A high level of hormones called Androgens (DHEA, Androstendione and Testosterone) is the most common hormonal reason for infertility in women. Elevated levels of these hormones can occur in women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), by taking birth control pills, or by eating a low fiber diet. Women can also develop high androgens with exposure to these hormones from nutritional supplements or contact with a loved one who is using prescription topical testosterone.
Take the quiz and find out if you have high androgens…
- Do you have acne?
- Do you have facial hair or excess hair on your arms?
- Do you have greasy hair or oily skin?
- Hair loss or hair thinning on your head?
- Skin tags on your neck or upper torso?
- Are you easily irritated, easily over react to stress or quick to anger?
- Are your periods more than 35 days apart?
- Do you have pain mid-cycle or around ovulation?
- Depression or anxiety?
- Low blood sugar? Do you need to eat something every 2-3 hours to feel stable?
If you answered “YES” to 3 or more of these questions, you likely have elevated androgen hormones that are causing hair growth and/or loss, mood changes and creating problems for fertility. You also are likely to have PCOS, a condition that reduces fertility and can predispose you to developing diabetes.
What should you do now?
Start eating a diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates like pasta and bread
Start adding fiber to your diet in the form of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, ground flax seeds, hemp seeds. Aim to eat at least 30 grams of fiber a day, 40 grams a day is optimal for women in this situation. Fiber binds to excess testosterone and helps your body get rid of it.
Add ¼ cup pumpkin seeds to your daily diet, they are high in zinc and can help reduce excess androgens.
Make an appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) such as myself for a full hormone evaluation that may involve a consultation and saliva hormone testing. An ND will create a plan to improve your adrenal production of hormones, regulate the ovaries and improve the liver’s detoxification of extra androgens to improve your fertility.