In this post, we take a closer look at the effects of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and how yoga for irregular periods and PCOS can help manage the condition and its symptoms more effectively.
Understanding PCOS: A brief history
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, commonly known as PCOS, was first identified through research conducted in 1935 – and yet, almost a century on, a certain amount of mystery still surrounds it. For many years, the medical community made no significant attempts to gain a deeper understanding of the condition, or even how to properly diagnose it.
Fast forward to 2020, and it’s become a fairly common affliction for women of reproductive age, with a variety of factors, including genetics, believed to contribute to the development of the condition. There is also a long list of symptoms associated with PCOS, such as irregular menstrual cycles, hirsutism (excess body hair), acne, infertility, and pelvic pain. And this is without even factoring in the psychological impact that these symptoms can have.
As a result, it can be hard to accurately determine what percentage of the female population is affected by PCOS, with the global number ranging from 2% to 26%, depending on what criteria are used to define the condition. However, even amidst all this relative uncertainty, we do at least know that hormonal imbalance is one of the primary driving causes of PCOS symptoms.
What causes PCOS
Androgens, a hormone responsible for the development of male traits, are generally produced in small amounts in women. The elevation of these androgen levels leads to the disruption of the menstrual cycle, and exacerbate the other symptoms we mentioned above. Though it is still unclear what causes this spike in androgen levels in the first place, with environmental, genetic, and lifestyle factors all potentially playing a role.
Some scientists believe that higher levels of insulin resistance can also be a contributing factor to the production of androgens – putting women who are overweight, or have a family history of type-2 diabetes, at risk of developing the symptoms of PCOS.
Yoga for Irregular Periods and PCOS: Managing the Symptoms
While there isn’t yet an absolute cure for PCOS, and we’re still in the process of finding out exactly how it’s caused, there are certainly ways the condition can be managed. A routine which incorporates the right physical activity can go a long way towards helping to manage the condition and provide PCOS pain relief, by alleviating the biological and psychological symptoms of the condition. Specific research has shown that a well-curated routine centred around Yoga asanas for PCOS, can be an effective form of intervention.
Exercise to cure PCOS improves blood circulation
Women with PCOS often face problems with menstrual health, and this is primarily driven by the hormonal imbalance that is caused by the condition. Due to the rise in androgens, ovarian follicles aren’t released the way they normally would be during a menstrual cycle. This prevents the uterus from shedding its lining, affecting the cycle, and causing an irregular or absent period.
Yoga for irregular periods and PCOS, that focuses on the lower half of the body, can help to open up the pelvic area, enabling better blood circulation in the abdominal region. This not only leads to better regulation of menstrual cycles, but also allows for better balancing of the androgen levels in the body, limiting their interference during menstruation.
Yoga asanas for PCOS help with better hormone regulation
As we discussed earlier, hormonal imbalance is the root cause of PCOS, and this in turn contributes to the variety of symptoms that may surface as a result of the condition. PCOS can result in higher insulin resistance, affecting the body’s ability to transport it to the cells, and the excess insulin can result in problems for the ovaries, and may cause an elevation of androgen levels in the body. It can also affect your overall lipid profile, leading to higher cholesterol, which in turn can cause complications to overall cardiovascular health.
Research has shown that a carefully designed routine of yoga for irregular periods and PCOS can also contribute to improving the resistance values of glucose, lipids, and insulin in adolescent girls. Restoring hormonal balance in the body is key, so regular exercise to cure PCOS forms an important part of any routine designed to help manage the condition better.
PCOS care for weight loss
An unfortunate side-effect of the higher insulin resistance in the body is the resultant weight gain that women may have to contend with. As the insulin is unable to perform its function the way it normally would, it results in a build up of sugars in the blood, making it easier for women to put on weight. Excessive weight gain in turn affects a number of bodily functions, and can also place extra strain on cardiovascular and circulatory function.
Specially curated yoga asanas for PCOS can provide women with a natural and holistic way to combat this. Sequences of energetic postures are a great way to ensure you get regular exercise to cure PCOS, help maintain a healthy body weight, and limit the impact that the condition has on the body.
Better PCOS pain relief
While it is typically less common, pelvic pain can be another symptom of PCOS. The condition can cause ovarian cysts to develop, which may lead to periodic pains in the abdominal region. Certain gentler yoga asanas for PCOS can have a relaxing effect on the muscles in this region, providing relief from these physical pains, reducing their frequency and intensity.
Enhancing mental wellness
Stress and anxiety are among the most common symptoms that most women with PCOS have to face. Younger women typically may face this due to the excessive body hair caused by the condition. However, there is a strong physiological basis for these elevated stress levels. PCOS is typically associated with inflammation throughout various parts of the body, which results in higher levels of cortisol – the hormone that contributes to symptoms of stress and even depression.
Along with yoga for irregular periods and PCOS, making guided meditations a part of a healthy PCOS care routine can provide significant relief from the psychological impact of the condition. Guided meditation techniques such as visualization train the mind to shed negative emotions, and have proven to be effective tools to help deal with stress and anxiety.
Ultimately, the medical community, much like the rest of us, still has much to learn about this condition. But as it continues to work towards finding a more definitive solution, we at Mindhouse are dedicated to making the most of the solutions that are available to us. Yoga asanas for PCOS pain relief, combined with meditation, can provide an effective and non-invasive treatment to control its symptoms, help women create a healthy PCOS care routine, and live happy, healthy, and anxiety-free lives