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9 Ways to Kick Start your Period with PCOS

One of the symptoms that most women with PCOS struggle with is an irregular menstrual cycle. It impacts on fertility and is an indication that our bodies are simply not doing what they are meant to be doing. So, let’s have a look at 8 ways to kick start your period with PCOS. If you want even more strategies on how to manage your PCOS naturally (and kick start your period), you should check out my FREE masterclass, “How to Manage PCOS Naturally.

Before we get on to that, let’s explore why women with PCOS have an irregular cycle. What is going on with that?

Why do Women with PCOS have an Irregular Menstrual Cycle?

To understand how to kick start a period, we need to understand what is actually happening in our bodies to cause an irregular menstrual cycle.


In the diagram below, you can see that just before ovulation, there is a spike in levels of luteinizing hormone (LH). The problem is that many women with PCOS have high levels of LH throughout their cycle. That means that you aren’t getting that spike of LH so no ovulation is being triggered.

kick-start-your-period-with-pcos

Now, the next problem is that you’ll see that progesterone levels go up after ovulation. This is because progesterone is produced by the corpus luteum (the left over follicle, after the egg has been released. It is the sharp fall of progesterone that causes a bleed.


If we are not ovulating, we won’t have a corpus luteum to produce the progesterone. If we have no progesterone, we are not going to have a period.

We have one more thing that we need to consider. ANDROGENS or testosterone, The American Congress of Obstetricans and Gynecologists suggest that high levels of testosterone also impact on ovulation and may prevent an egg from being released (1).


So, what can we do about this?

How can you kick start your period with PCOS?

1. Be Patient

Now, I wish I could tell you how to get periods immediately in PCOS. Unfortunately when it comes to kickstarting a period, we need to be patient. You see, it takes a while for hormones to balance, for the egg to develop before ovulation. Then, once you have ovulated, it still takes 2 weeks to have a bleed.

So, although you can put everything I suggest into place, you still need to be patient with it and give your body time to balance and produce that egg (2).

2. It is a combined approach

As you’ll see, there are a number of things you can do to balance your hormones with PCOS and help you to regulate your period naturally. I would suggest that you combine the approaches. Just focusing on one thing may help but you’ll probably have better success if you combine a number of these things.

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3. Change the way that you eat

As you move through this site, you’ll notice that I am passionate about using food to manage my PCOS and I am firm believer that this is always the first thing that you can do. Now, I have spoken about the PCOS Diet in many places and many times. But, in this article, I’m going to explain how each element of the PCOS Diet will help to balance your hormones and hopefully kickstart your period with PCOS.

Gluten

I recommend eliminating gluten. Gluten tends to cause generalised inflammation in the body (something women with PCOS are already prone to). Inflammation also makes insulin resistance worse. Remember, the more insulin you have, the more testosterone is being produced by your ovaries. This is going disrupt ovulation and hinder your period.

One more thing to consider: If you suffer from really painful periods, you may want to consider giving up gluten. Painful periods have been associated with chronic inflammation. The more you can manage your general inflammation, the less painful your periods are likely to be (3).

Dairy

My main concern with dairy is that it contains IGF-1 which mimics insulin in our bodies. High levels or IGF-1 are associated with higher testosterone levels. It is the testosterone component that can inhibit the menstrual cycle.

Low Glycemic Load

One of the biggest issues in PCOS is insulin processing. Women with PCOS tend to release too much insulin or are insulin resistant. To get PCOS under control and regulate the menstrual cycle, we must manage insulin and testosterone levels. Eating foods with a low glycemic load is a good way to go about this.

4. Take supplements

There are a number of supplements that you can take to not only manage your general PCOS symptoms, but to also kick start your period.

Ovasitol

Ovasitol is a combination of myo-inositol and d-chiro-inositol in a 40:1 ratio.  I feel that the combination of both inositols make Ovasitol a great supplement and it is my number 1 supplement for women with PCOS. Not only will Inositol help with your general PCOS symptoms, research has also shown that Inositol supplementation:

  • Restores normal ovulatory activity
  • Lowers free testosterone
  • Lowers LH (remember we tend to have consistently high levels of LH)
  • Increases peak progesterone (remember that a drop in progesterone after ovulation will result in a period.

Vitamin D

Did you know that 85% of women with PCOS are deficient in Vitamin D (4). That is HUGE. Recent research has also found that Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with an irregular menstrual cycle (5).  If you aren’t already taking a Vitamin D supplement, I really suggest that you do!


5. Time your Calories

For this blog post, we’re not going to go into how many calories we should be having and how to break them down between carbs, protein and fat. Instead, we’re going to look at WHEN in the day we should be having those calories.

A recent research study conducted by Dr Daniela Jakubowicz found that women with lean PCOS who had most of their calories at breakfast (980 calories) had improved insulin sensitivity and improved ovulation rate (6).

That means that by increasing your calories in the morning, having a regular lunch and a lower calorie meal in the evening can help to kick start your period.

6. Consider Acupuncture

I have written about the effectiveness of acupuncture for PCOS (here and here). When thinking about kickstarting your period acupuncture can help in a number of ways:

  • Acupuncture works on the neuroendocrine system to lower levels of luteinzing hormone.
  • It decreases the amount of testosterone being produced by the ovaries.
  • Acupuncture helps to improve insulin sensitivity which will lead to a decrease in testosterone.

So, acupuncture can help to kickstart your period and help to make your menstrual cycle more regular (7).

7. Lose weight

Now I know that this is often easier said than done. Many women with PCOS struggle to lose weight (but it’s not impossible! There are some things you can do.)

The good news is that if you are able to lose even 10-15 pounds, you are likely to have a more regular menstrual cycle.

8. Use Natural Progesterone Cream

Natural progesterone cream is a synthetic progesterone that you can rub onto your skin. The theory is that if you are not ovulating, you don’t have the corpus luteum to produce progesterone. Remember that if you don’t have that progesterone, your uterine lining isn’t building up and without the fall in progesterone after ovulation, you won’t have a bleed.

Using natural progesterone cream for the last two weeks of your cycle can help to produce a period. I have written about Natural Progesterone cream before here but if you have any questions about using natural progesterone cream, please speak to your doctor.

9. Consider The PCOS Master Plan

Now, this is one that you may not have considered. As I mentioned in point 2, you need to use a combined approach. And you  may be feeling stuck or not sure where to start. The PCOS Master Plan is my 7 week course that takes you by the hand and helps you to implement most of these ways. I have had wonderful feedback from the over 800 women who have been through the course. Kick starting your period is just one of the results that you could see, not to mention weight loss, improved skin, and improved fertility.

You can find out more about The PCOS Master plan here.

Well, I think that about covers it. Just to summarise, here are the 8 Ways to Kickstart your Period with PCOS:

  • Be patient
  • Use a combined approach
  • Change the way that you eat
  • Take supplements
  • Time your calories
  • Consider acupuncture
  • Lose weight
  • Consider The PCOS Master Plan

I would love to hear from you! Have I left anything out or have you had any success in kick starting your period? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and PCOS expert who has been a leader in the online PCOS space for over 8 years. Tarryn has the support of leading clinicians from around the world who support her scientific approach to understanding and talking about PCOS this includes all medical journals and ongoing research. You can read more about Tarryn and the team here.

28 Responses

28 Responses

  1. Hi Mrs Tarryn
    I’m very happy to read your website. I was diagnosed pcos by the doctor. I was shocked and very sad. I’m 26, I’m married. This december is our second year of marriage. Until now I’m not pregnant yet. I have a menstrual cycle that hasn’t been regular since I was senior high school. I felt very helpfull after reading your website. I became more aware about the pcos. But, there’re things that keep me confused. Did we get the vitamin D prescription? Or we’ll buy it ourselves. Guess you can give me some advice. Thank you very much

  2. I am 28 years old, I have 4years baby also, I am suffering from PCOS, after baby also it is continuing, I am not regular period some times 2 to 3 months, that time heavy bleeding will be there continuously more than 20 days I fall sick and my HB level getting down if I will take 28 days tablet then I will get regular period but huge stomach pain and blood clot will be there but how many day I should take that 28 days tablet.. please suggest me, may I know for this irregular periods any permanent solution…

  3. I have been TTC for 4 years I have PCOS and very bad irregular periods and mood swings. I started taking Fertilemd apr 2018 it has regulated my periods balanced out my hormones and made me not so emotional. I am not yet pregnant but here is hoping soon I will be

  4. Hi,
    My name is ina. I’m having a mesural problem since my teenage and now im 26 years old. when i consult a doctor i was found with pcod, after completing my medical prescription also my period is still irrgular and sometimes it skips for more than a months . I’m so worried whether can concieve baby in future.
    Please help me out.

    1. Hey there..
      I have had absent periods for upto 5/6 months and i get its very scary when you think will you be able.to conceive.
      I have 3 children, i was having unprotected sex with my childs father for 3 years before i fell with my first child.
      My youngest is 8 and to be honest i never really thought about having anymore children until my marriage broke down and i met my partner now.
      He is alittle younger than me .. has no children and id love nothing more than to have a child with him… i fell pregnant in january and had a miscarriage and went on to fall pregnant in july just gone and had yet another miscarriage.
      I am absolutely beside myself with worry it wont happen for us and of course the shear heartache on seeing those two lines and come to find nothing comes out of it.
      I really wish you all the best woth the future and if you are worried about anytging definately contact your gp who can refer you on to a gynae specialist x

  5. Well….personally I have pcos too and it’s not easy on anybody …..my doc told me to lose weight and eat healthy. … I think you get used to it at some point… it has symptoms which don’t go away but overcome them…. you can shave body for excess hair…. thread face…. use the right treatment for hair shampoo maybe even oil it and look up treatments on the Internet. … as for acne moisture and wash face ….exercise at least half an hour a day… if you don’t like gym… simply jog on the spot or go for a walk…. any other symptoms … just overcome…. massaging stomach can speed up periods….. head massage can increase hair on head… so not having periods for me is no big deal as long as your coping fine with the symptoms until of course you want to get pregnant for which you will need some sort of meds off the doctor to getc a period because you need to bleed to get pregnant…. all I personally do to deal with my life as a lady with pcos is overcome the symptoms as mentioned above is and I will try to get on some meds in the future for having children in the future…. having periods is not too big to me as long as my symptoms don’t affect me…. research for what it does to you will also help…. hope I helped…. xxx

  6. It helps regulate my period. I got pregnant within 3 months of using fertilemd supplement, unfortunately, I had a miscarriage at 20 weeks due to a weak cervix. I am still using fertilemd and trying to conceive again.

    1. Hi Elizabeth
      where can I get that supplement from? can I start taking by myself or do I need doctors prescription for that??

  7. hii I have 2 kids and now I am diagnosed with pcos and 2 years ago trying to get pregnant and using inostol AND THAT don’t work ME can someone help me what shall i do thanks

  8. I suffered from irregular periods for many years. When I stopped using birth control, I would sometimes go 3-4 months without a period.

    After doing my research, I began taking Ovasitol. I also started acupuncture. It took a few months, but I now have a regular cycle that appears like clockwork. For some reason, it’s linked to the full moon. I am amazed and delighted to have a normal cycle again using holistic interventions and lifestyle changes.

  9. Hi
    Since my daughter was born in 2000 and she is now nearly 17 and within them years I say I only had 7-8 periods my I do have pcos but I don’t have any period at all I was told to lose some weight and shead nearly 2st I still do not get any still now all the tests that have been done all came back normal my self and my partner are trying 2yrs to coniceve but it’s not happen

  10. Hello i just just wana ask plzz answer my question i am 19 years old and diganosed with pcos and i will marry after 5 to 6 years not yo soon so my question is can i get pregnant easily,???

    1. Hello Alex,

      I am Tracey and I also have PCOS. I am 28 years old and married. I have one child as I took Chinese medicine and acupuncture at the time (I was 22). Now for me, I hardly get any period without some form of help (contraception is the only thing that seemed to work even though I wanted to have a baby.) I am trying now and for 6 years I haven’t had a solid natural period. Since looking at Ovasitol, I have bought it and am waiting for the shipment. I have seen lots of good reviews and discussions about it so if you find something that will work for you, then you will able to get pregnant. However it won’t be very easy. (I have tried). Basically my advice would be to keep your sugar intake low, keep your weight manageable (easier said than done XD) Low carb diet works for me and if you want a natural period without contraception, then take Ovasitol. I sincerely hope this helps and good luck. x

  11. Am not getting periods regularly even am taking contraceptive pills. & Am not getting proper bleeding.give me suggestions..how to cure pcos

  12. Thank you for a very informative post! I’m currently working to try and get my period naturally. My GYN isn’t very hopeful and says there “not much I can do” because I’m not overweight. Anyways, she prescribes me progesterone pills to help me ovulate but I told her that I want to try to get it naturally, so she told me I shouldn’t go longer than 3 months without a period. My question is, is this a long enough time to balance out my hormones?

  13. Hi Tarryn i was given a diagnosis of PCOS only in January this year after many years of irregular periods, bad skin, struggle loosing weight, depression ect. My Gp said it looks like i ovulate on my own but i may only ovulate a few times a year. My last period was 19-23 December 2016 noe since and im not pregnant. I had a laporoscopy in January and i thought my period would be delayed possibly because of that but it still hasn’t arrived. I went on metformin 4 weeks ago terrible side effects whilst my body adjusts. Ive lost 17lb since starting metformin. Before December i was averaging 35 days between periods some shorter and some longer. Im currently on day 90. Ive cut back on gluten sugar and generally eating better. I take vitamin D supplement and folic acid. Im going to try a few things this coming week to kick start my period then hopefully i can start my clomid that the doctor gave me for cycle day 2-7. I love your blog i check it daily and your words inspire me.

  14. Hi Tarryn,

    I was diagnosed with PCOS which was a complete shock to me. After month of research and talking to different people, I have found that having regular massages and more importantly reflexology has helped tremendously with ensuring a timely period every month.

    My reflexologist is an absolute GEM, she has studied extensively into PCOS and knows exactly which points to stimulate to kick start the ovaries.

    I usually find that when i get stressed out with a delayed period, my reflexologist is able to get my body back into action

  15. Hey there, my periods have been very concerning for me, I got diagnosed with pcos last year in September and since then I have had really bad irregular periods like I would be on my period but very light for a few days then the next day I will be very heavy and I’m sometime on for over a month either spotting or really heavy does anybody no why this is happening to me? I just want a normal period regularly every month

    1. I have the same problem and i was diagnosed the same time has you . Doctors just told me they would do a intense ultrasound and do blood work to see if they would start me again on clomide .or do anything else

  16. Hi Tarryn,

    I’ve been on 4g inositol powder & folic acid for what will be almost a year now, and I have eliminated dairy from my diet, eat only low gi brown carbs and absolutely no junk food. i’ve lost about 8 pounds through exercise and diet making me 7 stone (I’m 17 and 5 ft – so not underweight) and I still have NO period. What would you recommend i do? I know it’s not healthy to not have a period for this long, and i still have hirsutism so I think my testosterone might still be too high. Can you suggest anything to help?

  17. I have been using Pregnitude per a previous email from you for several years now & it works great! Thank you for the suggestion. I switched to the Ovasitol & didn’t have good results myself. My periods became very irregular with my first cycle on it. I continued to take it & wait for my next period & it too was late & unusual. I have since stopped taking the Ovasitol & switched back to Pregnitude & am looking forward to a regular period again. Just wanted to let you know Tarryn.

    Thank you so much for your wonderful website & emails. You have been a tremendous help to me. I have been gluten, dairy, & soy free since June of of 2013. I am now going to brave the no sugar world of food as well. Thanks again

  18. I’m not on any medication right now, and i havent had a period in 3 months. I don’t have health insurance so I have no idea whats going on with my body. What should I do?

  19. I have had great success with the PCOS diet, but not the supplements, when it came to restarting my period. When I first started the diet, it took about two months for my period to return, and when it did, it was every 28 days on the dot – regularity I had never experienced in my life! However, the Vitamin D supplement made me sick (I am not vitamin D deficient, turns out). I recently started taking 4g of inositol with a folic acid supplement to help kick-start my weight loss again. It worked and I feel overall physically better when I take it, however of I keep taking inositol, my period doesn’t start. I have to stop taking inositol for a week to get me period to come.

  20. I have not ovulated naturally for over 2 years now, I only ovulate via contraceptive pill so really I have no idea when I would ovulate naturally as I do not have any periods if I am not on this pill. Any tips?

  21. I started changing my diet six weeks ago and have eliminated dairy, gluten, soya and sugar from my food. Since a couple of days I started eating breakfasts with many calories and only some veggies at dinnertime. I have checked the GL of everything I ate during the past six weeks and took some supplements. I am ovulating right now, which means I am ovulating right on time for the first time in my life!!
    I so happy to know the diet is working for me and after only six weeks!

    If anyone is still in doubt about changing their diet: just do it! It is so worth it and I have really enjoyed everything I ate. All of my co-workers are jealous of the salads I am taking to work every day while they are eating their sandwiches 🙂 the cooking can be a little bit more work but I enjoy it and have a lovely boyfriend who helps me and prepares my food when I don’t have the time for it 🙂

    Thank you sooooo much for this incredible website and the daily e-mails! I wish they had told me about this ten years ago when I was diagnosed.

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