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Pacific Coast Integrative Health

Dr. Caitlin Fanning, N.D.

Naturopathic Doctor & Functional Medicine located in Santa Cruz, CA

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) affects one out of every 10 women of childbearing age in the United States. The chronic condition affects both hormones and metabolism, and may lead to long-term health problems. At Pacific Coast Integrative Health, women’s health expert Dr. Caitlin Fanning, ND, who has been serving the people of the Santa Cruz area takes a natural approach to the management of PCOS and can provide a treatment plan to improve hormone levels and metabolism, and reduce your risk of related health conditions. To schedule an appointment, call the Santa Cruz, California, office or use the online booking button to request an appointment.


What is PCOS?

PCOS is a gynecological problem that develops due to an imbalance in your reproductive hormones affecting your ovaries and ovulation. Due to the hormonal changes, your egg may not fully develop or it may not be released during ovulation. 

While researchers aren’t certain about the exact connection between PCOS and other chronic health conditions, if you have PCOS you’re at greater risk of developing:

  • Diabetes
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Sleep apnea
  • Endometrial cancer

The exact cause of PCOS isn’t fully known either, but it may be due to your genetics, as well as elevated levels of androgen (male hormone) and insulin. 

What are PCOS symptoms?

Due to the effect PCOS has on your ovulation, an irregular period is the most common symptom of PCOS. Some women with PCOS have fewer than eight periods a year.

Other symptoms include:

  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Acne
  • Development of facial hair (due to elevated androgen)
  • Thinning hair (due to elevated androgen)
  • Infertility
  • Development of darkened skin under the breasts, along the neck, or in the groin

PCOS can be difficult to diagnose and other conditions may need to be ruled out before you get an official diagnosis. 

What happens during a PCOS evaluation?

Dr. Caitlin Fanning, ND provides whole-person care at Pacific Coast Integrative Health. While she specializes in women’s health issues like PCOS, she takes care of your whole-health, not your symptoms or disease, and conducts a comprehensive 90-minute consultation during your first visit. 

During your consultation, Dr. Caitlin Fanning, ND:

  • Reviews your medical history and symptoms
  • Discusses your diet, exercise, stress, menstrual cycle, sleep, and digestion
  • Conducts a physical exam
  • Reviews your medication and supplement use

Dr. Caitlin Fanning, ND also obtains lab work, including routine labs, as well as a check of your nutrient and hormone levels. 

How is PCOS treated?

Dr. Caitlin Fanning, ND treats your PCOS by developing an individualized plan that focuses on improving your overall health, as well as the symptoms related to your PCOS. She not only wants you to feel better, but she wants to prevent the onset of other chronic diseases. 

Your individualized treatment plan may include:

  • Personalized diet plan
  • Nutritional or herbal supplements
  • Intravenous (IV) therapy
  • Lifestyle modification, including recommendations for physical activity
  • Medications
  • Bioidentical hormones

She may also incorporate specific treatments if you’re struggling with infertility and trying to conceive. 

For a natural approach to the management of your PCOS from a doctor who takes your whole-health into consideration, not your diagnosis, contact Pacific Coast Integrative Health today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.