PCOS, EPO, Supplements...Hoping for a Miracle

I must say that it is encouraging to read success stories over and over again...

In my mid 20s, I had irregular menses, can be 6 months delayed.

I was steadily gaining weight, I knew something was not right and so went to see a doc. Doc ask me to see her when I'm planning to conceive because pregnant not possible cos I'm not ovulating.

Devastated, I told my boyfriend then.

3 years later we got married. Checked again with another doc and she confirmed that I had PCOS.

I didn't go through the fertility program as my hubby was not ready to have a child.

Life goes on and guess what... I was pregnant after 15 mths. The only thing I did was to take EPO.

The feeling was great, it was such a blessing. Unfortunately, I had a miscarriage about 5 weeks.

Recently, I've lost 3 kg by taking Herbalife and traditional massage but my cycle is still bad although improved to 1week-1mth delay.

I agree that not many docs are willing to help you with PCOS... all they ask you to do is lose weight...which is not easy.

I've now started to take EPO again hoping for some miracle to happen.

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Editor's comments:

By EPO, I think you mean evening primrose oil? In some cases, it is highly beneficial. In other cases, not so much.

EPO contains a fatty molecule called "gamma linolenic acid" or GLA. Supplementation often temporarily relieves symptoms.

Eventually however, supplementation interferes with the complex web of interactions involved with enzyme activity and the manufacture of GLA from the raw material of linoleic acid found in the diet, so symptoms may return.

GLA is converted into dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) by an enzyme called D5D.

We now encounter a fork in the metabolic road.

DGLA is converted by enzymes into another fat called "arachidonic acid" (AA), or into anti-inflammatory "good" eicosanoid called PGE1. An eicosanoid is essentially a short-lived, short-range hormone. Like regular hormones, eicosanoids are powerful in their effects.

D5D is like a boulder in a stream that causes some of the water to go to the right, and some to go to the left.

D5D diverts some of the DGLA down the "good" eicosanoid pathway, eventually resulting in the favorable PGE1 and similar eicosanoids.

D5D also diverts some DGLA down the "bad" pathway. DGLA is converted into arachidonic acid (AA).

AA is then converted into pro-inflammatory "bad" eicosanoids such as PGE2, thromboxane A2 and leukotrienes. These unfavorable eicosanoids cause a great deal of trouble for the body.

Whew…that was a lot of medical jargon! Anyway, EPO can work great but can also, in some situations, cause problems.

For women who have PCOS, the D5D is overactive because the high insulin levels that are commonly high in PCOS women increases D5D activity. The increased D5D activity leads to more inflammation.

However, an omega-3 fat called "EPA", found in fish oil EPA/DHA capsules, can suppress D5D activity and thus reduce inflammation. Regardless of evening primrose oil, fish oil would mostly like be beneficial to you.

Inflammation, also known as "oxidant stress", affects your eggs and ovaries and every cell in your body. Oxidant stress increases risk of an unsuccessful pregnancy.

You might also consider vitex or natural progesterone cream. Dr. Amy Day has an interesting discussion of vitex.

How's your diet? A diet designed for weight loss, normalizing hormones and reducing inflammation is available as an e-book here. It's an excellent resource if you're not having success with the diet you're on now.

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