3 Common Misconceptions about PCOS

  1. All women with PCOS are overweight or obese – this is not true, up to 40% of women with PCOS are thin.
  2. Women with PCOS are infertile – possibly if they don’t address the root of the problem, but I’ve helped many women with PCOS conceive and have healthy, natural pregnancies.
  3. All women with PCOS have high testosterone levels.  Nope!  Many do, but others have different reasons why they’re not ovulating regularly such as high prolactin, high DHEAs, high androstenedione etc.


Menopause Natural Treatment Research

A study published in 2014 found that women who self treated with neroli oil aromatherapy experienced significant improvement in menopause symptoms, increased libido and reduced blood pressure.  The women self-treated for 10 sessions twice daily for five consecutive days. Each participant poured 1 mL of 0.1% or 0.5% neroli oil or an almond oil control onto a fragrance pad while sitting, with the pad 30 cm away from the nose for five minutes.

Source:  Yeon Choi S, Kang P, Su Lee H, Hee Seol G Effects of inhalation of essential oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara on menopausal symptoms, stress, and estrogen in postmenopausal women: A randomized controlled trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2014;2014:796518

Can PCOS Women be Thin?

Absolutely!  If your doctor has told you that you don’t have PCOS because you don’t “look like it”, then he or she is wrong.  You cannot diagnose PCOS or rule it out based on what someone looks like.  You can have a suspicion that a woman has PCOS if she’s overweight, has acne, thinning head hair and excess facial hair, but even then there are other conditions that need to be investigated such as adrenal hyperplasia. Up to 40% of PCOS women are thin.  Does that mean that these women aren’t insulin resistant?  Not necessarily, even thin women with PCOS can be insulin resistant.  Confusing isn’t it?  Sometimes, partly because everyone is different and PCOS can manifest many different ways and have several different root causes.  This is why it’s best to consult with someone who is well versed in PCOS, not all family doctors or even endocrinologists are.


If you know the feeling of feeling irritable, weak, shaky, light headed or outright angry every time you get hungry or go too long without eating, you’re probably suffering from hypoglycemia, which means low blood sugar.  This shouldn’t happen!  When blood sugar starts to dip, the adrenal glands should alert the liver to break down some stored sugar (glycogen) and release it into the blood stream as glucose to elevate the blood glucose without you eating anything.  If you get hypoglycemia symptoms, you should interpret that as your adrenal glands aren’t functioning as well as they should and take measures to support them with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C and herbs like rhodiola, ginseng, schisandra, centella, ashwaganda, maca and eleuthrococcus.  Cutting back on carbs and increasing protein with each meal can also help to stabilize blood sugar.  People with hypoglycemia often also suffer with difficulty getting to sleep or poor quality sleep because blood sugar instability is not relaxing to your nervous system.

Interstitial Cystitis

I ran into a patient on Wednesday who had suffered from interstitial cystitis.  When I last saw her she had been up several times per night to the bathroom, losing sleep, exhausted, and suffering with frequent painful urination during the day.  We worked on reducing inflammation, helping her body with stress and removing food sensitivities from her diet.  She saw some improvement and at the time I also referred her to a pelvic physiotherapist to physically help with the pain.  There was some improvement from this as well and she also saw a chiropractor.  The chiropractor was the one who nailed it as far as fully resolving her problem.  He determined that the pain was the result of scar tissue and adhesions from her caesarean section 4 years ago and after working on that, her issues are gone, she looks healthy and energetic again.  While I didn’t fully fix her, she was appreciative of the improvement she made under my care and that I made the referral in the right direction.

Lessons learned:

  1. Never underestimate the trauma caused by caesarean section, or any other major surgery for that matter.
  2. Interstitial cystitis isn’t necessarily a problem with the bladder itself, it can be a problem with the surrounding tissue.  I’ve even seen endometriosis cause what was diagnosed as interstitial cystitis.
  3. Cystitis or inflammation of the bladder can be caused by many things: bacterial infection, food sensitivities, endometriosis, scar tissue, adhesions etc.  Sourcing out the root of the inflammation is the only way to effectively deal with and remove the problem.

Increasing Rate of C-Sections

Rates of caesarean section have increased from 17% in 1995 to 28% in 2010.  Failure to progress in labour is the most common reason cited for performing a caesarean section.   Factors that contribute to failure to progress include: maternal stress/anxiety, a contracted pelvis, poor strength or coordination of contractions, fetal malposition (breech presentation) and large fetal size (macrosomia).

The benefits to both mom and infant of normal vaginal delivery are numerous:

  1. Lower risk of post-partum depression
  2. Greater infant-maternal bond
  3. Better digestive health for the baby as he/she acquires his/her normal flora as he/she passes through the birth canal.
  4. Lower risk of death for mom and baby
  5. Lower risk of injury to mom and baby
  6. Lower risk of infection for mom and baby

Naturopathic doctors can effectively manage the factors that contribute to c-section through diet, stress reduction, exercise, vitamin and mineral balance, and even acupuncture and moxibustion to turn a baby that is in breech position.


  1. Deneux-Tharaux C1, Carmona E, Bouvier-Colle MH, Bréart G. Postpartum maternal mortality and cesarean delivery. Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Sep;108(3 Pt 1):541-8.
  2. James E. Swain,1 Esra Tasgin,2 Linda C. Mayes,1,3 Ruth Feldman,1,4 R. Todd Constable,5 and James F. Leckman1 Maternal brain response to own baby-cry is affected by cesarean section delivery. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2008 Oct; 49(10): 1042–1052.
  3. MacDorman MF1, Declercq E, Menacker F, Malloy MH. Neonatal mortality for primary cesarean and vaginal births to low-risk women: application of an “intention-to-treat” model. Birth. 2008 Mar;35(1):3-8.