Struggling with your PCOS symptoms and keen to regulate your hormones? Writer Jennifer Medlicott shares how supplementing changed her cycle - and her life.
You'll likely have heard of polycystic ovary syndrome, commonly known as PCOS. The health condition affects one in ten women in the UK and, in its most basic form, means a woman has multiple cysts on one or both of her ovaries.
Not all PCOS sufferers will have ovarian cysts - some may receive a diagnosis based on menstrual cycle irregularity or imbalanced hormone levels - but all women with the condition will experience symptoms such as infertility, acne, excessive hair growth, weight gain and more.
While the exact cause of PCOS remains unknown, doctors do know that the problem is largely rooted in hormonal imbalances. These imbalances are responsible for higher levels of insulin and an increased production of or sensitivity to testosterone in the body, as well as the symptoms mentioned above.
Sadly, although PCOS is an undeniably common health condition, there's a distinct lack of treatment options. More funding for women with conditions like endometriosis and PCOS is currently being debated in parliament, but for now, most women are prescribed the contraceptive pill to treat their PCOS, despite many more holistic doctors arguing that this doesn't get to the root cause of the problem but cover it, comparing it to putting a plaster over a bullet hole.
That's where the Myo and D-Chiro supplement comes in: a new PCOS supplement promising to change the PCOS landscape entirely.
What is the Myo and D-Chiro PCOS supplement?
A product named after its ingredient composition, Myo and D-Chiro inositol (MI:DCI), is becoming increasingly known and popular amongst PCOS sufferers. Why? Well, they say its both effective in restoring ovulation amongst users while also promoting healthy hormone levels and increasing insulin sensitivity.
Supplementation is often a route women with PCOS turn to, given the lack of specialised treatment available for the condition. Supplements such as vitamin D, omega 3 and probiotics are thought to help with symptoms such as insulin sensitivity, inflammation and reducing testosterone levels.
So far, Myo and D-Chiro inositol appears to be working. What distinguishes this supplement from standalone Myo-inositol is its pairing of not just one, but two different inositols in the specific 40:1 ratio, explains doctor Amina Ahmed, founder of Skin Britannia. “This ratio is very important and the authors of several studies found that the 40:1 ratio was the best for PCOS therapy directed at restoring ovulation and normalising important parameters," she goes on.
Ahmed explains this is because it imitates the body’s naturally occurring ratio of these same two substances.
Myo Inositol & D Chiro Inositol - Effective 40:1 Ratio
Promises to support women with PCOS by promoting hormonal balance & normal ovarian function.
I tried Myo & D-Chiro Inositol: did it ease my PCOS symptoms?
As someone with PCOS myself, I can understand why you might feel sceptical about new "miracle" supplements. I’ve suffered from the symptoms of PCOS since puberty, struggling particularly with an irregular cycle impacting my self-esteem.
As is often the case for women with PCOS, I struggled to receive a doctor's diagnosis and was prescribed the contraceptive pill, which resulted in an unprecedented impact on my mental health. Six months after coming off the pill, my period came to a crashing halt. Although I had always suffered from an irregular period, it would usually present itself around every four months, but an entire twelve months with no period was abnormal for my typical cycle.
By the eighth month of my period’s absence, I found my hair falling out at a distressing rate and in a desperate attempt to find a fix, I decided to invest in PCOS supplements, namely Myo and D-Chiro inositol. Due to the very limited supply at the time, it had to be shipped in from the US, which ended up becoming a costly and timely investment. When it finally arrived, I took it religiously in the months that followed.
Admittedly, it’s a supplement that needs a certain level of patience and dedication, as it requires at least three months of use before seeing any visible benefits, and in my case, even after three months I saw no change. However, I decided to hold out a little longer, and to my pleasant surprise almost exactly a year since my last period, it finally made a reappearance.
And I think it’s safe to say after nearly a year of taking PCOS supplements and seeing a regular cycle – the first regular cycle in my life, might I add – the supplement was the cause of its return.
So, what does a doctor think?
As doctor Nitu Bajekal, co-author of Living PCOS Free explains, while this supplement could be the beginning of genuine change for PCOS sufferers, further research needs to be carried out.
While she recommends it to certain patients - the combination of the two supplements has shown to help improve “the metabolic profile of women with PCOS, also increasing SHBG [sex hormone-binding globulin] when supplementation lasted for at least 24 weeks” - she does stress that more research is important and that it's efficiacy may vary from person to person.
Both doctor Ahmed and doctor Bajekal confirmed they felt this supplement could offer more support to PCOS sufferers, although doctor Bajekal reinforced the necessity of “more standardised high quality research."
Keen to try? Myo and D-Chiro inositol is available in most major health stores and retailers, including Amazon. Do make sure to inform your GP or doctor before beginning any new supplement.
Words by Jennifer Medlicott
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Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, eight-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She regularly hosts panels and presents for things like the MC Sustainability Awards, has an Optimum Nutrition qualification, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw, with health page views up 98% year on year, too. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.
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