Saturday, 31 July 2010

Cold Womb And Other Things

I decided we should take a break from ttc and go on a 3 month pre-conception  plan to heal/boost both our bodies and with the thinking that if we're not actively trying to conceive that should take away some stress. But hubby decided we should dive into it head on instead. After the disappointment of this month he's taken it upon himself that we must do everything we can to conceive next month.

Yesterday we went herb and vitamin shopping. We saw a Chinese herbalist/acupuncturist who diagnosed me with cold womb, bad circulation and poor kidney function. She snorted when I told her I was prescribed a diabetic drug for a hormonal imbalance. The last one I saw told me GP's were a bunch of bumbling idiots. I chucked it down to a civilization thing, I'm not in the mood to get philosophical about the East VS West approach to health. I'm sure my GP too would snort if I told them I was prescribed herbal teas and acupuncture to help me conceive.

I'm a huge sceptic and will not partake in anything unless there are no red flags in my research. The acupuncture I didn't mind as long as the needles are sterile (I quite enjoyed it!), the herbal teas, well I did a bit of Googling on those. And most of the ingredients came up as high in anti-oxidants with positive effects on the kidney, liver and spleen functions. Which is good. Still, I'm halving the dosage because even too much of a good thing ban be bad.

That being said I do see wisdom in a lot of what the Chinese claim. For instance, modern medicine mostly  concentrates on the side effects and very rarely gets down to the root cause of the problem. Thanks to Big Pharma that is only intereted in making money off people on recurring prescriptions. Let's take Metformin commonly prescribed for overweight PCOSers to help reduce Insulin Resistance. A lot of women have been taking it for years and are still battling the problems it was prescribed for. I've never heard of a woman with PCOS that took Met for X amount of time and stopped because she was cured. It's not even a cure in itself, because without appropriate lifestyle changes a woman actually finds that as time progresses, her symptoms will get worse and she'll need even more medication to tackle those.

I don't mind giving alternative remedies a try, especially those that claim to go to the root of the imbalance that led to the problem. The Chinese method is more holistic where lifestyle changes go hand in hand with herbs. To improve my chances of success they recommended I drink lots of water and herbal teas after meals, stay away from sweets, chocolates, cakes, crisps, chips, deep fried foods, roast nuts, seafood, dairy products and red meat. Thankfully western medicine confirms these things to be detrimental to those with PCOS.

Anti-oxidants are beneficial in improving the body's functions including reproductive functions. A diet that's high in anti-oxidants will improve your PCOS. Drinking at least 2 cups of green tea a day is a good start! Green tea contains flavonoids which has anti-oxidative properties and is also anti-inflammatory. Besides tea, you can get your anti-oxidants from citurus fruits, brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, dark chocolate, whole grains, nuts and seeds, berries and cherries.

Ovarian cysts can be reduced by improving the lymphatic function of the body. Click here for 10 tips to boost your lymphatic and liver function.

I'm writing this for anyone that's considering forking out £95 for one session of acupuncture and 7 days worth of herbal teas. I'm not 'killing' it for you, but if you're already doing all of the above in addition to acupuncture and you don't notice any changes, then I highly doubt the the Herbal teas will do much good.

If you are overweight with PCOS and most of your weight gathers around your mid-section, you will benefit more from regular exercise and the low GI diet than any medicine or herb. If you are not overweight, I would still recommend the low GI diet and regular exercise AND elimination of endocrine disruptors, a diet plentiful in fruits and veggies preferably organic, essential oils and fatty acids, anti-oxidants and and over the counter herbs like vitex to help regulate the cycle. It's important to not take herbs continuously but give oneself a week break (preferably during AF) out of every month to give the body some rest.

Now I'm off to drink more tea...


  1. Hum, about green tea...

  2. I think with a varied diet the likelihood of green tea causing a folic acid deficiency will be quite low. IMHO it may cause a problem for those that rely solely on folic acid supplements while consuming large amounts of green teas. In any case anything done to the extreme is bound to have side effects. Even in eating healthy I still advocate moderation.

    Thanks Crystal, as always, keep the informative links coming, :)