Fertility Nutrition and PCOS
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is very much misunderstood. It can come packaged with weight stigma at the doctor's office when patients are inaccurately told to "just lose weight" or "don't eat any carbs". It is often not diagnosed right away, and many women don't know much about it even after diagnosis because doctors are leaving them without enough information. Birth control is often used as the only form of treatment which can mask symptoms until women are ready to get pregnant.
When women get off birth control, there can be an increase in androgens (post-pill PCOS) which make fertility difficult.
We've also seen it misdiagnosed- where the client is really struggling with irregular meses due to undereating (hypothalamic amenorrhea). Women can also have both of these concerns, complicating the picture.
We work with moms with PCOS to manage symptoms or increase fertility through lifestyle changes and nutrition as well as improving the food relationship and body image. It's important to understand the root cause of symptoms and what might be fueling it. It is impacted by the confluence of genetics and environment.
Bodacious Nutrition founder, Joanna Pustilnik, has PCOS.
She was once told by a gynecologist that she'd have to get on "fertility drugs" to have babies due to the high level of LH to FSH and irregular menses. She didn't start her period until she was 16 years old, and it was never regular. Doctors didn't give her any meaningful information about PCOS or how her body worked, and it wasn't until she became a dietitian and changed her lifestyle habits to support fertility that her period normalized, and she was blessed with her 3 children without fertility support (she knows she is very lucky in this way).
She loves helping other moms navigate this often frustrating or confusing diagnosis.
Other fertility support concerns might include irregular periods or missing periods due to maternal stress, undereating, inadequate nutrient intake, over exercise, or disordered eating. She works with moms to understand what the research tells us about fertility nutrition, reconnect with their bodies, and set up a plan to find a sustainable way of eating during this very special and transformational time.
The post-partum time is also a crucial point where mom needs more support and may experience body image disturbances or a resurgence of disordered eating. We are here to help.