POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME: 10 MOST WIDESPREAD MISCONCEPTIONS YOU MUST OVERCOME
Polycystic ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) affects women in all age groups, ethnicities, and socio-economic classes. It can cause symptoms such as acne, weight gain, hair loss, irregular periods and difficulty getting pregnant, but the condition often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because of its wide range of symptoms and multiple causes.
PCOD is a condition in which ovaries produce many immature or partially mature eggs, this happen due to poor lifestyle, obesity, stress and hormonal imbalance. PCOS is a metabolic disorder and more severe form of PCOD can lead to anovulation where ovaries stop releasing eggs.
The following are 10 common misconceptions about PCOS among women.
1) I don’t want to get pregnant, so I don’t have PCOS.
If you’re not trying to get pregnant, that’s great! However, having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) doesn’t mean you are more likely to get pregnant. In fact, many women with PCOS have difficulty getting and staying pregnant for a variety of reasons. Doctors suggest that women with polycystic ovary syndrome follow normal birth control practices in order to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
2) If I had PCOS, I would look different.
Many women have a preconceived idea of what someone with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome would look like. Unfortunately, it’s not always accurate. There is no one stereotypical image associated with PCOS, but rather several. Each case of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome has its own unique symptoms and appearance so it can be difficult to tell just by looking at someone whether or not they are affected by PCOS. Still, a slight alteration in the physical appearance is brought about in PCOS.
3) If I had PCOS, it would be obvious.
Not true! I personally didn’t even realize I had polycystic ovary syndrome until my doctor told me. In fact, up to 50% of women who have polycystic ovary syndrome don’t know they have it. This is because many of them never develop noticeable symptoms. So if you suspect you may have polycystic ovary syndrome, ask your doctor for a blood test. It only takes five minutes and could make a world of difference to your health! I can’t get pregnant without fertility treatments.: False! Polycystic ovary syndrome doesn’t affect fertility in all cases. However, some women with polycystic ovary syndrome do struggle with infertility. If you want to get pregnant but are having trouble conceiving, talk to your doctor about getting tested for polycystic ovary syndrome and other potential causes of infertility. If needed, she can help refer you to an infertility specialist.
4) PCOS affects only overweight people.
It’s true that women with PCOS often struggle with weight and body image, but it is a condition that can affect any woman. Don’t let your weight define your identity. If you have been diagnosed with PCOS, seek treatment and discover ways to manage your symptoms. Focus on loving yourself for who you are, not what a scale says you weigh. PCOS isn’t serious.: While some women may experience mild symptoms of PCOS, others deal with more severe consequences like infertility or diabetes. However, there are treatments available that can help alleviate these conditions. In addition to medical care, talk therapy has also proven effective in helping patients cope with their condition.
5) If you have irregular periods, you don't have PCOS.
Irregular periods can be a symptom of PCOS, but many women have irregular periods for other reasons. If you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS and your periods are irregular, don’t panic! Your menstrual cycle is completely normal, though in some cases you may need to see a doctor to get help bringing them back into sync. If you have PCOS, it’s not a big deal.: While having polycystic ovary syndrome doesn’t mean that you’re infertile or will develop diabetes or heart disease, it does mean that there’s an imbalance in your hormone levels that could lead to reproductive issues down the road. It’s important to take steps now to control your symptoms and prevent long-term health problems from developing.
6) If you have polycystic ovaries, you have no chance of getting pregnant.
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition characterized by an excess of androgens, high levels of insulin in your body and an imbalance of sex hormones. While those with PCOS tend to have fewer eggs released during ovulation than women without it, there is no scientific evidence that shows that individuals with polycystic ovaries cannot get pregnant. In fact, many women with polycystic ovaries get pregnant without problems. If you are trying to conceive, make sure you see a doctor who specializes in reproductive endocrinology. If you do not ovulate regularly, your doctor may recommend fertility drugs that can help induce ovulation.
In order to lose weight, I need to eat less.: Weight loss doesn’t come from simply eating less food; rather it comes from creating a calorie deficit—burning more calories than you consume each day. Eating less food isn’t necessarily going to help you lose weight if it’s coming from nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables—these foods are low in calories but high in nutrients that will keep you full for longer periods of time.
7) PCO only affects infertile women.
It is estimated that over 6 million women in America suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). However, a lot of these women are not aware that they have it and therefore don’t get diagnosed. It is one of the most common endocrine disorders affecting reproductive-aged women. Women with PCO may experience a combination of acne, thinning hair, excess facial and body hair, irregular periods, infertility or subfertility and cysts on one or both ovaries. PCO affects all races and ethnicities but many of its symptoms are often misunderstood by physicians and other health care providers who continue to misdiagnose it as thyroid disease.
8) Having more facial hair is a sign of having polycystic ovaries (PCO).
Although some women who have PCO do have more facial hair, it’s not necessary for diagnosis. Women with hyperandrogenism can also exhibit more body hair, acne and irregular periods. But having those symptoms doesn’t mean you necessarily have PCO, which is most often diagnosed through a simple blood test that measures your level of male hormones (known as androgens). Many doctors recommend women with excess facial or body hair visit an endocrinologist to get their levels checked.
9) All women with polycystic ovaries (PCO) are overweight and obese.
As you may know, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder in which cysts develop on one or both of your ovaries. It affects as many as 15 percent of women and can result in irregular periods, infertility, and increased body hair. Unfortunately, most women who have it are also overweight or obese — but not all! You can learn more about other symptoms here .
If you’re concerned that you may have PCO, talk to your doctor . Since it is one of many endocrine disorders , he or she should be able to run some blood tests to help diagnose whether it’s PCO. As with all conditions involving a reproductive system, your gynecologist will probably be most interested in knowing if you’re having trouble getting pregnant.
10) You should see signs of infertility when you have polycystic ovaries (PCO).
A lot of women assume that having polycystic ovaries is directly linked to infertility. In fact, you can have these conditions and still be fertile. If you’ve been trying to conceive for over 6 months without success, seek advice from your doctor; PCO isn’t always the problem.
While some research suggests a link between insulin resistance and infertility in women with polycystic ovaries, there is currently no evidence that your ovulation schedule will change if you lose weight or adopt a healthier diet. Nonetheless, experts recommend losing any excess weight as soon as possible because it can also reduce your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes later on in life.