Where is My Period!? The Gut-Ovulation Connection.

If you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) you may have asked this question many times over: "Where is my period!?"

PCOS is a really complex condition but in this blog we discuss 3 simple lifestyle steps that will help get your menstrual cycle back on track and have you ovulating regularly!

Get Moving

Research supports that getting active is a great way to re-establish a regular menstrual cycle. In women with a prolonged history of not ovulating, six months of exercise restored ovulation in 89% of women [1]. If you are trying to conceive you may be interested to know that 77% of these women became pregnant [2]! As exercise had restored ovulation, 27% of these pregnancies happened spontaneously, without fertility treatment. What a cost saver!

Losing body weight when you have PCOS is difficult – and it should not be your primary focus. Focus instead on moving regularly and sitting less which will have a real impact on improving your reproductive health.

Don’t Cut out Carbohydrate

Rather than avoiding carbohydrate, consider the type of carbohydrate you are eating. Wholegrains are the best type of carbohydrates to include in your diet as they improve regulation of glucose metabolism and decrease insulin resistance – this is essential for managing PCOS.

Eating carbohydrates that release sugars slowly, and combining carbohydrate intake with protein and fat in the one meal, will help keep insulin levels more steady.

Wholegrains have been linked with lower levels of inflammation. Specific nutrients of the wholegrains such as phytic acid, vitamin E, and selenium are known to support your body’s antioxidant defences. Inflammation disrupts ovulation so boosting those antioxidant defences is a win for regulating your menstrual cycle!

Working out the best nutrition for you doesn't have to be complicated. If you need more guidance to nourish a healthy gut check out our Fertile Gut Masterclass

Feed Your Gut Bugs

Your gut is home to over 100 trillion little microbes. If your gut is in balance, your gut bacteria help regulate inflammation and hormone balance for regular ovulation and optimal reproductive health.

PCOS has been shown to disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut [3]. This disruption or dysbiosis is associated with an increase in insulin resistance, elevation in testosterone and higher levels of inflammation [4].

Nurturing your good gut bacteria with proven prebiotics has been shown to reduce inflammation, lower circulating testosterone and improve menstrual cycle regularity [4]. 

Reducing dysbiosis is a great step to improving PCOS symptoms [5]. 

Love your gut as much as we do to get your cycle back on track!

  

References

  1. Clark, A.M., et al., Weight loss results in significant improvement in pregnancy and ovulation rates in anovulatory obese women. Hum Reprod, 1995. 10(10):2705-12.
  2. Clark, A.M., et al., Weight loss in obese infertile women results in improvement in reproductive outcome for all forms of fertility treatment. Hum Reprod, 1998. 13(6):1502-5.
  3. Zhao, X., et al., Exploration of the Relationship Between Gut Microbiota and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): a Review. Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd, 2020. 80(2):161-171.
  4. Chu, W., et al., Metagenomic analysis identified microbiome alterations and pathological association between intestinal microbiota and polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil Steril. 2020. 113(6):1286-1298.
  5. Xue, J., et al., Inulin and metformin ameliorate polycystic ovary syndrome via anti-inflammation and modulating gut microbiota in mice. Endocr J, 2019. 28;66(10):859-870.