Understanding Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Is a hormonal disorder that affects many women of reproductive age. It’s characterised by irregular periods, high levels of male hormones, and small cysts on the ovaries.

Symptoms of PCOS can vary, but common ones include acne, weight gain, excess hair growth, and difficulty getting pregnant. It’s not entirely clear what causes PCOS, but genetics and insulin resistance may play a role.

Diagnosis of PCOS typically involves a physical exam, blood tests, and an ultrasound to check for cysts on the ovaries. Treatment options may include lifestyle changes, such as exercise and a healthy diet, as well as medications like birth control pills or metformin.

If left untreated, PCOS can lead to complications like infertility, diabetes, and heart disease. It’s important to talk to a healthcare provider if you suspect you may have PCOS or are experiencing any related symptoms.

That’s it for this one-minute overview of PCOS. Remember, early detection and management can make a big difference in the long-term health of individuals with PCOS.

Clinical Features of PCOS

Reproductive Symptoms:
• Irregular or absent menstrual periods
• Polycystic ovaries
• Infertility
• Pregnancy complications

Endocrine Symptoms:
Elevated androgens (testosterone and DHEA-S)
• Elevated LH and low FSH (LH:FSH 2:1 to 3:1)
•  Low progesterone
• Low SHBG
•  Elevated prolactin

Metabolic Symptoms:
Insulin resistance
• Weight gain/obesity
• Metabolic syndrome
• Dyslipidemia
• Impaired fasting glucose
• Type 2 diabetes
• Arterial hypertension
• Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Psychological Symptoms:
• Depression
• Negative body image
• Poor self-esteem
•  Reduced quality of life
• Eating disorders

It’s important for women to recognise the symptoms of PCOS and seek medical attention if they suspect they may have the condition. While there is no cure for PCOS, there are treatments available that can help manage symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and medications like hormonal birth control and metformin can all be effective in treating PCOS.

Naturopathic Goals for (PCOS) & Treatment

(PCOS) is a complex condition that affects women in various ways. As such, treatment must be individually tailored to address specific symptoms experienced by each woman and the underlying pathophysiology. Naturopathic treatment goals for PCOS include:

    1. Regulating the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Ovarian (HPO) axis to improve neuroendocrine function – Chaste tree, Saffron.
    2. Restoring hormonal balance to regulate menstrual cycles and reduce the symptoms of PCOS – Licorice, Peonia, Rehmannia.
    3. Treating insulin resistance to improve glucose metabolism and reduce the risk of diabetes – Cinnamon, Gymnema, Chromium.
    4. Reducing and treating the consequences of high androgen levels, such as acne, hair loss, and hirsutism – Saw palmetto, Rosemary, Zinc.
    5. Improving ovulation and fertility through natural therapies – antioxidants, False Unicorn, Inositol.
    6. Improving body composition in overweight or obese individuals to reduce the risk of metabolic complications – High fibre diet, addressing microbiome and oestrogen dominance.
    7. Addressing psychological co-morbidities associated with PCOS, such as anxiety and depression – Lavender, Skullcap, Saffron, Withania.
    8. Reducing inflammatory drivers and oxidative stress to improve overall health – Omega’s, Turmeric, Baical skullcap.
    1. Addressing cardio-metabolic complications associated with PCOS, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol – Hawthorn, Magnesium, Motherwort, Lemon Balm, Exercise.

By addressing these naturopathic treatment goals, women with PCOS can manage their symptoms and improve their overall health and well-being. Naturopathic treatments may include dietary changes, exercise, stress reduction techniques, herbal medicine, and supplements. It’s important to work with a qualified naturopathic doctor to develop a personalised treatment plan that meets your specific needs and goals.


PCOS is a complex condition with a range of clinical features. By understanding the reproductive, endocrine, metabolic, and psychological symptoms, women can be more proactive in seeking diagnosis and treatment. If you suspect you may have PCOS, talk to our practitioners about your symptoms and treatment options.

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