Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that plagues 1 in 6 women today. Many do not know they have it as the symptoms differ vastly – there are 4 different phenotypes of PCOS, each with its own combination of visible/invisible symptoms and issues. There is little agreement as to why it appears in a woman’s body: genetics and infectious disease at the time of sexual maturation are mentioned by western medicine; a more new age/spiritual/alternative current points to issues with accepting a father figure and male energy in general. While reasons why are unclear, there are certain things every woman with PCOS can do to alleviate her symptoms and also completely reverse the condition.
I was diagnosed with PCOS around age 16 when there was no denying the moustache that graced my upper lip. I was made fun of at school and my already-low, nerd-of-the-class self esteem took an even deeper dive. My mom was able to pay for laser hair removal (super expensive in Ukraine at the time) but we also went to the OBGYN to see what was going on. I was categorized as classic Type A PCOS: “string of pearls” of underdeveloped follicles on the ovaries with future fertility issues, hirsutism (male pattern hair growth in women), weight gain, and hormonal imbalance. A few years later I was put on birth control and told it was the only way to manage my condition. After moving to the US at 21 I continued birth control, but slowly noticed that it was changing who I was. The artificial control of hormones made me feel very “blah” most of the time, I didn’t get very sad but I also never got very happy. I just didn’t feel like me.
Around the same time I was done with grad school and working as a college professor experiencing loads of stress. I wanted to find ways to manage it so I could survive and started going to yoga. This was the “gateway drug” that opened my eyes first to Ayurveda and holistic approach to body and health, and then to herbal medicines and essential oils. I bought a ton of books on natural remedies, hormonal balance, and PCOS, and got to work on crafting a protocol for addressing my symptoms. I quit birth control cold turkey and experienced horrible abdominal pain, bloating, and mood swings (can you imagine what the pill does to your body if the withdrawal symptoms are so bad???) I went to an OBGYN and he put me back on birth control saying that was my only option – for life. Unhappy with that prospect, I went to two more OBGYNs – only to hear the same response. I was told there was no other option for me, I was going to be on birth control until I wanted to have a baby, then I would get off and go through hormonal fertility therapy, hopefully get pregnant, have a baby, and then get back on birth control.
That was when I really dug into the books. I was NOT going to live out that scenario. I learned what there was to learn about all aspects of PCOS and what natural remedies existed – and got to work. I started the protocol below a month before quitting birth control the second time – and this time around it was smooth sailing. I did lose my period (which is not really a period on birth control anyway – it is called breakthrough bleeding) fo about a year. And on October 28, 2018 I got my first all-natural cycle. I have had ovulations and cycles ever since and my husband and I are planning for a baby.
This kind of result was not just experienced by me – a member of our Essential Practice doTERRA team sent this letter to our leader Elena Brower (I changed names for privacy):
My name is *Jane* and I signed up under *Susie* 6 months ago. I just wanted to tell a bit of my story with the request to send this on to Lana Ramer, who did the PCOS educational video on Essential Practice.
I got diagnosed with PCOS when I was 19, told I was never going to successfully have babies. Luckily the doctors were wrong, but I needed medical help with both of them.
I am a lean pcos woman and at times it was difficult for me to find doctors who know how to treat it. But for the most time of the last 10 years I was left alone in the dark on how to manage PCOS. My last ultrasound was 2 years ago and my ovaries were over and over with tiny follicles who were not able to mature enough to be eligible for a pregnancy and I had no spontaneous ovulation.
After 3 months of enjoying doterra I found Lana’s video on Essential Practice.
I bought the Phytoestrogen and LLV, religiously applied Clary Calm or Clary Sage 2-3 times per day, used Grapefruit EO for managing my blood sugar.
I had my annual gynecologist check-up this week and I am happy to say, that I no longer have any immature follicles on my ovaries. Which also means I might have spontaneous ovulation.
I have used the above mentioned doterra products for 3 months now.
I am just so so happy to have found this team with this wealth of information, happy to being able to enjoy the doterra products and happy that it not only helps me manage PCOS but effectively reversed the main concern of it.
I’d be very happy if you passed this on to Lana who might be interested in reading my story. I’d also like to express my deepest gratitude for her talk on essential practice.
Have a beautiful day,
Below I share my PCOS protocol with products split by category/concern, and also my favorite resources I used to collect all this knowledge.
- Address inflammation. Inflammation is not just a side effect of PCOS, it is its central factor. In addition to mindful eating (eliminating the usual bad boys of gluten, dairy, excess sugar, alcohol, excess caffeine) it might be wise to do food allergy testing or an elimination diet. Supplementation is KEY to reducing low grade inflammation in the body. Resveratrol, Omega 3, grape seed extract, green tea, curcumin, vitamin D, glutathione all contribute to lowering inflammation. Must have supplements here are the doTERRA Lifelong Vitality Pack, the Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex, the TerraZyme digestive enzyme, PbAssist probiotic, and Mito2Max energy and stamina complex. Together, they pack a punch of anti-inflammatory ingredients that do a lot to move the needle on addressing this key issue in PCOS.
- Treat insulin resistance. This one is huge in PCOS. Most women with PCOS have some level of insulin resistance. It is a vicious cycle of spiking blood sugar and fat storage that is largely responsible for mood fluctuations, weight gain, brain fog, etc. The doTERRA Slim&Sassy line is perfectly crafted to address the issue. The Slim&Sassy blend of grapefruit, lemon, cinnamon, peppermint, and ginger help improve metabolism, fight cravings, and stabilize blood sugar. The oil can be diffused, added to water, or applied topically (I looooove it after dry brushing in the morning); the TrimShake is excellent in smoothies to stabilize blood sugar and feel fuller longer; the gum is a sneaky little trick to make sure your hand does not reach for a sweet treat after a meal. The gum especially has been my secret weapon: I have always felt like a meal is incomplete without a sweet treat, and chewing the Slim&Sassy gum gives my mouth something else to do while the oils in the gum ward off the desire for sweets.
- Balance the adrenals. Spiking cortisol affects your androgens and puts the whole hormonal system out of whack. Adrenal fatigue contributes to brain fog, mood swings, and overall feeling of constantly being tired that many women with PCOS feel. “Lower your stress” sounds like such a cliche, but there is no going around it. Seeking a loving support system, trying out yoga and meditation, adding magnesium and St John’s Wort supplements, cordyceps and reishi will help tremendously. In addition, Basil essential oil is wonderful for addressing stressed out and fatigued adrenals – so applying a few drops diluted in coconut oil over your adrenals can help a great deal.
- Treat excess androgens. These guys are responsible for acne and hirsutism, so you want to lower them and bring them into balance. Tea tree oil and the doTERRA HD Clear blend are wonderful to address the acne, while the root cause is targeted by taking the doTERRA Phytoestrogen Complex and adding reishi, licorice, green tea, spearmint and rosemary to your rotation of herbs. Spearmint tea is a wonderful treat, and rosemary doubles as a phenomenal support for healthy hair!
- Address hormonal balance. It is kind of tricky, but PCOS is characterised by both heightened androgens AND estrogen dominance. Seems like two mutually exclusive things, but such is the complexity of the human body. Bringing hormonal balance back into the body is where essential oils really shine. Your best friend is the doTERRA Clary Calm blend that is applied to lower belly every morning and night, as well as Clary Sage and Geranium. These can be applied topically, but my favorite way is to stir them into a cup of epsom salts and take a relaxing bath. Relaxation addresses point #3, oils help with hormonal balance, and you emerge from the bath an amazing smelling goddess. Win-win-win.
- Clean up your environment. Toxins in our cleaning products, personal care items, food all contribute to the disruption of the endocrine system. Xenoestrogens found in BPA laden plastic and lots of toxic cleaners/creams/lotions/soaps drag an already compromised endocrine system into an even deeper pit. Switching to doTERRA OnGuard cleaning products and personal care items such as Verage skin care can make a hUGE difference in the amount of toxic load you are putting onto your body and help with alleviating one of the aspects that contributes so much to the PCOS struggle.
To learn more about PCOS and how to address it naturally check out these resources:
- Woman Code book by Alisa Vitti
- PCOS Diva book and podcast by Amy Medling
- 8 Steps to Reverse your PCOS book by Fiona McCullough
- Balance your hormones, balance your life book by Claudia Welch
- The essential oils hormone solution book by Mariza Snyder
- Women’s Health webinar by doTERRA
To your healthy, vibrant, balanced life. May these suggestions help you live it.