1. Exactly What PCOS Is
PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a common condition in women of childbearing age. Women who suffer from PCOS experience an imbalance of sex hormones, including higher levels of testosterone.
Common symptoms of PCOS include acne, hair loss or thinning, excess body hair growth, irregular or absent menstrual periods, infertility, along with weight gain.
2. Why You Have Been Taking Birth Control for Years
It’s not because you were sexually active at age 11.
Birth control medications or oral contraceptives are commonly prescribed to women and even young girls with PCOS to regulate menstrual cycles.
3 . That It’s Not Just a Bad Period
For some women with PCOS, periods may be extremely heavy and painful and in some instances, last for weeks at a time. Their periods are far from normal.
4. Why You May Have Trouble Getting Pregnant
PCOS is one of the most common causes of ovulatory infertility. Even if a woman with PCOS does get her period, it doesn’t necessarily mean she’s ovulating. In addition, because of the hormone imbalance, women with PCOS may experience more miscarriages than those without the condition.
5. That You Don’t Have Diabetes
Metformin is a common diabetes medication often prescribed to women with PCOS to reduce insulin levels. Taking metformin or other insulin-lowering medications doesn’t mean you have type 2 diabetes.
6. Why You Can’t Just Lose Weight
Weight loss is much easier said than done if you have PCOS.
Over half of all women with PCOS are overweight, having experienced gradual or even rapid weight gain. The reason? Insulin, a hormone that promotes weight gain, is higher among women with PCOS. Higher insulin levels also make losing weight more difficult.
Commercial diet plans are rarely effective for weight loss in PCOS.
Women with PCOS need nutrition advice that specifically addresses their unique needs. Working with a registered dietitian nutritionist who specializes in PCOS is highly recommended.
7. Why You Are So Hairy
Umm, thank you for making me feel like an animal on display at the zoo.
High testosterone can cause excess hair growth in women. Women with PCOS may experience hair above their lips, on their chin, and sideburns, as well as more hair on the rest of their bodies. Women with this unwanted symptom of PCOS spend a lot of time and money as to not appear “hairy.”
8. When Are You Due?
So many women with PCOS wish this statement were true. Women with PCOS tend to carry excess weight around their mid-section, making them look pregnant when they aren’t. This excess weight is the result of extra insulin being stored as fat.
9. Just Wear a Wig.
Hair loss is perhaps one of the most devastating aspects of PCOS. High levels of testosterone in women can cause hair loss. Over time, women with PCOS may experience thinning hair or even male-pattern baldness. This can be detrimental to their self-esteem and confidence as a woman. Women with PCOS don’t want to wear a wig. They just want their hair back.
10. Relax, It’ll Get Better.
Unfortunately, PCOS doesn’t get better and can get worse with age if not managed. Long-term complications of PCOS can include the development of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. The best treatment approaches for PCOS involve diet and lifestyle changes.