Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance and metabolic disorder effecting 1 in 10 women worldwide. PCOS patients may have irregular or prolonged menstrual periods or excessive levels of male hormones (androgens). It is possible for the ovaries to develop small follicles on the outside of ovary wall and these symbolize the eggs that are not released due to lack of ovulation.
How do you know if you have PCOS?
When a woman reaches puberty, she begins to develop signs and symptoms of PCOS.
There are a variety of signs and symptoms associated with PCOS. PCOS is diagnosed when at least two of these symptoms are present:
- Periods that are irregular. PCOS is characterized most by irregular, infrequent, or prolonged menstrual cycles. Some people have fewer than nine periods a year, more than 35 days between periods, and abnormally heavy periods.
- High levels of androgens, mainly testosterone which can be checked by a blood test. Physical signs of elevated levels of male hormones can include excessive facial and body hair (hirsutism), and occasionally severe acne and baldness.
- Ovaries with polycystic ‘cysts’ you can see visually on an ultrasound. These cysts are baby follicles when the egg is not released – the name is very misleading!
What are the main symptoms?
PCOS is not fully understood, and many women are left undiagnosed due to lack of education and awareness. PCOS unfortunately does not get a huge amount of funding either, hence little support is offered, and doctors are not PCOS experts (so please be careful who you trust!) It is believed that genetics plays a role, along with other environmental, nutritional and stress factors.
The main symptoms to look out for if you are wondering whether you might have PCOS are –
- Irregular periods or none at all
- Weight gain especially around the middle area
- Hair growth in unwanted areas
- Skin rashes
- Chronic Fatigue
- Insomnia or sleep disturbances
- Intense sugar cravings
- Mood swings
- Low self-esteem and self-worth
If you aren’t sure and have any questions I am happy to help! Please reach out to me via my email or pop me a DM on Instagram and we can take it from there J
Have more questions? Visit ItsaPcosparty