PCOS affects 1:10 women in the UK and is defined by having 2 of the following features – cysts that develop on the ovary and are visualised on ultrasound, irregular or lack of ovulation and raised levels of ‘male hormones’ termed androgens in the body. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown however, the development of numerous follicles on the ovary prevent ovulation from occurring naturally. Whilst there is no current cure for PCOS the symptoms can be treated and many women are able to go on to conceive. A woman with PCOS may experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Irregular or no periods
- Difficulty in conceiving (due to irregular or no ovulation)
- Unwanted hair growth
- Weight gain
- Thinning or loss of hair
- Oily skin or acne
PCOS is associated with raised insulin levels in the body. Raised insulin levels contribute to the increased production of the male hormone testosterone. Carrying extra weight increases the amount of insulin your body produces. For this reason women with PCOS find it difficult to lose weight effectively. However following a recommended nutritional detox programme will help you to lose weight, balance your hormones, reduce some of the symptoms you may experience and help you to conceive.
Having a healthy weight is important for increasing your chances of getting pregnant. The body’s hormonal cycles and ovulation can be disrupted if weight is too low or too high. Insulin resistance and reduce IVF effectiveness in women. It’s important to note that if you are overweight, a 5-10% weight loss can greatly improve fertility chances.*
Our programme is particularly beneficial for helping clients with PCOS. If you allow your body to detox effectively you are giving it a break from eating, hormone elimination and toxicity. If you have insulin sensitivity this puts a huge amount of strain on the body to reach ‘ homeostasis’ or equilibrium and in trying to balance with one or two hormones out of kilter it reaches a state of disease.
PCOS is one of the female reproductive disorders that really seems to benefit from a longer detox. Insulin receptors balance, medication can be reduced and weight loss triggers absent menstrual cycles to return. Coupled with good dietary habits that follow the detox many women will find their ability to conceive is much more achievable. When you arrive in Malta we will take you immediately to St James Hospital for a scan with an ultrasonographer unless you’ve recently had a scan done. When you leave the retreat we take you back to the same hospital and chart any improvement that you have seen in the fortnight of your detox.*
Fibroids are a non-cancerous tumour that grows in or attached to the uterus. It is normal women not to experience any symptoms and often fibroids are picked up on ultrasound scan. However women may experience the following symptoms: Heavy or painful periods Abdominal or back pain Constipation or a frequent need to urinate Pain during sexual intercourse Problems conceiving Miscarriage Fibroids are very common, with more than 40% of women developing fibroids at some stage of their life. The exact cause of fibroids is unknown, however it is linked to the female hormone oestrogen. Frequently medical treatment for fibroids is not required, unless you develop symptoms or you have problems conceiving.
Medical treatment is by treating with drug therapy initially and then if required surgery. As with PCOS we also recommend having the scan above as part of your programme Using a tailored Detox Programme can help to reduce and shrink fibroids down to a manageable level. Detoxification will primarily focus on your two main elimination organs; the liver and colon. Strengthening the liver is the primary goal, as an overworked liver will mean excess oestrogen floating freely in your body. Likewise, an overburdened colon will result in the livers pathway being backed up by, and excess oestrogen will try to leave the body though its key pathway of elimination via the bowel. If this isn’t possible the oestrogen will be reabsorbed back into the body. During a detox the body will be given a ‘break’ from normal processes and as it does this, the colon will get the chance to break down old and stagnant matter in the bowel and a more efficient liver will aid this process.*
Endometriosis is a long-term chronic condition caused by tissue generally found in the uterus migrating to other areas of the pelvis and occasionally other areas of the body. The condition is estimated to affect around two million women in the UK and generally presents when a woman is aged between 25-40 years of age. Women with endometriosis may suffer with the following symptoms: Painful or heavy periods Pain in other areas of the body Lack of energy Depression Problems conceiving. The exact cause of endometriosis is not fully understood. Endometriosis cells behave in the same way as those that line the uterus. Therefore at menstruation as well as the lining of the uterus (the endometrium), shedding and bleeding, so to do the endometrial tissue in other areas of the body. This leads to pain and swelling. Endometriosis impacts on your ability to conceive by damaging the ovaries or fallopian tubes.
There is no known cure for endometriosis however they symptoms and the degree of endometriosis can be managed with pain relieving medication and hormone medication. Surgery to remove patches of endometrial tissue on the ovaries and fallopian tubes can increase your chances of conceiving. Many women who embark on a detox programme will see benefits by using a tailored programme designed to reduce the inflammation that has caused this issue in the first place. The liver’s ability to detoxify is fundamental in balancing hormones. This can be affected by dietary habits and taking pain killers to reduce the pain!
Exposure to environmental toxins, known as Xenoestrogens, are beginning to wreak havoc with hormone function in many species, not just humans. There are many herbs and foods that assist in detoxifying hormones and toxins. These include the brassica family which has a strong effect on phase two liver detoxification pathways, that help to clear oestrogen and reduce oestrogen excess. Also anti inflammatory herbs such as Curcumin/turmeric and antioxidants can provide support in this area. Sometimes endometriosis can be picked up with a scan, and for this reason we would recommend having a scan.*
Trying to conceive can be a very stressful time, especially as the months go by and you start to feel concerned that something may be wrong. Recent research clearly demonstrates how stress can impact on our ability to conceive. This is an area that we are only just being to understand and to truly appreciate the impact the mind-body link has on conception. Whilst often we can’t always remove the stress from our lives, what we can change is how we cope with this stress.
Fertility Coaching equips you with the tools to successfully navigate your fertility journey. Fertility coaching is a relatively new approach that is becoming more and more popular as women experience the benefit reducing stress and increasing positivity has on their ability to conceive. Fertility coaching helps you to achieve a more positive mind-set and regain a sense of purpose and hope. It can support you along the path towards your ultimate goal and help your dreams become a reality. Many women feel they lose a sense of self whilst trying to conceive. Fertility coaching puts you firmly in the driving seat and empowers you to take control.*