Polycystic Ovarian syndrome, Polycystic’ literally means ‘many cysts.’ Its name can often be a little misleading as (PCOS) sounds like it’s exclusively a disease of the ovaries and while PCOS does affect the ovaries and ovulation, it’s actually a full-body endocrine and metabolic disorder. The cysts or sacs are actually follicles, each one containing an immature egg.
It is a complex full body hormonal condition that is now believed to be affecting 1 in 6 women of reproductive age in Australia. Although it is unclear whether it is now being over or under diagnosed due to its complexity and many variations. There are now believed to be at least 4 – 6 different types including; Insulin resistant PCOS, inflammatory PCOS, post Pill PCOS, lean PCOS (sometimes misdiagnosed with hypothalamic amenorrhea, ‘adrenal PCOS and hidden PCOS.
It most often presents physically with irregular cycles, facial hair, facial acne, trouble losing weight, painful periods and extreme mood swings.
I was personally diagnosed with PCOS myself at 22 after years of struggling with my hormones, weight gain, heavy intense periods, facial hair, extreme mood changes. When I was finally diagnosed, I felt so relieved to finally have an answer as to what was happening to me physically. However, after talking to several Dr’s it seemed my only answer was to go on the pill and ‘balance’ my hormones. Unfortunately, what I later found out is that the pill was merely ‘masking’ the symptoms. It was causing me to have a fake period and could potentially put me at further risk later in life. Feeling devastated I decided to seek help in alternative pathways.
After 15 years on my own journey, I now work as a PCOS and hormone specialist from my home clinic in Carlisle, Perth. As a Naturopath/Herbalist I chose to specialise in hormonal conditions as I wanted to support other women with these often frustrating and life altering conditions to help them to find support, encouragement, empowerment, deep healing and educate them that there are alternative pathways that can help. I guide women through their PCOS journey either in person or online. I found herbal medicine, nutritional medicine and many other alternative therapies that don’t just suppress the symptoms but actually address the underlying causes and imbalances.
I have also spent years delving deep into the impact psychological, environmental, cultural and emotional/traumatic experiences can have on our physical bodies. I have trained in emotional release work, shamanic healing, plant medicine, womb healing and transpersonal breathwork to learn how to heal myself and hold space for my clients to heal at a much deeper level. Society conditioning around the female body and menstrual cycle has created shame and mistrust of women of their own divine nature and with PCOS, I find many of my clients have problems accessing their own feminine nature.