Inositol and PCOS

My name is Angela and I’m a Nutritional Therapist in the UK. Recently, I have been supporting Ovusense and the Facebook forums attached with this fabulous fertility monitor over the last few months via a chance meeting with Kate Davies, Fertility Nurse for Ovusense, at the Fertility Show in London last year.

I have been really delighted be part of this team as nutrition and the world of supplements can be so confusing! As part of the PCOS Fertility Support UK Forum, and as a fertility nutritionist, I am happy to give advice on a supplement that I feel is suited to just about anyone who suffers from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and also tend to get such amazing results with almost no side effects.

Recently, this Facebook forum https://www.facebook.com/groups/PCOSfertilitysupportUK lit up with women feeding back, or asking about Inositol as the buzz on this supplement is beginning to feed through. I have to say I felt pretty chuffed that I was able to help so many women with advice on a supplement that is humbly part of the B vitamin group!

The responses ranged from “I’m thinking of trying inositol, can anyone give any advice what I should take and if there is anything else that may help” to, a few weeks later:

“So I decided to give inositol powder a try. I have been taking it for a little over a week and wanted to share what it has done for me. First I have not had to wax my facial hair since I started it. I have been in such a better mood, not so depressed feeling and I actually wanna get up and do things. The best thing is I think I’m actually ovulating. Woke up this morning with heavy ewcm which has never ever happened, my cervical position is very low and soft. I hope this helps some of those thinking about the powder.”

“I too have noticed a difference! My facial hair seems to be growing a lot slower. I also had dark color skin under my arms and my upper inner thigh – glad to say that after having that since I hit puberty way back in the day, that is almost all gone now!! Love the stuff!”

“I’m taking inositol and complex b, the hair on my arms seems to be finer and less coarse, my mood is fantastic, my skin is loads clearer and I too have had signs of ovulation.”

So what exactly is it and how does it work?

Inositol comes from food sources like grains, nuts and fruits, however when researching this article I was surprised to find out that some of the best sources of inositol are organ meat! We eat around 1g a day if have a healthy diet and our kidneys make around 2g. Inositol is sometimes called Vitamin B8.

As I mentioned above inositol is a natural substance and not a pharmaceutical drug used to balance insulin in the body.

However like metformin it will work on the signalling system at a cellular level in regards to insulin. It’s the warm up act to insulin so to speak and tells insulin how to function when and during release and works directly on the receptor sites.

There are lots of different variations of this substance but for this article I will focus on two that have been the subject of many tests over the last ten years: Myo-inositol and D-chiro Inositol. Both have a similar effect but depending on your situation and hormone panel can affect you in different ways.

Below, I have consolidated most of the trials I feel are of interest and give hope to many thousands of women worldwide that suffer with PCOS and are trying to conceive. Many are lacking in a basic cycle and in all cases inositol seems to support and enhance better reproductive function.

Menstruation

Myo-inositol combined with folate 4g a day for over six months resulted in: Twenty-two22 out of 25 (88%) patients getting spontaneous menstrual cycle during treatment, of whom 18 (72%) maintained normal ovulatory activity during the follow-up period. A total of 10 pregnancies (40% of patients) were obtained [1].

Improved pregnancy rate

A study was conducted comparing two groups of 15 women: one group were given Myo-Inositol of 4g the other a placebo, the result was an improvement in pregnancy rate (33.3% v 13.3%) [2].

Improved egg quality and pregnancy rate in women with failed IVF

46 women were treated with 4g/day myo-inositol and were about to go for IVF again. After treatment, the number of mature oocytes, the fertilization rate, the number of both, total and top-quality embryos transferred were statistically higher compared to the previous IVF cycle. After treatment, a total of 13 pregnancies occurred, 9 of them were confirmed [3].

Comparison of D-Chiro-Inositol v Myo-Inositol

Both forms work on different areas for example the percentage success is higher using D-chiro for:

– supporting testosterone management
– managing and increasing Serum DHEA
– managing and harmonising SHGB

Overall it is a good choice to use D-Chiro if suffering from obesity, blood pressure issues and higher testosterone as “d-Chiro-inositol increases the action of insulin in patients with PCOS thereby improving ovulation and decreasing serum testosterone concentrations, blood pressure, and plasma triglyceride concentrations” [4].

Myo-inositol worked more on:

– balancing and improving Progesterone [5]
– lowering LH, testosterone, and insulin resistance [6]
– significantly reduced hirsutism [7]

Both had an equal effect in terms of insulin.

What else does it do?

Well, do you need anything else!? I was sold many years ago, when I started using it myself. I have mild insulin issues (confirmed by doing a genetic test that told me I have this 23andme). At the time I was suffering from acne, a little extra ‘hair’ and issues with my hormonal health. It worked a treat. It also has some other fabulous benefits, namely:

– works on serotonin, dopamine and Noradrenalin so helps in terms of mood and depression [8]
– reduces panic attacks [9]

Since then I have used it as one of the first elements in a treatment protocol for balancing hormones particularly if PCOS is presenting.

I like to think that supporting women on this journey is a bit of a calling, as sadly its 12:53am and I’m still up writing this, as I feel so passionate about helping to balance hormones and supporting women to conceive. Using supplements is one thing, but I’m also all about ‘healing with food’ and through this, understanding why this condition may have some roots. Visit my last blog to look into this further http://fertilegroundnutrition.blogspot.co.uk/

If you do think Inositol is for you, you also need to put it together with healthier food choices and lifestyle suggestions. Sadly there is a bit of a desert when it comes to this area as doctors tend to treat disease and advising on diet and lifestyle is in my view a tough call to make with patients as I have been told this constitutes around two hours of their seven years’ medical training. Those that are familiar with this tend to have an outside interest and regularly keep up to date with it, which I applaud as many GPs are so busy it’s unreal! In this case, I would always however seek out professionals that are willing to listen to you and make sure they are behind you and supportive when you proactively move forward with some healthy suggestions in all areas.

Doctors are not trained in nutrients and nutrition so don’t expect them to have all the answers when you do ask them, even more so when it comes to supplements. Seek out a nutritionist who is trained in this area if you do need advice on food, as most offer free chats to help guide you on your way and if you are lucky you may even get the answers from some of them who sit writing blogs posts at silly o’clock!

Thank you and hope this blog has helped – Angela x

NOTES

Angela is the founder of Fertile Ground Nutrition. She is a Nutritional Therapist and an international expert in Fertility Nutrition. In 2013 Angela had an 80% success rate. Angela works closely with a number of internationally renowned experts in the field of fertility.

She is a regular speaker on the largest free online fertility event; ‘Fertility Question Time’, is a member of the team for Natural Fertility Expert and is part of a global network of practitioners that work around using DNA analysis and epigenetics. She also talked at the largest Fertility online event in 2014 the Fertility Focus Telesummit.

She works in partnership and developed a fertility detox programme in conjunction with Amchara specifically for women with PCOS, Fibroids and Endometriosis.

As a Nutritional therapist her view and approach is to empower people towards optimum health, often working alongside conventional medicine practitioners in order to ensure the best outcome.

[1] http://pubget.com/paper/17952759/myo-inositol-in-patients-with-polycystic-ovary-syndrome-a-novel-method-for-ovulation-induction

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21300338

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21463230

[4] http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199904293401703

[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18854115

[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18854115

[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18854115

Jenna’s story with PCOS Diva and OvuSense

Jenna

Hi, I’m Jenna.  First of all, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share my story! This is the first time that I have ever believed in two products (PCOS Diva and OvuSense fertility monitor) so strongly and it just makes me so ecstatic to share my experience. So here goes…

My name is Jenna and I’m 36 years old and I live in Arizona with my partner.  We have been together 10 years and we have a 4 year old son who we managed to conceive using Clomid and Metformin.  I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2009.

My partner and I have been trying to conceive for 2 years now.  Before finding OvuSense and PCOS Diva, we tried the following products and fertility treatments:

  • Clearblue Ovulation Monitor
  • Metformin
  • Clomid
  • Timed Intercourse
  • IUI with Fertility Meds — Femara, Follistim, Ovidrel, Progesterone

We bought OvuSense real time fertility monitor www.ovusense.com after deciding to stop going to the fertility doctor.  All the fertility treatments were just too stressful and didn’t seem to be working for us.

I came across an article on PCOS Diva where Amy discussed this new fertility monitor called OvuSense that is on the market and is perfect for women with PCOS. Being the research fanatic that I am, I looked up all the information that I could possibly find on the OvuSense monitor. I then spoke to my husband about it; he said this may be just what we have been looking for to figure out exactly what is going on with my crazy body. We ordered OvuSense and have been amazed with the information we have learned about my cycles.

I am on my 4th cycle using my OvuSense and I’ve being charting with OvuSense since March of 2015.   In May, I had issues with the Sensor and got a replacement by the company.  By the way, the customer service for OvuSense is amazing and my Sensor was replaced really quickly.  They were so nice about it and it wasn’t an issue.  I then carried on charting with OvuSense in June and July, tracking all my cycles.

 

Using OvuSense to track your cycles is a brilliant way to actually ‘see’ what is going.  I can see when my actual ovulation is going to take place and, as a result of using OvuSense, I have learned to also watch and understand my body, and how I am feeling during my cycle, which also helps me to know when ovulation is happening.  It is a great way to actually see the whole story as opposed to just one chapter.  Also, the support from the OvuSense staff and the closed group on Facebook that they run (PCOS Fertility Support) are amazing.

After using OvuSense for a few cycles, I also started with PCOS Diva’s products and program.  I have had confirmed ovulation each month with OvuSense however it wasn’t until I started using the supplements from PCOS Diva that I actually saw a drastic increase in temps! The temps were higher from the very first day I tested.  As a result of using the supplements from PCOS Diva, I actually ovulated 5 days earlier than normal and my luteal phase has lengthened.  I was so excited to see this!

I have been following the PCOS Diva website for well over a year now and love reading all of the articles and listening to the Podcasts from the different interviews Amy has been part of.  I feel like the information is “real life” and Amy truly puts experience and research together for the benefit of women with PCOS to help and support us. When I talk about the website and information to others I describe it as a place I can go to for information, and feel like I am being empowered to be a better ‘me’.

As a result of following Amy’s advice on PCOS Diva, I decided to invest in myself and purchase the supplements from her website and I am so happy that I have. I felt better within the first week of taking the Essential vitamins and using the Protein, Fibre and Power Greens.

For so long I was buying the cheap vitamins at the store and never saw or felt any different. Now taking the PCOS Diva supplements and use the OvuSense monitor together to track my cycles.  I feel so much more confident in my cycles and more in control in my fertility than I ever have before.  I have also seen a significant changes in my OvuSense charts; and the changes I have noticed from my health have surprised me as well.  I can see a difference in my skin as I usually break out with hormonal acne around my jawline and on my neck; this month it is almost non-existent!  I have also had people ask me what hair products I switched too, as my hair is looking a lot shinier and healthier these days too.   With the supplements and the implementation of exercise from PCOS Diva, I think I am definitely on the right track to being a Diva myself and I really feel like a pregnancy for me is just around the corner too.

My advice to others here is that you have to believe in yourself and know that it is possible to get PCOS under control. I have struggled for many years knowing that something just wasn’t right and feeling down about myself. I think by investing in ‘me’, it has given me a sense of power over PCOS and over my fertility.  I think that combined with FINALLY being able to see results of the changes with a supplementation regimen by using my OvuSense, this has been a great confidence boost too as I can physically see the changes I am making taking affect, and I am able track my progress ongoing with my OvuSense monitor.

So below is my proof and why I love PCOS Diva and OvuSense together!  In June, I had just started PCOS Diva’s program and supplements.  You can see that my temperature was lower and my luteal phase was shorter in length.

In July, I was using on the PCOS program and using the supplements.  What a difference!  You can clearly see my temps are up and I ovulated 5 days earlier than the month before which means my luteal phase is also longer, giving me a better chance of ‘keeping’ a pregnancy going forward.

Jenna Charts

Thanks for letting me share my fertility journey.  I recommend OvuSense and PCOS Diva together to all friends and acquaintances who are trying to conceive as I believe it’s helped me so much.  Ladies, don’t give up, you can get your PCOS and fertility under control.  Baby dust to everyone. X

To find out more about OvuSense and how it can help you take control of your fertility, even if you do not have regular cycles click here:  www.ovusense.com

To join PCOS Fertility Support closed group on Facebook click here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PCOSfertilitysupportUK/