Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common health problem caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. The hormonal imbalance creates problems in the ovaries. The ovaries make the egg that is released each month as part of a healthy menstrual cycle. With PCOS, the egg may not develop as it should or it may not be released during ovulation as it should be. Signs and symptoms of PCOS often develop around the time of the first menstrual period during puberty, but sometimes PCOS develops later in response to substantial weight gain.
PCOS can cause missed or irregular menstrual periods. Irregular periods can lead to infertility (inability to get pregnant). In fact, PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility in women. It also leads to development of cysts (small fluid-filled sacs) in the ovaries
Who gets PCOS?
It happens to women of childbearing age. Most women find out they have PCOS in their 20s and 30s when they have problems getting pregnant and see their doctor. PCOS can however happen at any age after puberty.
Women of all races and ethnicities are at risk of PCOS. Your risk of PCOS may be higher if you have obesity or if you have a mother, sister or aunt with PCOS.
What causes PCOS?
1. High levels of androgens: Androgens are sometimes called “male hormones,” although all women make small amounts of androgens. Androgens control the development of male traits, such as male-pattern baldness. Women with PCOS have more androgens than normal. Higher than normal androgen levels in women can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) during each menstrual cycle, and can cause extra hair growth and acne, two signs of PCOS.
2. High levels of insulin:  Insulin is a hormone that controls how the food you eat is changed into energy. Insulin resistance is when the body cells do not respond normally to insulin. As a result, one’s insulin blood levels become higher than normal. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance, especially those who are overweight and have unhealthy eating habits,  those who do not get enough physical activity, and those who have a family history of diabetes (usually type 2 diabetes). Over time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.
3. Inflammation: Women with PCOS often  have increased levels of inflammation in  their body.  Being overweight can  contribute to inflammation. Inflammation can cause high androgen  levels.
 4. Obesity: 80% of women with PCOS are  overweight. The inability of insulin to  function normally is one reason why    women with PCOS tend to gain weight or find it hard to lose weight
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
1. Irregular menstrual cycle: Women with PCOS may miss periods or have fewer periods (fewer than eight in a year). Some women with PCOS stop having menstrual periods.
2. Too much hair on the face, chin or parts of the body where men usually have hair: This is called “hirsutism.” Hirsutism affects up to 70% of women with PCOS.
3. Acne on the face, chest, and upper back
4. Thinning of hair or hair loss on the scalp: This is male-pattern baldness.
5. Weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
6. Darkening of skin, particularly along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath breast.
7. Skin tags, which are small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area.
8. Infertility
Can I still get pregnant if I have PCOS?
Yes. Having PCOS does not mean one can’t get pregnant. PCOS is one of the most common, but treatable, causes of infertility in women. In women with PCOS, the hormonal imbalance interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation). A person who doesn’t ovulate can’t get pregnant.
Your doctor can talk with you about ways to help you ovulate and to raise your chance of getting pregnant.
When a sufferer of PCOS comes to me , I ask her how far she has gone medically. Her blood sample must have been taken to check her hormonal levels. Her fallopian tubes should have been checked to see that they are not blocked. Since  a sufferer also has insulin resistance, I ask if she has ever checked her blood sugar levels. In fact, this is why a diabetic drug called Metformin is always part of PCOS treatment. I then start with these steps:
1. Since we have established that most sufferer of this hormonal imbalance are overweight, I encourage them to lose weight. She will be told the kind of diet to eat and will be encouraged to be exercising.
2. The liver is where our hormones are processed. If the liver is sluggish, things won’t work well. So, they will go through liver detoxification. By the way, do you even know where your liver is? Ok, put your hands on your right ribs; move your hand to where your rib ends. Are you there? Ok, that is where your liver is!
3. The ovaries will be detoxified.
4. You will be surprised that spices in your kitchen are very useful for treating this condition. Some of them are garlic, turmeric and garlic .
5. When the woman starts seeing her menses, I teach her on how to  track her ovulation periods. So she gets to understand the days to have sex.
After all has been done, if the fallopian tubes of the woman are “patent” (as doctors say), that is, if they are not blocked and the husband’s sperm count is normal, nothing stops them from hearing the patter of tiny feet in nine months!