Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. At no cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission should you choose to click through the link and purchase an item below. In addition, while I do have a public health degree, I am not a physician and I am not providing health care, medical or nutritional services, nor am I attempting to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any physical, mental or emotional issue, disease or condition.
- PCOS is a complex metabolic and hormonal condition which can affect your overall health.
- When you are newly diagnosed with PCOS, you will want to read up on what PCOS is and about your treatment options.
- Being informed will help you make the best choices for yourself as you navigate this condition.
When I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), I had no idea what this common condition was or how it worked despite having a background in Public Health. I did and still do spend hours googling to find new information. What I most desire is a one stop shop for information related to PCOS and since I can’t find one, I’ve decided I will create one. Basically, I want to do the googling for you!
This post is the first in my PCOS series. Because this is where I am in my life, over the next few months, I will write about my journey from PCOS diagnosis to healthy hormones with a few other topics sprinkled in.
In this post, I will share books and resources for you to read to bring you up to speed on PCOS. Unfortunately, I can’t vouch for all of them as I’m still working my way through the list to read them myself but I have seen them referenced many places and they have great reviews.
Comment below if you would like me to do a review series on the books below!
I want to delve into the definition of PCOS in a later post but since this is the first one, I will cover it quickly. PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a constellation of symptoms occurring together which are caused by a hormonal imbalance.1
Balancing your Hormones
While we don’t know the exact cause of PCOS, we do know that PCOS is caused by a hormone imbalance which causes the chain reaction of symptoms you experience. The following books provide a dearth of information about what hormones are involved with PCOS as well as how you can rebalance your hormones through diet and lifestyle changes.
- Beyond the Pill: A 30-Day Program to Balance Your Hormones, Reclaim Your Body, and Reverse the Dangerous Side Effects of the Birth Control Pill by Jolene Brighten
- A Patient’s Guide to PCOS: Understanding–and Reversing–Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Paperback – March 21, 2006 by Walter Futterweit M.D., George Ryan
- 8 Steps to Reverse Your PCOS: A Proven Program to Reset Your Hormones, Repair Your Metabolism, and Restore Your Fertility by Dr. Fiona McCulloch
- Healing PCOS: A 21-Day Plan for Reclaiming Your Health and Life with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome by Amy Medling
The most common approach to treating PCOS symptoms is to prescribe hormonal birth control. Notice I said PCOS symptoms, hormonal birth control does not treat the underlying hormonal imbalance, instead it creates a steady state of artificial hormones so your body doesn’t have to do the work itself. For those reasons, people may want to take a non-hormonal approach to pregnancy avoidance while they work on lifestyle and diet changes to help their body regulate hormones. Below are two books where you can teach yourself the fertility awareness method. (Don’t worry! I’m going to do an entire post on the fertility awareness method).
- Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 20th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler, MPH
- Natural & Safe: The Handbook: Family Planning with Sensiplan by Malteser Arbeitsgruppe NFP and CycleForth LLC
- Natural & Safe: The Workbook, Family Planning with Sensiplan by Malteser Arbeitsgruppe NFP and CycleForth LLC
As you begin to research PCOS, you will notice that there are many diets recommended to assist in PCOS remission. The problem with most diets is that they are not sustainable because they are highly restrictive and promote an unhealthy fixation on diet. Across different forums, I have seen women so stressed about their diet that they’ve developed disordered eating.
- Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole
- The Intuitive Eating Workbook: Ten Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) by Evelyn Tribole, Elyse Resch, Tracy Tylka
- The Moon Cycle Cookbook: A Holistic Nutrition Guide for a Well-Balanced Menstrual Cycle by Devon Loftus, Jenna Radomski
- PCOS Diet for the Newly Diagnosed: Your All-In-One Guide to Eliminating PCOS Symptoms with the Insulin Resistance Diet by Tara Spencer, Megan-Marie Stewart
Reconnecting With Your Cycle and Womanhood
Between the mood swings and facial hair, PCOS can cause you to feel disconnected to your body. I’ve seen women refer to themselves as monsters. Many women start to feel self conscious about their weight or struggle with their sex drive. That’s why it is crucial to get and stay connected with your body.
- Come As You Are: Revised and Updated: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski Ph.D.
- Moon Time: Harness the ever-changing energy of your menstrual cycle by Lucy H. Pearce
- Wild Power: Discover the Magic of Your Menstrual Cycle and Awaken the Feminine Path to Power by Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer, Alexandra Pope
- In the FLO: Unlock Your Hormonal Advantage and Revolutionize Your Life by Alisa Vitti
- WomanCode: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source by Alisa Vitti
- The Fifth Vital Sign: Master Your Cycles & Optimize Your Fertility by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack, Lara Briden ND
- The Optimized Woman: Using Your Menstrual Cycle to Achieve Success and Fulfillment by Miranda Gray
- 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks: Awakening the Power, Wisdom, and Beauty in Every Woman’s Nature by Suzanne Mathis McQueen
Drop a comment below if you would be interested in joining a PCOS book club!
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health. (2019, April 1). Polycystic ovary syndrome. Polycystic ovary syndrome | Office on Women’s Health. Retrieved March 27, 2022, from https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/polycystic-ovary-syndrome