Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years for its physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits. Yoga is very flexible — you can do it as a form of exercise, as a way to relieve stress or to deepen your awareness. With it’s profound holistic benefits, yoga is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative treatment for common health conditions, including PCOS.
What You Need to Know About PCOS
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is among the most common female hormonal disorder. It affects approximately 27% of women during their childbearing years and involves cysts in the ovaries, high levels of male hormones, and irregular periods. It also goes hand in hand with insulin resistance. Around 50% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese.
Multiple ovarian cysts prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg during the menstrual cycle, which is why PCOS is commonly cited as a cause for infertility. According to Dr. Beth Rackow, a reproductive endocrinologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, PCOS can appear as early as adolescence, causing a delay in the first menstrual cycle.
Though symptoms vary, period irregularities are the most common indication of PCOS. Dr. Rackow explains that missing your period for three months isn’t normal and should be checked right away as it could indicate PCOS.
Due to ovarian cysts, PCOS causes an over-production of the (male associated) androgen hormones, Present in males (and females to a far less degree), androgens are responsible for male characteristics, including facial and body hair growth and voice change.
Signs and symptoms of PCOS include:
- Ovarian cysts
- Irregular periods (or no periods at all)
- Infertility or problems conceiving
- Excessive face and body hair growth
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair (on the head)
- Oily skin
Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for PCOS, although many women find that their monthly cycles become more regular as menopause approaches. If left unaddressed, PCOS can lead to serious health issues including diabetes, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of endometrial cancer, strokes and heart attacks.
Feminine Balance Therapy USP Bio-Identical Progesterone Cream is an excellent ally for women suffering from PCOS. It offers a safe, effective and an all-natural approach to achieving healthy hormonal balance and helps ease the symptoms of PCOS.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, like many disorders, responds positively to proactive lifestyle choices. This includes daily exercise, limiting sugar and carbohydrates, and a diet high in fiber and low in inflammation causing foods.
The Benefits of Yoga for PCOS
While there is no cure for PCOS, there are effective ways to manage it. Yoga is a very promising practice for women living with this condition. Yoga helps release deeply stored stress in the system, which can help improve PCOS symptoms. Asanas (postures) designed specifically for PCOS help open the pelvic area and promote relaxation while pranayamas (breathing) are powerful techniques that help calm the mind.
Yoga can improve sleep
Women with PCOS have a higher likelihood of experiencing sleep disturbances. These include difficulty falling asleep, restlessness, exhaustion, and short sleep duration. Practicing yoga regularly can help develop healthier sleeping patterns. To sleep better at night, try getting in at least 30 minutes daily on the mat. Reserve rigorous practice for the morning and more meditation-focused sessions before bedtime.
Yoga can ease painful menstrual cramps
Certain yoga poses can remedy the pain of menstrual cramps. Focus on poses that bend forward or twist to ease cramps and lower back pain. For instance, several deep breaths in the child’s pose, forward fold, or supine twist, can be very relaxing while on your period. Yoga teachers recommend avoiding backbends, inversions, and balancing poses. So, no handstands and wheel poses for now!
Yoga can alleviate stress and anxiety
Inflammation is common among women with PCOS. Continued inflammation can increase cortisol, raising stress, anxiety, and depression. Yoga is known to reduce those symptoms, which is why it’s considered a highly relaxing activity. When you practice yoga, you increase awareness and focus on your breath and movement. This, and the endorphin release following any physical activity, can relieve stress in your body.
Medical Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of a licensed medical doctor. Organic Excellence does not diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect a mental or physical health condition, please see your healthcare provider.