Improving Fertility in Indian Women with PCOS
PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a hormonal disorder resulting from multiple cysts in female ovaries. These might lead to symptoms like hirsutism (facial hair), irregular or no periods, and conditions like insulin resistance.
Women with PCOS also develop conditions like anovulation (no ovulation) that might cause them fertility issues. However, with natural, ayurvedic, and home-based remedies you might find a way to get pregnant even while suffering from PCOS or PCOS-induced infertility issues.
How Does PCOS Affect Your Fertility?
PCOS causes an imbalance in female sex hormones along with an abnormal increase in male hormones (androgens). This condition hinders the maturing of follicles in female ovaries. If the follicles don’t undergo timely maturity, eggs will not be released from the ovaries. Thus, PCOS stops/ disturbs the process of ovulation.
Know the process: Ovulation is the process that occurs in a female reproductive system every month where a mature egg is released from the ovary. This egg, when fertilized with sperms, might result in pregnancy. So, when the process of ovulation gets disturbed due to PCOS, it might lead to fertility issues.
How to Naturally Boost Your Fertility with PCOS?
Is it possible to get pregnant while suffering from PCOS? Yes, of course!
Here are some natural remedies to boost your fertility with PCOS:
1. Chasteberry concoction
Chasteberry has been used traditionally to treat fertility issues resulting from a hormonal imbalance (1). You can boil a handful of berries in water and drink the concoction after straining once or twice a day. This might help you balance your hormones and increase ovulation.
2. Winter Cherry
Winter cherry aka Ashwagandha is an herb with a variety of applications. You might find it at your nearest medical store, or supermarket. Consuming ¼ - ½ teaspoon of ashwagandha powder with warm milk once or twice a day might help you improve your fertility even if you have PCOS.
3. Fennel Seeds With Butter
Fennel seeds are among the most common Indian herbs used to prepare spice mixes, mouth fresheners, and much more. Surprisingly, these seeds are naturally rich in estrogen (female hormones). You can grab the bottle of fennel seeds, grind them into powder, and consume a teaspoon or two of this powder with ½ - 1 teaspoon white butter and have it once or twice a day. This home remedy might help you treat your fertility issues.
Cinnamon, an ingredient that spices up most of our sweet dishes might also regulate your menstrual cycle and balance the hormones (2). This home remedy may help you increase the chances of getting pregnant with PCOS. You can consume a pinch or two of cinnamon powder with warm water or milk 1-2 times a day.
Note: Avoid consuming more than 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder per day.
Dietary Tips for Improving Fertility with PCOS
What does your diet routine look like? Think, and check if you are following the guidelines mentioned below. These dietary changes might help you increase the chances of getting pregnant.
Add Whole Grains to Your Diet
Whole grains are rich in dietary fibers that make you feel full for longer. This might reduce your calorie intake and help you with weight loss. They might also reduce insulin resistance. Including dishes such as whole-grain porridge, millet khichdi, whole-grain bread, etc. in your diet may help you reduce the symptoms of PCOS and treat infertility.
Turn to Plant Proteins
Protein is an important aspect of the PCOS diet. Choosing plant-based protein sources over animal-based ones adds lower amounts of saturated fats to your diet. Further, plant-based protein sources like pulses, legumes, nuts, and seeds, tofu, tempeh, etc. are rich in dietary fibers and antioxidants that may help to reduce inflammation and insulin resistance. Thus, adding plant-based protein to your diet might increase your chances of getting pregnant..
More Fruits & Veggies and Less Low-Fiber Cereals!
Fruits, and veggies are low in calories and high in fibers. You can add them to your smoothies, salads, and toppings. These might help you feel full for longer and eventually reduce your calorie intake.Low-fiber cereals like refined flours are digested quickly and they result in a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. Thus, it is recommended to reduce the intake of such cereals.
Keep Your Weight In Check
Obesity is known to worsen the symptoms of PCOS. Hence, it is advisable to keep your weight in check. Physical activities, high-protein and high fiber diet with lower calories and carbohydrates, stress management activities, etc. might help you with weight loss or management. This may also increase your fertility.
Other Lifestyle Habits for Improving Fertility with PCOS
Replace Your Coffee with Herbal Teas
Caffeine in coffee might increase your risk of infertility. On the other hand, herbal teas enriched with ayurvedic herbs like Shatavari, ashwagandha, cinnamon, etc. might help you regulate your periods and improve fertility naturally (3). So, replacing your cup of coffee with some herbal tea might be a step towards getting pregnant.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Improving Fertility With PCOS
Some of the Ayurvedic medicines that can be used to treat PCOS infertility are Triphala, Trikatu, Dashmool, Guggul, etc. Herbs like Shatavari, Shatapushpha, etc. have been a part of traditional Ayurvedic treatment for infertility. They might help you with PCOS and pregnancy-related issues. Some of the ayurvedic dietary changes for treating infertility issues are as follows:
- Reduce the intake of dairy products, fermented products, spicy foods, and buttermilk in your diet
- Consume more seasonal fruits and vegetables
- Reduce your sugar or sugar substitute consumption
How about meditating for 10-15 minutes in the morning or evening? Try it out. Exercises like meditation, yoga, Tai chi, etc. might relieve your stress. Stress management plays an important role in treating PCOS-induced infertility issues.