Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is not talked about nearly enough. Did you know that 1 in 10 women have PCOS? Many people have not heard about PCOS until they or someone close to them is diagnosed with it. It is common for many women to go undiagnosed for too long, making it frustrating for them when trying to get pregnant or when developing ovarian cysts. PCOS is a tricky condition because it shows up differently for people. In order to raise awareness, we must have a better understanding of PCOS and its symptoms.
What is PCOS?
To put it plainly, PCOS is caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. The condition is prevalent for women in their reproductive age (from late teens to late 20s). The hormonal imbalance creates issues within the ovaries, which can cause the eggs to be released at the wrong time. Women with PCOS often have irregular periods or a higher level of androgen hormones. Early diagnoses and lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of long-term issues that are caused by PCOS, such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms of PCOS
The most common symptom women with PCOS deal with is irregular menstrual cycles. Many women will either have too few or too many periods, and some women do not have them at all. Other symptoms include too much hair on the face, acne, thinning hair, weight gain, darkening of the skin in certain areas, and skin tags. The symptoms associated with PCOS are also common identifiers for other issues and go unnoticed or undiagnosed. If women do not find out that they have PCOS early on, many women find out after developing ovarian cysts or when trying to get pregnant. PCOS can cause women to become infertile.
There is currently no cure for PCOS. However, many women have learned to manage their symptoms of PCOS through a variety of techniques. It is common for women to take birth control to manage their PCOS because it can balance hormones to a more stable level. Hormonal birth control can regularize menstrual cycles, improve acne, and lower hair growth. Women who develop too much androgen can take anti-androgen medicines that can reduce hair loss and hair growth on the face. Some women have to change their diets because their bodies become resistant to certain foods like dairy, white bread, and caffeine. It is also recommended for women with PCOS to engage in low-impact exercises to lower the side effects of PCOS.
PCOS is ubiquitous among women, so it is crucial to understand the signs and symptoms of the condition. Hopefully, by knowing what to look for, more women can be correctly diagnosed and can effectively treat their condition to reduce the possibility of issues becoming more severe. If you think you could have PCOS, contact a medical professional.