Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone-related issue that people hardly think about even if it’s staring at them in the face. The reason is that we all lack awareness about the existence of this illness. It does not come with painful symptoms either, which are usually the indications that push women to consult an OB-GYN. Despite that, PCOS is as real as any other disease you can think of.
“The symptoms of PCOS start when your pituitary makes too much leutinizing hormone (LH) and/or your pancreas makes too much insulin. This causes your ovaries to make more testosterone than your body needs, which helps explain the extra acne and body hair. Too much testosterone can also cause cysts in your ovaries which aren’t so much cysts as they are immature follicles which started to develop but stopped before they could release an egg,” according to Paul Joannides Psy.D.
In truth, the polycystic ovarian syndrome can be your worst nightmare, especially if all you have ever dreamed of is to become a mom. Having PCOS entails that cysts form outside of your ovaries, preventing the egg cells from getting released. Even when you are trying to conceive with your husband, the sperm cells will eventually die because they don’t have eggs to fertilize.
Considering you have not been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome but still unsure whether you have it or not, here are some signs that you should not miss.
Irregular Menstrual Cycle
The first sign of PCOS is an irregular menstrual cycle. Some women go through a month or two without getting their period while others can go as far as six months. At times, the flow is heavy, and the duration lasts up to seven days; other times, it’s a miracle to reach the third day. You cannot overlook this indication because the irregularity can lower your chances of getting pregnant in the future.
Although not all PCOS patients are either obese or overweight, most of them are. The reason is that the syndrome reduces your body’s ability to make use of insulin, the hormone to transform carbohydrates into energy. As a result, the sugars turn into fats, and your love handles will not go away regardless of how much exercising and dieting you do.
When an OB-GYN diagnoses PCOS, they usually prescribe metformin. You may have heard of this drug from people with diabetes before, but it can also be useful for women with the polycystic ovarian syndrome. Not only can metformin reduce your blood glucose, after all, but you can count on it to normalize your cycle as well.
You should have been able to get rid of your acne problem once the puberty stage is over. However, considering you still see zits on your face, back, and other body parts, it may indicate that you have PCOS.
There’s no need to be surprised if it happens. As you know, both acne and polycystic ovaries are brought about by hormonal changes. You cannot treat your pimples adequately if you have no idea about the condition that causes them to appear.
Helena Teede MBBS, PhD, FRACP said, “Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is key in the management of PCOS and needs engagement and support for affected women in lifestyle modification.”
Have you noticed some or all of the signs mentioned above in you? If not, it most likely means that you are safe from PCOS. If you have, however, you should go to your OB-GYN to confirm it. This way, you can see your treatment options and figure out a way to at least regularize your period or get pregnant despite having this syndrome.
Therapy is also the best resort for your mental health. “Counseling and support may help make this goal more attainable to patients with PCOS, perhaps saving them the heartbreak and expense of infertility and its treatment,” according to Joann P. Galst Ph.D.