PCOS Success Stories

Group 1

This page is intended for the stories of women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) who have improved their condition primarily by using natural health-building methods, although we've included other stories as well. We hope that you will be inspired by these stories and that you will have a renewed sense of hope and commitment to improving your health.

There's a lot you can do to minimize ovarian cysts and other symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome such as infertility, overweight, acne, hirsutism, and hair loss. Although PCOS has a genetic component, diet, exercise, stress management, lifestyle, natural therapies and selected nutritional supplements influence how those genes behave. What you eat, do and think powerfully influences your symptoms.

And remember, as many of these women say, never give up hope!

Eva (N)
Christine (N)
Sandra (N)
T.J. (D)
Nicole (N)
Joanne (D)
Deena (N)
Crystal (S)
Kimberly (N)
Julie (S)
A.A.Z. (N)
(S)Samantha
Deanna (D)
Vanessa (S)
Amy (S)
S (N)
Angelique (S)
Anonymous (N)
Gabrielle (N)
Carolyn (N)
Anjali (S)
Caroline (D)

           (N) = Emphasis on natural methods.
           (D) = Emphasis on drugs.
           (S) = Starting on the road to success.

For additional groups of stories, go to


Eva

I thought you'd like another success story.

I was diagnosed with PCOS in early December 2002, after not have cycles since stopping the combined pill in April. An ultrasound showed I had PCOS. I was also having mild acne, I'd put on some weight and I felt generally sluggish. It turned out I also had an underactive thyroid (diagnosed October), but despite being treated for this my cycles did not reappear, hence the ultrasound. MY endo recommended metformin but I decided I'd prefer to try the natural approach for 6 months first. I immediately changed my diet, determined to lose the extra pounds, and also to make it more healthy - I followed a VERY strict low GI & organic diet. I had my hair tested which showed me to be deficient in a number of things including zinc, potassium and chromium so I took some supplements too. I watched out for signs of ovulation... and by the end of January I'd lost 15 pounds and I ovulated and conceived.

Here is a picture of my baby daugther Noa, born on 19th October!


Here was my regime:

ACUPUNCTURE: We spent most of the first session discussing my symptoms. She suggested a trial run, and only used 4 needles for 15 mins. The needles were so thin that it was not painful at all. We agreed that I would have 5 weekly sessions, and assess at the end of them if I was responding. After the second session I was sure I had responded. I had 5 sessions in all - and by the 5th at the beginning of February I already had a positive pregnancy test.

SUPPLEMENTS: I decided to get my hair tested for trace minerals and toxic substances. In the meantime I took supplements. The results came back as follows (have only listed problematic results).

Mineral My Results Recommended
minimum
zinc 167 185
manganese 1.28 1.7
chromium 0.93 1.2
iron 32 38
potassium 72.5 75

Mineral My Results Threshold
maximum
mercury 0.3 0.14
sodium 120 94

The advice came back - take zinc supplement to resume ovulation. I embarked on a low sodium diet, using only potassium salt on my food. Cut out tuna fish - the source of the mercury. Avoided additives, including sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol, filtered water, ate zinc rich foods and took supplements, including EFAs. Incidentally I ovulated 10 days after starting the zinc supplements.

DIET: I followed a low GI diet, as many women with PCOS are insulin resistant. The diet in a nutshell involved: no sugar, no artificial additives or refined carbohydrates and making sure that each meal including a good quality protein 25%, unrefined carbohydrates 25% and veggies 50%. Saturated fats were to be limited but essential fatty acids (EFAs) eaten as often as possible. Fruit was to be eaten in moderation - I avoided the fruit very high in sugar (e.g. melons, mangos) and always ate fruit with protein to balance the insulin effect. I was very careful in thinking about the effect of what I was eating was doing to my insulin levels and also in controlling calories, and I lost around 15 pounds in 6 weeks. I tried to limit my wheat intake to 10 slices of wholemeal bread a week. I also bought organic food where possible.

EXERCISE: I went to the gym 4 times a week, doing very energetic exercise at each session. I was a gym freak before, but when the thyroid and PCOS problems had set in I found it heard to have enough energy to exercise, and struggled to go twice a week. All this changed when I started the diet - I had loads more energy and really enjoyed my gym sessions. Generally a gym session consisted of around 45-60 minutes cardio machines and 15 mins weights. I also did body balance (combo of pilates and yoga) once a week and I included a swim once a week into my routine too.

DETOX AND HERBS: I took the following:
Milk thistle: to help detoxification
Vitex: to help promote ovulation

And the following teas:
Peppermint and fennel to help digestion
Nettle to help detoxification
Raspberry tea to help fertility

An interesting point was that about 2 weeks after the start of my regime I started having little lumps on my arms and legs that indicated that the toxins had left my body. I just exfoliated them all away!

GETTING RESULTS: After about 2 weeks I already had great improvements in my symptoms.

* Acne cleared up
* Pains in ovaries stopped
* BBT Temperatures stabilized
* Weight loss - around 7lbs in 2 week
* More energy

After a further 2 weeks I had ovulated and I found out 2 weeks later that I had conceived.

- Eva


Christine

My daughter was just diagnosed 9 months ago w/celiac sprue. I have PCOS.

I have had to follow her diet. I drink soy milk, no processed foods, all natural and fresh. Fresh meats, fruits, I make her bread and nothing w/gluten in it or the hidden gluten (hydrolyzed vegetable protein). When I started this diet with her, I felt a distinct difference in my whole body. I had more energy. I could move easier, I wanted to stay active. I also lost several pounds.

Now due to a small amount of lack of funds this month I have started to eat some of the processed foods again because they are cheaper and now I am gaining weight back and feel bloated all the time. We don't drink pop or coffee and she can only have certain candies and I am not a candy person at all. But I do believe that since we switched to everything natural and organic or just even fresh and nothing processed both of us are healthier.

My PCOS is totally under control and I don't have cramps when I have my periods any more and I also have endometriosis and my cramps in the past have been debilitating and I wouldn't be able to move. Now I don't have that problem. I am now a firm believer in not using products with pesticides on them or processed w/other chemicals. It has made a difference in my life style and my over all physical health. I still have more weight to lose but that will come in time. Thank you for your newsletter. I really enjoy reading it.

- Christine


Sandra

Hello,

I am so excited about this information that I wanted to share this with you. My daughter who is 18 years old has PCOS along with hypothyroidism and Down's syndrome. Stephanie is a very happy child and has a really great self image. I always tell her, "You are so healthy and that's why you are so beautiful!" With a big smile on her face she always says "Thank You!"

When she was first diagnosed with PCOS about 4 years ago she was put on birth control pills. I was told from several doctors that PCOS could only be treated with medication. I started doing some research and decided that I needed to try an alternative approach to treating my daughter. I just couldn't see her taking the birth control pill for the rest of her life. So after meeting with Stephie's endocrinologist for one of her regular visit, I told him that I wanted to take her off the pill and try to treat her through nutrition. He said he didn't believe in herbs or any other alternative approach, but I had to follow my gut instinct and try.

So here we are a year later and her endocronologist says that she is doing great and she doesn't have to go back on the pill. Her blood results have dramatically improved since her last visit when she was on the birth control pill. Stephie gets her period every month, her acne has disappeared, her facial hair is disappearing, her energy level has increased, dark circle around her neck is gone, her cholesterol levels are great and everything else is in range.

At home we only buy organic foods including meats. We've cut down on meat consumption and are now eating only chicken and seafood along with fruits, vegetables and nuts. I've omitted certain foods like soy, peanut butter, among other things because of her hypothyroid. She's exercising 1/2 hour a day five times a week. And we've implemented vitamins such as complex C, B-complex, E with selenium along with a woman's daily vitamin. We try to avoid foods with high glycemic index and drink lots of filtered water. We also love our green teas with lemon (no sugar). Stephanie is now eating more and is slowly losing weight, inches and has more energy. She is getting healthier and healthier.

I have searched and searched and attained information from different sources and I wanted to thank you for all the information you have provided me with. It's been a long and slow process. I've implemented things as I find more and more information. I'm still not finished but my daughter is on her way to being a more beautiful young lady!

May blessings fill your days and light your path to enlightenment.

- Sandra


T.J.

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your newsletter! What great information. I wanted to share with you that I got my saliva tested for my hormone levels and found out I had really low progesterone and high testosterone. I looked "estrogen dominant" from my results.

My nurse practitioner put me on a natural progesterone cream made with a soy base and two weeks later (two weeks after my honeymoon) I was pregnant. Now, I was previously married and we tried everything!! I had surgery, Clomid, HSG, you name it. He had a great sperm count and healthy sperm and for 3 years no kids.

I have been on Glucophage 1000mg at night before bed for the past year and then used my topical progesterone cream for two weeks and bam! Just something to think about. From the information in your articles, you must have an open mind. I am willing to share any of my own personal information if you have questions. I see a lot of women complain about GI side effects of Glucophage; I switched to the extended release and all mine went away. The other stuff gave me constant diarrhea.

I am an RN and I actively search for health solutions. One thing I haven't found info on is how to stop the cravings for carbs. It's like I crave so bad I can't control myself. Does that make sense? I know I can't be the only one. Thanks a bunch.

- T.J.


Nicole W.

I was diagnosed with PCOS 2 years after stopping birth control pills. On the pill, I gained 40 lbs., which I believe started insulin resistance in my body.

I had no periods at all for 2 years. The doctors wanted to put me back on birth control pills to "fix" the problem. I refused.

I started doing research on the Internet. After much prayer and guidance, I supplemented my diet with a multi-vitamin, trace minerals, magnesium, chromium, vitamin E and flaxseed oil. I also changed my diet. I ate nothing with white flour as an ingredient. I stopped eating meat since is slows digestion. I added salads and fruits to my staples.

I implemented an exercise routine of 3 times a week for 30-45 minutes of walking or riding my bike. It took a year to implement all these things and I thought sometimes that I was going too far, that maybe I was overacting, but I just had to follow the cues of my body.

Well, after having a period for 3 months, my husband and I conceived. I am 25 weeks pregnant with a baby boy! This is truly a miracle and worth all the tears of trying to learn how my body ticks. I hope everyone going through this can find a treatment that works best for them.

- Nicole W.


Joanne B.

After 2 years of irregular periods and with doctors fobbing me off, I decided to go to a family planning clinic to see if they could shed any light on the subject. After an ultrascan, I was diagnosed with PCOS. I was put on a contraceptive pill called Dianette and while on honeymoon became pregnant with our daughter who is now 3. Looking forward to making number two now. Hope it won't be as complicated. I truly believe there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Never give up

- Joanne B.


Deena W.

PCOS Baby

At this moment I am listening to my 3 month old son scream his little lungs out. I didn't ever think I would enjoy that sound so much.

I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2001 and after a miscarriage from being on serephin, I switched doctors. I ended up going to a fantastic centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. The doctor actually listened to me and set me up on a diabetic diet and a prescription for metformin. Within 2 months I had lost 16 lbs and was pregnant in another 4 months. For all of you out there, don't give up and be persistent. If your doctor isn't listening to you find one that will. Do your research about the different treatments and know your info. I am going back to the vitex now that I am postpartum and the diabetic eating ritual again.

Good Luck to you all.

- Deena W.


Crystal

My name is Crystal, I am 26 years old. I too have PCOS. My husband and I have been married for 3 years and still can not get pregnant.

As of today I have no success story, but I have new found hope!!!! This web site has helped me so much. I am so excited about my options. And I am sure I will be writing back sooner than later with an amazing success story!!!

Thanks to all of you who took your time to write these letters to give women like me hope. And for all this amazing information. It is like a heavenly door has been opened!!!

- Crystal


Kimberly

My name is Kimberly and I was diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 19years of age. I have been suffering with PCOS for quite some time now and have not been able to cope with it. Due to PCOS I have had absent menstrals, weight gain, diabetes and very little cyst on my ovaries. I have had several tests done and have taken several medications from metformin to progesterone and even birth control pills and still none of this worked. Suddenly, I lost the weight that was due to the diabetes, and changed my diet. Within two months I found out I was pregnant with my very first baby.

- Kimberly


Julie

My name is Julie. I am 22 years old. I was told on Thursday the 27th January 2005 that I too have PCOS. I intend to lose weight after reading all of your stories which has given me hope in trying to get pregnant. I would love to chat to every one who has wrote a story on this page and hope that you can give me hope and push me in the right direction.

Thanks to all of you who wrote these stores and shared information I know that I'm not alone and miracles can happen.

- Julie

Editor's note: Julie, we're looking into setting up an online forum so all of the visitors to this site can communicate with each other. It may not happen until later in 2005.


A.A.Z.

I have had problems with my cycle for years. It started in college. I'd skip 2 months, have a normal cycle one month, bleed heavily for weeks at a time. When I saw doctors, they all told me the same thing. Take birth control pills to regulate the cycle. I'd take the pills for a while, but was hesitant to stay on them for periods longer than 6 months at a time.

After going off the pill, I'd have normal cycles for about 4 months before things went wacky again. Over the years I'd gain and lose weight, then gain it back again. I changed doctors a few times, but they all had the same agenda. BC. I resisted the idea.

I was sick of doctors casually handing me pills to stop my symptomatic bleeding instead of trying to find out exactly what the problem was. At one point I stopped taking the pills and ended up bleeding for over 3 months straight. Heavily. I ended up in the hospital with 1/4th the amount of blood that I should've had. I had to get a blood transfusion. 2 Units.!

Finally I was told I had PCOS, and that I'd have to be on birth control for the rest of my child bearing years to keep my cycle regulated.

Once I was married, being on birth control became an unacceptable method because we wanted children. My husband and I were blessed with the conception of two children. However, both pregnancies miscarried. Then, I was diagnosed with a incompetent cervix.

I sought out an herbalist/nutritionist. He put me on a restricted diet, and gave me a vitamin and herbal detox regimen.

For 2 months I ate no meat, no bread, no pasta of any kind, no sweets, no processed foods, no rice. I ate lots of vegetables, drank daily protein drinks. Took loads of vitamin and mineral supplements daily. For 28 days, I drank 18 ounces of herbal infusion twice daily.

When my regimen was done I had lost 30 pounds. My cycle has behaved as it should. I am so thankful. I know I need to stay focused and maintain a healthy life style. I intend to do so. Later this year we hope to conceive again, and this time carry the child full term.

- A.A.Z.


Samantha

My name is Samantha. I was just tested and they believe I have PCOS. At first looking at some of the web sites out there I was hysterical, thinking "why me"!!! But immediately I tried to eat less after hearing about the weight loss idea. I am now going to look up more healthy diets to try out. I am 23 and getting married in June, I am hoping to conceive, my only dream in life was to be a mother.

All of your stories have given me hope that I will be able to experience the miracle of child birth.

Thank you.

- Samantha

Editor's note: Hi Samantha, in case you're not aware of it, we are in the process of writing a PCOS Healthy Diet book that may help you.


Deanna

I was diagnosed back in 2001 with PCOS. I had all of the signs, hair growth, cysts, weight gain (insulin resistance), testosterone, and extremely irregular periods since the age of nine. My mother knew that something was wrong with my periods and had me on BC pills at an early age to give me cycles. It took years and switching OBs to finally get diagnosed.

This year I am 29 years old and my husband and I wanted to start trying. My OBGYN told me to go off of the pill, and aldacton, but to stay on the metaformin/glucophage I am on:500 mg. 3x a day. In addition they had me taking prenatal vitamins(for folic acid) since November. I was to try for 3 months naturally with metaformin and vitamins, then try clomid for 3 months then the shots etc. Well, my last pill period started Jan.1, 2005, and I am happy to report that Mon. Jan31, 2005 I found out through home testing that I am PEGNANT!!!! I fully expected this to take 3-6 months at the least, but either God was with us, the meds worked or my hubby has super sperm! LOL!

My first doctors visit will be on Feb.23. I plan to continue the meds for at least the 1st trimester to prevent miscarriage. We will see how things progress and hopefully we will have a healthy baby in October!!! Thanks for letting me share my story!

- Deanna


Vanessa

This site is like a light at the end of a very long tunnel. I am 43 and my PCOS was triggered (I firmly believe) by a sustained period of stress at work when I was 30. I gained weight like whoosh and developed a carbohydrate habit (yes TJ I get cravings too!) and got what I now recognise as depression. I struggled through it and eventually only went to the doctor when I was bleeding all the time.

I was diagnosed with PCOS and put on the pill. I was told by a male consultant (whose lack of sympathy I now feel outraged about!), that it was the pill for the rest of my reproductive life or a hysterectomy. Quite desperate - because I didn't want to be on the pill - I started eating even more and put on more weight. Went from a (UK) size 12 to 18. Eventually gave in and went on the pill. On it for 2 years and decided spontaneously to come off, having started to go to the gym and lost a bit of weight. Found out by accident that losing weight could help control PCOS symptoms.

Recently got bloated again and decided to do some research on the web and voila! This wonderful site - so honest and female friendly. I am truly grateful and I look forward to your diet book eagerly.

- Vanessa


Amy

Hi, I was diagnosed with PCOS and high insulin about a month ago. I was told that if I did not change some habits- I could develop diabetes. I started on a diet and the generic form of glucophage. Since then I have lost about 10 lbs. I am starting to eat foods I should not and struggling, but I will succeed.

All these stories really have made me feel that I can get healthier and hopefully have a healthy pregnancy by the end of the year! One thing I hated about the medicine is that it really gave me severe diarrhea and nausea. I have since adjusted and am feeling better. I would love to talk to others who have shared this diagnosis.

- Amy


S

After several years ttc, I was diagnosed PCOS. Several years on metformin & clomid, then I lost 40 lbs going low carb & had a miscarriage. My version of the low carb diet was UNhealthy. :( I switched to a healthy whole foods diet and eliminated bread/pasta etc. Within 2 months I was pregnant! I had to take progesterone as many of us need, and I have had 2 healthy babies!!!

- S


Angelique

I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 17 in 2002 and I am currently taking metformin and have stopped my lo ovral birth control in hopes to conceive. I started metformin in 2004 but stopped due to the side affects only to continue on a lower dosage 1 and a half months ago. Reading your success stories give me motivation and new found hope. I hope that I can get through this and conceive soon... Wish me luck!!

- Angelique


Anonymous

Success.. isnt it funny how life is.. We all are part of these symptoms that prevent us from gaining what we want and desire..

I wouldn't say that i have success yet, although i wish i am on the way there.. Having had my right ovary removed 2 years ago, gave me less then 50% chance of conceiving, and just to find out at the beginning of this year that my only left ovary is now polycystic. My chances i knew, were next to nothing.

Anyways, having had already decided to go and approach a specialist, my husband and i though we should maybe opt for herbal medicine just so we then know we had tried all in our power and realise that this was now completely out of our hands.

We purchased and sugar lowering "gluco-Low" from a nutrition house and i began using that. Soon after i started excersicing on a Glider and completely cut my sugar intake down and started having artificial sweetners in my tea etc.

This i only carried on for approx 1 month, and only 2 weeks of exercise.

Amazingly i found myself approx 4 weeks pregnant soon after!

I believe that even though there are obvious suggestions all over internet, we women somehow choose to ignore them...As i did in the beginning.

But believe me, once you succeed, you would realise that all these possible-suggestions do work...! good luck you all!

- Anonymous

Editor's note: Hi JLA, our upcoming PCOS Healthy Diet book will describe the foods you should eat and the foods you should not eat.


Gabrielle

I am 39 years old and was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 20. I too was passed around from doctor to doctor, and was made to feel like I had no hope.

When I was 33 years old I moved to England to be with my boyfriend. I was very healthy, never ate fast food or potato chips and exercised regularly. Anyways, I forgot my birth control pills in Canada and was too lazy to get them renewed. Within 2 months I was pregnant and gave birth to a healthy boy (Joshua now 5), I felt wonderful and began to have regular periods after the birth. When Josh was a year old, I went on Clomid and after a month became pregnant again (Benjamin, now 3). I feel extremely blessed and grateful to God for my boys.

Now back in Canada, I have become very lazy and eat a lot of crap (i.e. potato chips). I have gained 40 lbs, started loosing my hair and sadly had a miscarriage this past Christmas!

So, I am going to return to my healthy diet of 5 years ago, I have bought a treadmill and will exercise daily. I strongly believe that it is through my lack of exercise and very bad diet (too much caffeine), that I lost my baby. I look forward to the Healthy Diet Book!

Good luck to all of you and never give up! May God bless you and keep you strong.

- Gabrielle


Carolyn

After having my period like clockwork until age 20, it stopped altogether for 2 years. My GP and my gyno told me to simply go on the pill and it would correct itself. I decided to go off the pill after about 6 months and started to see a Naturopath. She recommended that I have an ultrasound done of my ovaries after hearing about my other symptoms (irregular periods, inability to lose weight, acne, low body temps, mild hirsutism, infertility, etc.).

Sure enough, in January 2004, I was diagnosed with PCOS. Since then I have been eating a proper diet, exercising and taking supplements such as: I3C, Vitex, Multi-Glyco (to support the pancreas), ground flax seed and other homeopathic remedies.

Since following this routine, I have had the following successes:

Lost 15 pounds (and counting)
Have had a regular period for a year now
Have begun to ovulate
No more digestion difficulties
BBT has stabilized
My skin has cleared up a great deal
My libido has returned (yay!)

Now I have to repair my luteal phase defect and hopefully support a pregnancy one day!

Thanks so much for this wonderful treasure trove of information - it's been a huge help!

- Carolyn


Anjali

Hi all! Thank you for posting all your stories on the net. I have just come to know yesterday that I have PCOS. How do I feel about it? Terribe, depressed, very, very bad. Why? Because it has made me infertile, I am at high risk for diabetes, cholesterol, cancer and heart disease.

But that was until I read all your stories. Now I know what I should be doing.

Weight is not a major problem as I am only 10lbs off my target and with regular exercise can get it off. I have always had good eating habits, no junk or fast food, but I had lot of carbs intake with rice and pasta and fruits. I will make some lifestyle and dietry changes.

Also, I will be starting shortly on metformin. I am not gonna let PCO beat me, but I am gonna beat it. I have gained this confidence and this positive feeling all because of your stories. Thanks again. May God bless all of us.

- Anjali


Caroline

Amy, try taking the extended release glucophage--i had horrible gastrointestial problems until I switched from the 3x daily meds to the time-release ones. It was like magic. And, I, too, lost 40 lbs in the first 5 months following treatment with glucophage. I was 16 then, and am now 21. I have not tried to get pregnant, and won't for some time, and still struggle with my weight. I've kept those 40 lbs off, but have been at a standstill around 200lbs for several years. I wish you lots of luck! Stick with the diet!

- Caroline

Editor's note: See our discussion of Glucophage.

For additional groups of stories, go to


If you have a success story to share, please let us know! We're especially interested in stories of women who have successfully used diet, exercise, natural therapies, or dietary supplements to reduce PCOS-related problems.

(If you also have any photos that you think might inspire other women, let us know if you would like to share them. Examples might be your new baby, or "before" and "after" pictures of you after losing some weight).

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