The PCOS Revolution Is Finally Here
It all started with a pack of birth control pills...
I remember like it was yesterday...the moment I decided to make a major change in the course of my life and pursue Chinese medicine studies. In the dark ages of the mid-to-late 1990's, before Google and Wikipedia, I was in undergraduate school and had no clue what was wrong with me.
My cycles would come as go as they pleased, wreaking havoc on my hormones and sometimes disappearing for several months. No longer able to cope with what felt like weeks of never-ending PMS complete with bloating, mood swings and intolerable anxiety I decided to seek help. Four different gynecologists had all told me the same thing...that birth control was my only answer.
Well, if only it had been so simple. As luck would have it, my body responds to birth control a bit like someone recovering from a hangover...complete with nausea, headaches, chills and (oh yes) vomiting.
Which brings me to the moment that changed my life. I was struck by a flying pack of birth control pills literally hurled at my head by my gynecologist and was told not to come back unless I'd taken the whole pack. I wasn't crazy...I was angry, and I knew there had to be a better approach.
That fateful gyno visit was nearly 20 years ago, but I still remember it so clearly because that day I made a promise to myself. I left that office in tears but I vowed to find an answer and to help other women when I did. At the age of 19, I left my premed studies and started acupuncture school. I discovered that what I was experiencing (undiagnosed PCOS) could be helped naturally and within six months I was having normal cycles for the first time in my life.
I have now been practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine for nearly half of my life and have devoted my practice to enhancing reproductive health naturally. My patients have been my greatest teachers and have inspired me to reach out to other women who might not have the support they need to do the previously unthinkable...take back control of their bodies without disguising their conditions with medications. Whether struggling with unexplained infertility, endometriosis, PCOS, or the devastating losses of repeated miscarriages, their desire to get to the root of the problem cannot be understated.
Here are the facts:
- Hormonal imbalances from PCOS can lead to infertility, weight gain, acne, depression, and irregular cycles if left untreated
- Between five to 10 percent of women of childbearing age in the United States, or roughly 5 million, have PCOS and the number is climbing worldwide.
- Undiagnosed PCOS is extremely common, with over 50% of cases going unnoticed due to lack of education among providers and healthcare system in general
- The symptoms of PCOS can be reversed naturally, and the sooner they are addressed the better!!
Why I Developed The PCOS Revolution
After nearly 20 years of working with PCOS in my own practice and kicking it to the curb personally, I felt compelled to offer more support for other women going through it. Just taking a supplement here and there or committing to an unsustainable diet is not the same as having a support system and tried-and-true plan in place. PCOS doesn't have to be complicated, and you are not alone!
For more information, register for the webinar below today!
I'm excited to help you! The fact that you have read this far down the page tells me that you want to make a change. You could go back to reading article after article and try going it alone, but I promise you that joining this group and connecting with other women who are have been through the same challenges will be a game changer!
Here are what some of my patients have to say:
A week before my 12th birthday, I got my first period. My cycles never regulated showing up anywhere between 4-8 weeks apart lasting a minimum of ten days each. Then I would get one of my never ending periods: days and days of bleeding (30-60-90 days) that would only end when a doctor would prescribe progesterone. The doctors wanted me to give my cycles time to regulate.
By the age of 19 nothing had gotten better and I was prescribed multiple different kinds of birth control to help regulate them. None of them ever did and I would spot the whole time. A few years of that and I continued trying to search for an answer. I stopped the birth control and started bleeding quite heavily which led to hemorrhaging.
While this was going on I had multiple panels of hormone tests done and it seemed like I had PCOS. I landed up on progesterone again and needed a D/C to clear out all the extra lining. I asked the newest doctor I had gone to - Dr Wood what I could do naturally to help fix the problem rather than simply dealing with the symptoms with medication. I read every book I could get my hands on about PCOS. Dr. Wood suggested cutting down on simple starches and dairy and when I asked about acupuncture she referred me to Dr. Celada Duro.
Dr. Duro further helped me with dietary changes and I added more exercise to my routine on top of the acupuncture. Within a year, my blood work showed improvement with ovulation and I was thrilled. Also as my periods got a bit shorter - 6-7 days and things looked better there, I was able to stop the progesterone as well. I've been pretty strict with the diet and exercise over the last seven years.
When I was ready to start a family; I kept up with the diet, exercise, and acupuncture. Six months in and I had a positive pregnancy test. It took 5 tests for me to really believe it! Thank G-D I was blessed with a beautiful, healthy girl and I am really grateful that I had help from Dr. Wood and Dr. Duro to help me regulate things and to enable be to conceive naturally and easily.
(Side point - Dr. Wood had told me that once I would have a child things could completely change in either direction. My period came back when my daughter was 6 weeks old - I was solely nursing- and over the year they started getting more regular - the last 5 months they have been 33-34 days apart - I have NEVER had that!)
I had my first menstrual cycle when I was 11 years old, and since then, have had very irregular cycles. I would have anywhere from 6 to 10 menstrual cycles a year, with no predictability whatsoever. I had painful and heavy periods as well. At times, I was doubled over in bed for a day or two with pain, as well as moodiness and irritability for a few days.
When I hit my late teens, I began to develop a bad case of dark facial hair, and suffered with electrolysis and acne on my face that lasted for several years. I visited a few Board-certified dermatologists and tried every prescription medication (other than Accutane), and the persistent acne would not resolve. Both my endocrinologist who diagnosed me with PCOS and gynecologist suggested I take birth control pills to control the problem, and then switch to Metformin when I decide to try to conceive.
I took birth control pills in my late teens and early twenties, and refused to ever take them again because I felt better off of them. I also read a lot about Metformin, and although women with PCOS were having success, I did not want to resort to medical intervention as a first resort without trying a more mild, natural approach. I decided to try acupuncture, and happened upon Dr. Duro's website. I gave her a call and scheduled my first treatment. At the same time, I charted my basal body temperature and took note of my cervical fluid. I diligently went for my weekly acupuncture appointments. I diligently drank my herbs every day.
At the same time, I was on absolutely no prescription medication or any other therapy. My cycles were still pretty long, and ranged anywhere from 40-50 days, but my premenstrual symptoms began to disappear. I did not feel as fatigued and foggy-brained during the day. I felt clearer and more energized. My husband noticed that I was barely moody and irritable when I got my periods. And, best of all, I never got one cystic pimple again! To this day, my skin remains clear and radiant.
During my fourth cycle, and after about only 4 months of acupuncture, I got pregnant! I continued acupuncture treatment during my entire first trimester, and am going back now for the last few weeks before labor. I have had an amazing and easy first pregnancy. I barely experienced any of the typical pregnancy symptoms that many women complain of, and have not missed a day of work due to the pregnancy. I am a true proponent of acupuncture therapy and Chinese herbs that are tailored for the individual in order to address fertility issues. I would also recommend acupuncture as an adjunct to conventional infertility treatment. I am 34 weeks pregnant and the happiest I have ever been in my life.
My journey began at the age of 16. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian syndrome (PCOS). My periods were occurring twice per month. Lasting for more than a week, while I was doubled over in pain. My weight was unstable and kept fluctuating. My mood swings were also uncontrollable. I began to accept this as the norm and was left without any hope. After seeing several medical providers, I was told that my thyroid was perfectly fine and I did not need to take any medication.
When I finally reached my twenties, I sought help. Eastern Medicine became the solution that I looked for after years of struggling. My first consultation with Dr. Duro really opened my eyes to alternative medicine.
After several months of treatment and Chinese herbs, my cycle and symptoms improved remarkably.
I strongly encourage you to be open minded when it comes to your health. Seek out the appropriate care, because you are not alone in this journey.