Updated: Sep 19, 2020
September is PCOS Awareness Month:
Happy September!!! I am so happy to share this blog this month. September is PCOS Awareness Month. Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is one of the most common ovulatory disorders, accounting for 85 percent of ovulatory disorder diagnosis. Polycystic ovary syndrome affects at least 1 in 6 women struggling with infertility. Its effects are felt beyond fertility, from birth throughout a lifetime.
In simple words, we can say as a genetically based disorder of metabolism impairing the body’s ability to manage sugars, cholesterol, and other things that may impair the body in many ways, including a woman’s reproductive balance, the function of the ovary, eggs, and fertility potential.
Symptoms of PCOS may begin shortly after puberty, but can also develop during the later teen years and early adulthood. Because symptoms may be attributed to other causes or go unnoticed, PCOS may go undiagnosed for some time. People with PCOS typically have irregular or missed periods as a result of not ovulating. Although some people may develop a cyst on their ovaries, many people do not.
Other symptoms include:
Weight Gain: About half of the people with PCOS will have weight gain and obesity that is difficult to manage.
Fatigue: Many people with PCOS report increased fatigue and low energy. Related issues such as poor sleep may contribute to the feeling of fatigue.
Unwanted hair growth: Areas affected by excess hair growth may include the face, arms, back, chest, thumbs, toes, and abdomen. Hirsutism related to PCOS is due to hormonal changes in androgens.
Thinning hair on the head: Hair loss related to PCOS may increase in middle age.
Infertility: PCOS is a leading cause of female infertility. However, not every woman with PCOS is the same. Although some people may need the assistance of fertility treatments, others are able to conceive naturally.
Acne: Hormonal changes related to androgens can lead to acne problems. Other skin changes such as the development of skin tags and darkened patches of skin are also related to PCOS.
Mood changes: Having PCOS can increase the likelihood of mood swings, depression, and anxiety.
Pelvic Pain: Pelvic pain may occur with periods, along with heavy bleeding. It may also occur when a woman isn’t bleeding.
Headaches: Hormonal changes prompt headaches.
Sleep problems: People with PCOS often report problems such as insomnia or poor sleep. There are many factors that can affect sleep, but PCOS has been linked to a sleep disorder called sleep apnea. With sleep apnea, a person will stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep.
Darkening of skins: Dark patches of skin can form in body creases like those on the neck, in the groin, and under the breasts.
Signs and symptoms of PCOS often develop around the time of the first menstrual period during puberty. Sometimes PCOS develops later, for example, in response to substantial weight gain.
Signs and symptoms of PCOS vary. A diagnosis of PCOS is made when you experience at least two of these signs:
Irregular periods. Infrequent, irregular, or prolonged menstrual cycles are the most common sign of PCOS. For example, you might have fewer than nine periods a year, more than 35 days between periods, and abnormally heavy periods.
Excess androgen. Elevated levels of male hormone may result in physical signs, such as excess facial and body hair (hirsutism), and occasionally severe acne and male-pattern baldness.
Polycystic ovaries. Your ovaries might be enlarged and contain follicles that surround the eggs. As a result, the ovaries might fail to function regularly.
PCOS signs and symptoms are typically more severe if you're obese.
My experience with PCOS:
I want to share my experience here, I am 5 feet 2 inches. At one point in time, I was weighing 70kg (154lbs) at that time my period cycle was around 45 days. When I started to reduce my weight I saw many changes in my body. After the intense workout and healthy diet options, I reduced my weight to 57 kg ( 125.4 lbs). My period cycle was reduced to 30 days. When you start to lose weight you may feel more energetic. So any diet that helps you lose weight can help your conditions. I did the low - carbohydrate diets, which was effective for both weight loss and lowering insulin levels. A low glycemic index (low- GI) diet that gets carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains helps to regulate the menstrual cycle is better than a regular weight loss diet. Moderate- intensity exercise at least three days a week can help women with PCOS to lose weight. Diet and exercise help lowers your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Losing weight also improves ovulation.
Is there a cure for PCOS?
Treatment for PCOS usually starts with lifestyle changes like weight loss, diet, and exercise. Yes!!! Lifestyle changes play a significant role in PCOS. You may be obese with high BMI and body fat. Losing just 5 to 10% of your current body weight can help to regulate your menstruation cycle and improve PCOS symptoms. Weight loss can improve cholesterol levels, lower insulin, and reduce heart disease and diabetes risks.
There is no significant evidence for a cure yet, but there are many ways you can decrease or eliminate PCOS symptoms and you feel better and energetic. Always check with your doctor for the medications that can treat your symptoms for elevated blood sugar, irregular periods, etc. Losing 5% of excess weight can help women to ovulate more regularly with the lesser PCOS symptoms. Fertility treatments are also available to help women to get pregnant.
You may feel that it is difficult to lose excess weight and keep it off, but it is important to continue the effort. Your efforts help reduce the risk of developing serious health complications that can impact women with PCOS much sooner than women without PCOS.
The biggest health concerns are diabetes, heart disease, and stroke because PCOS is linked to having high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, and high cholesterol.
I want to conclude this blog with one important message. Women are not serious about the PCOS condition, both married and unmarried women. Especially women once they have kids may get PCOS but they won’t take it so seriously. Women’s health is very important to the family. Being active and staying healthy is very important for everyone. I am not a medical professional. I am just sharing my experience with you all so that you will be aware of this topic. Hope this blog helps you to understand PCOS on a high level. You can reverse your condition!!!!! It’s in your hands!