Anxiety, unwanted facial hair growth, easy weight gain, and missing or irregular periods – these are all potential symptoms of PCOS. PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome became the part of the medical dictionary only a few decades ago. Since then, the rate of women diagnosed with PCOS has exploded. According to the recent studies, PCOS is responsible for up to 70% of infertility in women who have difficulty ovulating. What are the causes of PCOS? PCOS is a hormonal and metabolic condition in which an excess of androgens (male hormones, like testosterone) are produced, resulting in impaired ovarian function. There are a number of symptoms, most adversely being the inability to ovulate regularly, therefore resulting in difficulty conceiving. There are several causes of PCOS, many of them overlapping. Insulin resistance – the most common cause of PCOS – is something that can be corrected with diet and lifestyle. PCOS may also occur as an after-effect of birth control pill usage and requires time, careful nutrition and possible supplementation. Inflammatory (chronic immune activation) PCOS can often be resolved with proper nutrition and lifestyle changes as prescribed by your Naturopath. Vitamin D and PCOS – What is the Link? In women with PCOS, Vitamin D plays a vital role in ovarian follicular development, altering anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) signalling, follicle-stimulating hormone sensitivity and progesterone production in human granulosa cells. The best fertility specialist in Sydney believes vitamin D deficiency is also linked to insulin resistance, hirsutism, hyperandrogenism, menstrual irregularities, obesity, and more. What is Vitamin D? Also called as the ‘sunshine vitamin,’ Vitamin D is essential for some bodily functions such as controlling the immune system, muscle function, cardiovascular function, respiratory system, brain development, anti-cancer effects and more. How Much Do You Need? Vitamin D can be tested via a simple blood test and levels above 100 nmol/L. Without Vitamin D, the hormones cannot function normally, and this leads to hormone problems and symptoms such as acne, facial hair, low libido, mood disturbances, irregular periods and infertility can result. Food Sources of Vitamin D Cod liver oil, 1 Tablespoon 1,360 Salmon, 3.5 ounces 360 Tuna fish, canned, 3 ounces 200 Milk, fortified (any type), 8 ounces 98 Egg, one whole 20 Cheese, 1 ounce 12 [The above measurements are in Food International Units (IU) Per Serving] Also, keep in mind most people will not get enough vitamin D from their diet alone. To obtain sufficient amount of vitamin D, you should get at least 15 minutes of sun exposure at midday. Women with PCOS who are deficient in Vitamin D can consider taking Vitamin D supplements as per the instruction from their naturopath in Sydney.