Answering common health questions from women

I am a teenager with terrible PMS and I don’t want to take the birth control pill

1. I am a teenager with terrible PMS and I don’t want to take the birth control pill that my doctor recommends as I am not sexually active.

Dr. P: PMS is a combination of symptoms that may include irritability, headaches, breast tenderness and painful menstrual periods.

I often recommend that you take good doses of calcium with magnesium. Even taken every hour during the first day of the period can really help with menstrual cramps. Magnesium is also great for general PMS symptoms and headaches. Other symptoms are best treated with herbs such as black cohash and helonias that can help the function of your ovaries and uterus. There are many options aside from oral contraceptives to treat your PMS.


2.  have a medicated IUD. What concerns do you have about the long term use of these?

Dr. P: These IUD’s are usually medicated with “progestins” which are the same hormones used in the HRT trial that was stopped in 2002 due to increased risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack and breast cancer. I encourage patients to avoid these synthetic progestins even into menopause. I recommend the copper IUD instead.


3. I have been diagnosed with infertility. What can naturopathic medicine do for me?

Dr. P: There are entire naturopathic protocols for infertility that can offer great success. We recommend preconception care for every couple and this often helps with fertility too! There is recent research that a low level of vitamin D is associated with increased incidences of infertility.


4. What can I do to prevent Autism spectrum disorders before I get pregnant?


Dr. P: There have been recent studies that show a possible relationship with taking antidepressants during pregnancy.  Other studies indicate folic acid deficiency as another possible cause. Forty per cent of the population cannot convert folic acid into the active form tetrahydrofolate so taking this form during pregnancy may be the best option. There are many safe and effective naturopathic therapies for the treatment of depression during pregnancy.


5. Is there a natural way to prevent HPV viruses rather than the vaccine?

Dr. P: With the rise in incidences of HPV related head and neck cancers the HPV vaccine is recommended for both boys and girls. There are several herbs including brassicas found in I3C, DIM and green tea that are effective against this virus also. Along with other immune system recommendations such as probiotics and vitamin D, these types of cancers may be greatly reduced. So you may have a choice.


6. I have had a lot of mammograms since I turned 40 and I am concerned about having any more? What do you recommend?

Dr. P: There certainly is a lot of controversy about mammograms so I offer patients “thermography” as an option to evaluate functional changes in the breast before pathology sets in. A temperature evaluation of the breast is taken using infrared technology and “inflammatory” processes are evaluated. If there are suspicious results then an ultrasound of the breast is recommended and naturopathic treatments begun in the meantime.


7. I have been on bisphosphonate drugs for osteoporosis for several years now but I want to get off them, what can naturopathic medicine offer me?

Dr. P: Naturopathic protocols have shown steady improvements on DEXA bone density scans over several years of treatment and we see very few fractures in our patients.

With the increasing side effects of bisphosphonates and the recommendation to stop their use after 3-5 years to avoid spontaneous fractures of the femur, many are turning to naturopathic approaches with great success!


These and other questions will be covered by Dr. Pincott and Dr. Rayburn N.D. during the Women’s Health Forum on May 9 10-1 p.m. at the Campbell River Community Center lounge.

Donations will be accepted for the CR Women’s Center. This event kicks off National Naturopathic Medicine Week: May 9-16th and is co-sponsored by BCNA, Healthyway Natural Foods and Steiner Bakery. Great pre-Mother’s Day for grandmother’s, mothers and daughters!


Dr. Pincott N.D. naturopathic physician, has been practicing since 1985 and can be reached at 250-286-3655 or