Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Breastfeeding


What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

Your breast tissue starts to develop during puberty. Your breasts might seem to grow, but they are mostly filled with fat and lack the glandular tissue. A lack in breast tissue results in low milk supply. Your breasts may also develop normally in puberty, but fail to go through the vital changes in pregnancy that make milk production possible.

Polycystic ovarian disorder (PCOS) is an (hormonal confusion) endocrine disorder that affects 5 - 10% of all women. PCOS is recognised by enlarged ovaries that have many small, painless polycystic ovarian cysts. Women who have PCOS do not ovulate, they do not release an egg every month. This is why they do not have regular periods.

Research shows that mothers with PCOS struggle with low milk supply more often than other mothers.


PCOS and Breastfeeding Issues

  • The most significant problem is insufficient mammary tissue.
  • Another problem that PCOS can cause during breastfeeding, is the inability to produce mature milk or the delayed onset of mature milk.
  • Insulin resistance is another symptom of PCOS. This can also cause lactation problems.


Herbs that can Help Increase Milk Supply if you have PCOS

  • Goat's Rue: Helps to build breast tissue and can improve milk supply as well as increase milk flow.
  • Saw palmetto.
  • Chasteberry.
  • Fenugreek is a good herbal treatment widely used by nursing mothers.

If you have PCOS you should check with a certified lactation consultant when your baby is born, so that you can get help working through these issues.


Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Treatments Associated with Low Milk Supply

  • Metformin and polycystic ovarian syndrome: Women with PCOS induced insulin resistance can increase their milk supplies by taking metformin. Many women with PCOS take metformin during pregnancy regardless of their insulin levels and have excellent results breastfeeding.
  • Weight loss and stress management can help reduce PCOS symptoms and then increase your milk supply.
  • PCOS cure : Cure The Root Cause Of Ovarian Cysts.


What Causes Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

The exact cause is not known.


Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Symptoms?

    Infertility, Irregular or missing periods, Excess hair growth on the face and/or body, Hair loss, Undeveloped breast tissue, Acne, Obesity, Lipid abnormalities


Who gets PCOS?

  • PCOS usually begins with the start of menstruation, but can begin earlier during the preteen years or may develop at any time throughout a woman's childbearing years.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome is not as common amongst older women and is very rare in post-menopausal women.

  • How is PCOS Diagnosed?

    • Blood tests for specific hormones are done. These hormones are created by the ovaries, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and thyroid gland.
    • Tests are also done for cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose, and insulin.
    • The cysts in the ovaries are fluid-filled sacs, which can easily be recognized with ultrasound.

    You can get support and further help at the Polycystic ovarian syndrome association.



    One Mother's Breastfeeding and PCOS Story


    Other pages on breastfeeding problems in connection with this page

    - Endocrine and metabolic conditions and breastfeeding.

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    One ovary & low milk supply 
    Hi, I am a 29 year old woman with only one ovary. I just had a baby and I found that I am not able to produce enough breastmilk despite improving my …

    balancing hormones with the cysts? 
    Hi My name's Alyse and I am a doula with extra training in lactation, however, my friend has come to me with concerns and I feel I can't offer her the …

    taking clomid Not rated yet
    Hi, We tried for 2 years and found out I had pcos. On our second round of clomid we fell pregnant. We now have a wonderful 19 1/2 month old boy. …

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