PCOS and Miscarriage
One of the main reasons that a woman finds it difficult to become pregnant is because she has polycystic ovary syndrome – PCOS. This common condition is related to imbalanced hormone levels meaning that her reproductive system does not function properly. In addition to PCOS being a leading cause of infertility recent research suggests that PCOS can increase the risk of miscarriage. In this article we will find out more about PCOS, PCOS and miscarriage, and provide hope to women with this condition by providing natural solutions and tips that will help to reduce symptoms of PCOS and PCOS miscarriage prevention.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome – PCOS – is a common condition that impairs ovary function and is a major cause of infertility. 1 in 10 women have PCOS with over half not exhibiting any symptoms.
There are four main features of PCOS: Irregular periods, excess androgen, polycystic ovaries and insulin resistance
- Irregular periods means that your ovaries do not regularly release eggs – they may only release an egg from time to time or they may not release any eggs at all. This means that the number of eggs that you produce are lowered – reducing your chance of having an egg fertilised. Irregular periods are linked to a number of medical conditions.
- Androgens are hormones that play a role in male traits and reproduction and are present in both males and females – women actually have higher androgen rates than oestrogen. Excess androgens can promote unwanted facial or body hair growth and interfere with the development of eggs and hinder the regular release of eggs.
- Polycystic ovaries are enlarged ovaries that contain multiple harmless follicles – or fluid filled sacs which can block ovulation. Without ovulation it is not possible to become pregnant. Women with PCOS have ovaries that are larger than normal. These bigger ovaries can have many tiny cysts that contain immature eggs.
- Insulin is a hormone that controls the amount of sugar in the blood. It helps to move glucose from blood into cells, where it is broken down to produce energy. One association of PCOS is insulin resistance. This means that the body’s tissues are resistant to the effects of insulin and has to produce extra insulin to compensate. High levels of insulin causes the ovaries to produce too much testosterone, which interferes with the development of the follicles and this prevents normal ovulation. Insulin resistance can also lead to weight gain, which can amplify the symptoms of PCOS further, as having excess fat causes the body to produce even more insulin.
PCOS and Miscarriage
Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of experiencing complications during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and hypertension. In addition research has demonstrated that babies born to mothers with PCOS are sadly more likely to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit or to die before, during, or right after birth.
PCOS and Miscarriage – facts
- Women with PCOS are three times as likely to miscarry in the early months of pregnancy than women who do not have PCOS. In addition to poor conception rates, pregnancy loss rates are high during the first trimester amongst women with PCOS.
- It is thought that there is a strong link between PCOS and miscarriage and that between 30 – 50% of miscarriages are related to this condition.
- PCOS interferes with IVF – A recent study found that women with PCOS who tried IVF or other assisted reproductive technologies experienced approximately double the number of pregnancy losses than women who do not have this condition.
- Research has shown that between 40 – 80% of women that experienced recurrent miscarriages were found to have PCOS.
PCOS and Miscarriage – factors that can increase your miscarriage rate
Insulin: We have seen that PCOS is related to insulin resistance. One recent study found that there is a high association with repeated losses of pregnancy and insulin resistance.
Luteinising Hormone (LH): Women with PCOS often have high levels of LF secretion. High levels of LH contribute to the high levels of androgens, and this along with low FSH levels lead to poor egg development and an inability to ovulate. Several studies have linked raised LH levels with miscarriage in women.
Endometrial Dysfunction and Early Pregnancy Loss in PCOS: Endometrial secretory proteins are essential to the correct development of the fertilised egg and the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy. Women with PCOS either have no or abnormally low concentrations of these proteins are found in women with PCOS. There is therefore a strong association between PCOS and miscarriage.
PCOS miscarriage prevention
There are several lifestyle and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) options available to you that can help to treat PCOS, to take control of your PCOS and to prevent miscarriage due to PCOS.
How does Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine work to treat PCOS and prevent miscarriage?
Chinese medicine uses herbs and acupuncture to regulate menstrual cycles, improve sluggish digestion and to reduce the size of cysts. It is also effective at stimulating ovulation and it also improves egg quality. By gently nurturing the body to a position of balance TCM gently creates an environment that is ready for the successful conception of a child.
Acupuncture treatment: There is a good deal of evidence to suggest that acupuncture treatment is effective at regulating the menstrual cycle. It also balances hormone levels, improves blood flow to the ovaries and also helps to calm down the nervous system, all of which will be helpful to women with PCOS. Acupuncture is a gentle treatment where sterile single use needles are used to stimulate the flow of energy around the body. Many women find that in addition to their PCOS symptoms reducing they also feel more energised, have better sleep and feel more able to cope in their everyday lives.
Recent research demonstrates that acupuncture has a positive effect on the stress hormones of cortisol and prolactin – which has a positive impact on IVF pregnancy rates. Also acupuncture treatment has been shown to offer a significant reduction in miscarriage rates.
If you decide that you would like to try acupuncture to help to boost your fertility or to offer some support after a miscarriage please do get in touch for a free consultation. Our team of professional acupuncturists have decades of experience in the field of fertility and they will be able to offer you the sensitive and high quality care that you need. Acupuncture treatment is best started 6 – 8 weeks before you start trying for a baby as this will give your body the time that it needs to prepare itself in order to sustain a healthy pregnancy.
Herbal remedies for PCOS miscarriage prevention
A number of Chinese Herbal remedies are effective at treating PCOS. Bupleurum Root has anti-inflammatory properties that supports good Liver and adrenal gland functions. It also helps with fatigue, indigestion, PMS and headaches and reduces stress. It boosts the movement of Vital Qi and the energy that flows through the meridian system.
Chinese Motherwort (Yi Mu Cao) is a popular herb that balances female hormones, treats heavy flow with clots and regulates irregular menstrual cycles. It also unblocks channels of energy and eases the flow of energy.
Ovary Maintenance are supplements specifically designed to support optimum ovarian health. Made from the highest quality natural ingredients these supplements are a simple way to incorporate ovary health into your daily routine. Ovary Maintenance supplements support Kidney energy, help to clear the ovary environment and help to produce healthy eggs. They contribute to hormonal balance and are particularly effective if you are experiencing infertility due to PCOS.
Healthy weight advice
In overweight women, the symptoms and overall risk of developing long-term health problems from PCOS can be greatly improved by losing excess weight. Weight loss of just 5% can lead to a significant improvement in PCOS. You can lose weight by exercising regularly – which will also help to elevate your mood – and this in turn will help to keep the flow of energy, or Qi, moving around your body.
If you are overweight PCOS treatments will work better when you start to lose weight. A recent study showed that combining acupuncture and exercise reduces high levels of androgens and lead to more regular menstruation. All moderate to high intensity exercise will be helpful – be dancing to your favourite song, or going for a light jog in the park.
Your diet should be multicoloured. Try adding more green vegetables, Orange carrots, brown rice and blueberries to your diet. In addition to filling your body with delicious nutrients these food are easy for your body to digest.
The best foods are those that do not raise your blood sugar too much – such as vegetables, protein and healthy fats. Reducing your intake of refined carbohydrates such as sweets, bread, pasta, juices and fizzy drinks will be beneficial.
For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you with pcos miscarriage prevention, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.