.

It is said you become what you believe you are. If you succumb to the belief that your PCOS will make you infertile and fall into the trap of not being proactive about your health then like any illness or diagnosis it will overtake you. Sometimes to be healthy you need a good team of trusted practitioners working on a natural level and hand in hand with your doctor to make a success story. PCOS may be a rock in the road but there are ways to walk round a rock. It’s just a matter of asking the right questions and seeing the right people to find the right path.

More about the author

Jenetta Haim
– Stressfree Management®

Jenetta Haim is accredited in many modalities beginning her journey at age 17 through the inspiration of her mother’s interests in Louise Hay. Over the years Jenetta studied many religions and cultures which brought her to attain a Master’s Degree specialising in ways to handle stress in Western Society using Eastern Philosophies.

As a member of ATMS Jenetta Haim runs a full holistic clinic in Greystanes having attained her Diploma in Nutrition in 1981. Since then Jenetta has serviced the community both nationally and internationally face to face at her clinic, public lectures and courses and via the internet.

Jenetta specialises in diagnosis and application of sound methods to assist her clients to heal from core causes. Her many areas of speciality take into account everything from gut issues to pain management to conquering your fears and phobias. Jenetta’s passion and interest is YOU as a client and to assist YOU to be the best that you can be on every level – energetically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. She believes all people have the capability to tap into their passion and use it to bring joy, peace and wellbeing into their lives – it’s just a matter of having the right toolkit.

Jenetta runs her clinic amidst many other interests involving tutoring of children, social activities and working with her community to assist people to pursue their freedom and truth.