High testosterone levels and PCOS

by Heather
(San Diego, CA)

Hi Amelia,
How are you? My name is Heather and I live in San Diego, California. I've been enjoying reading your website over the last week and I wanted to write and ask you a question about drinking wine and acupuncture.

I've been seeing an acupuncturist that I really like here in San Diego. I recently completed a comprehensive female hormone panel saliva test and it showed that I have high testosterone levels. I was told that I have too much sugar in my diet with possible PCOS.

I think it may have to do with my wine consumption. I have a 2, sometime 3 glasses of wine just about every day (sometimes more on the weekends.) I just wanted to get your thoughts on drinking and acupuncture/fertility. Could this what could be causing my problem?

I'm 37 and have been trying for 3 years. There is no explanation for my infertility, and I'm not overweight (well, maybe 10 pounds.) My husbands sperm test was as follows: high viscosity and 40% motility, rapidly progressive was 30, sluggish 10, ph was 8.5, morphology was 76, concentration was 30. He doesn't drink alcohol at all.

I appreciate any advice you could give me.

Thank you so much!
Heather

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Alcohol and Fertility
by: Amelia Hirota

Hi Heather,
It's amazing to me how many women (and men) are consuming alcohol when trying to conceive. Of course, it's common knowledge to stop once a pregnancy test comes back positive. However, it's extremely important to realize that the egg that will be ovulated this cycle has been maturing for the past 4-6 months in the matrix of fluid in the ovaries.

What is this matrix of fluid? It's composed of everything that we consume in our diet, apply to our body and breath in the air. That's why smoking is so damaging to the ovaries. If you charted your cycle with a BBT thermometer, you'd see little peaks in your chart after a night of drinking. Even a glass of wine will cause this temperature surge. Many of my patients are amazed when I ask them if they had alcohol on Friday night, as it's just obvious from looking at their chart.

I recommend for my patients to stop all alcohol, caffeine, decaf products, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods. These things do nothing to nourish the genetic material in our bodies. If you're having a problem conceiving, you want to stack the cards in your favor by doing everything to nourish your eggs and sperm.

Your husband's sperm seems to be a bit below what is needed for natural fertilization, unless his count (which wasn't included) is extremely high. I would recommend that he also see an acupuncturist and take Chinese herbs. His sperm morphology is good, so he would probably see an increase in count and motility after about 2 months of weekly treatments.

Red wine and coffee seem to be the big addictions right now. My patients often ask me why their doctors don't tell them to stop drinking alcohol and coffee and I respond that doctors don't have the time to debate the issue with patients. Also, modern medicine doesn't focus much on nutrition.

It saddens me to be meeting with a patient for our initial consultation and we spend 30 minutes debating the alcohol/ coffee issue. Try charting your cycle and completely cleaning up your diet. I'm sure that you'll see an improvement in your BBT temps and your menstrual cycle overall.

Take Charge of Your Fertility!

Amelia Hirota
Licensed and Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist

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High Testosterone Levels and PCOS
by: Heather

Hi Amelia,
Thank you so much for your detailed answer to my question. I was reading some of your other answers about PCOS and noticed that you recommend an hour of cardio per day?

I am slightly overweight but only by around 10 pounds or so and it is on my hips and tummy mostly. My periods are regular; every 26 to 28 days. What is the other more rare type of PCOS? And what about the testosterone that is a symptom of the PCOS?

Thank you!
Heather

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High Testosterone Levels and PCOS
by: Amelia Hirota

Hi Heather,
Exercise has been shown to be more effective than Metformin for encouraging ovulation in women suffering from PCOS. That's why I recommend exercise to all of my patients with even slight PCOS or sluggish ovulation.

One of the possible symptoms of PCOS is elevated testosterone levels. This occurs because of the polycystic ovary making more testosterone than estrogen, which makes it even harder for the ovary to ovulate.

Many women with PCOS are insulin resistant, which means they have to make more insulin to get the glucose into their cells for energy. These high levels of insulin promote more testosterone in the ovaries, further inhibiting ovulation.

The high insulin levels promote weight gain and make it difficult to lose weight. A vicious cycle is created as overweight women make more insulin and then become even more insulin resistant. Women with PCOS, especially women that are overweight have an increased risk of diabetes. I realize that you're not really overweight, so these factors are probably only slight, if any for you.

Hope that you're doing well without the wine!

Sending healing energy your way,
Amelia Hirota, Licensed and Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist

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PCOS and Adrenal Fatigue
by: Megan

Hi Amelia,
I am 27 years old and have eaten a very healthy diet for the last five years. Grass-fed meats, pasture raised eggs, raw milk, sprouted beans and legumes, organic fruits and veggies, fermented beverages and veggies, coconut oil. No sugar, corn syrup, msg, GMO foods, grains, or alcohol.

I also wear organic make-up, don't put anything on my skin or scalp that I couldn't eat. I even work from home in order to avoid harsh chemicals and pollutants. I am a thin size 4 and I'm 5'6". I look very healthy and people think that I am, but that's far from the truth!!

I was diagnosed two years ago with PCOS after a miscarriage with my first and last pregnancy after trying to conceive for over one year. Bloodwork revealed that I had high testosterone, DHEA-S, and LH levels. I was also diagnosed 6 months ago with adrenal fatigue.

I took a year off ttc to detox heavy metals. I am seeing an acupuncturist and taking herbs to aid the adrenal issue. My adrenal levels were just tested again after 6 months of herbs and its much worse!

I am devastated and don't know what to do! I should be much healthier considering my lifestyle. My husband and I want to have a child together so badly but its been 3.5 years and there seems to be no hope for us. What would you suggest next? Thanks!!

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ONE REMEDY FOR PCOS
by: Anonymous

My daughter has same problem of PCOS. She doesn't listen to me. The problem is unresolved for 7 to 8 years. I am told it is a pre-diabetic condition. She has gained lots of weight.

Reducing weight is one key way to resolve the problem. Anti-diabetic medicine like metformin can help to produce insulin-sensitivity. A lesser known vitamin called Inositol, a form of Vitamin B, can do wonders with a PCOS problem, I am told. You can get the details on web.

If this works well with you, please suggest this to my daughter by email.

Thanks
Shrikantbadve

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PCOS Supplements
by: Amelia Hirota

Hi Shrikantbadve,
I'm sorry that your daughter isn't listening to you. That must be very hard on you. I'll let you know that some of my patients don't listen to me, so I know how you feel. Sometimes they're just not ready for the information yet.

Thank you for sharing your research about Inositol. We use inositol in our clinic and we get it from Standard Process. I'll have to look into it for the treatment of PCOS.

You're right about the blood sugar connection with PCOS. Maintaining steady blood sugar without carb spikes is very important for women's hormonal health.

PCOS is at epidemic levels now and I personally feel that most sub-fertility is due to some level of PCOS. We have testing that can confirm this and I marvel at how detailed we can get with our hormonal testing in the clinic. We can really target our treatments to the patient and in the case of PCOS, we can see to what degree she has PCOS.

Best of luck with your daughter. She's lucky to have such a motivated and intelligent mother.

Take care,
Amelia

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