Women's International Pharmacy E-Newsletter

PCOS: A Mysterious Disease

PCOS NewsletterPolycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone-related condition that affects millions of women, most without their knowledge. Estimates suggest that between 5 and 10 percent of the female reproductive population may have PCOS, and the number may actually be even higher among younger women because infertility is the primary clue that leads to most diagnoses. In fact, PCOS is the most common cause of infertility.

PCOS is the most prevalent hormone imbalance in women under the age of 50, yet nearly 70% of cases are presumed to be undiagnosed. If left untreated, PCOS can lead to more far reaching health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease and endometrial cancer.

What Exactly Is PCOS?

Even though the name implies that the predominant symptom is ovarian cysts, PCOS—also known as polycystic ovary disease (PCOD) or Stein-Leventhal syndrome (after the doctors who discovered it more than 70 years ago)—is really a hormone imbalance, especially characterized by an overabundance of androgens and insulin resistance.

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Book Review: The Hormone Cure by Sara Gottfried, M.D.
Reviewed By Carol Petersen, RPH, CNP - Women's International Pharmacy

The Hormone Cure  - Sara Gottfried, M.D.Dr. Gottfried has a revolution in mind—one that may lead to better health for many women. In The Hormone Cure, she not only means to sort out the complexities of hormone balance and make it understandable, she offers solutions and numerous resources to help you attain it.

She covers so much ground that it is difficult to come up with something that Dr. Gottfried misses in this book. She begins by helping you sort out potential hormone imbalances with vivid questions such as:

  • “Increased abdominal circumference, greater than 35 inches (the dreaded abdominal fat, or muffin top—not bloating)?”

  • “Vaginal dryness, irritation, or loss of feeling (as if there were layers of blankets between you and the now-elusive toe curling orgasm)?”

She then walks you through the various hormone dysfunctions or irregularities, and describes the “Gottfried Protocol” specific to each.

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Can Inositol Help in the Symptomatic Treatment of PCOS?
Written by Kathy Lynch, PharmD - Women's International Pharmacy

A 1999 study demonstrated that D-chiro-inositol (DCI), a vitamin B factor, improved the health of women with PCOS. When a daily dose of 1200 milligrams was given for 6 to 8 weeks, DCI enhanced insulin action and decreased symptoms.

A 2012 study hypothesized that myo-inositol (MI), a precursor to DCI, has greater benefit for women with PCOS, particularly in the area of infertility. Both DCI and MI restore ovulation in women with PCOS, but MI has been associated with harvesting higher quality eggs after in vitro fertilization. Taking MI along with DCI also improves cholesterol profiles in females with PCOS.

MI can be found in foods like fruits, beans, grains and nuts. The richest sources of DCI are soy lecithin and egg yolks.


  • "Ovulatory and Metabolic Effects of D-Chiro-Inositol in the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome" by J.E. Nestler, D.J. Jakubowicz, P. Reamer et al; N Engl J Med; 1999 Apr: 340:1314-1320.

  • "Does Ovary Need D-Chiro-Inositol?" by R. Isabella and E. Raffone; Journal of Ovarian Research; 2012; 5:14.

  • "The Combined Therapy of Myo-Inositol plus D-Chiro-inositol, in a Physiological Ratio, Reduces the Cardiovascular Risk by Improving the Lipid Profile in PCOS Patients" by M. Minozzi, M. Nordio and R. Pajalich; Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci; 2013 Feb; 17(4):537-40.



Staff at Women's International Pharmacy



In This Issue
PCOS: A Mysterious Disease
Book Review: The Hormone Cure
Can Inositol Help in the Symptomatic Treatment of PCOS?

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