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Before You Before You Start Taking Herbal Supplements for PCOS

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Updated July 05, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Many women consider taking herbal supplements to manage the symptoms of PCOS, instead of or to supplement traditional medical treatment. It's important to realize that just because something is "all natural" doesn't make it healthy or appropriate to take. Here's what you need to know before you start taking herbal supplements for PCOS.

Speak with Your Doctor

Before you start taking any herbal supplements for PCOS, it is extremely important to speak with your doctor about what you are considering taking. Some supplements can actually cause interactions with other medications you might be taking. For example, St. Johns Wort, used for depression, can make the birth control pill less effective.

Check with the Pharmacist

Herbal supplements are not mandated by the FDA, so it can be hard to be confident that you are taking exactly what you think. Your pharmacist should be able to point you in the direction of a dependable brand. If not, check online with reputable websites for a recommendation.

Do Your Research

Know that not every supplement is for every woman. Read up on the different supplements and understand what you are taking and why. Learn what the side effects are and keep an eye out for them. If you notice any, report them to your doctor promptly.
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