10 Myths about PCOS in Women

10 Myths about PCOS in Women


What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition that causes irregular periods and other symptoms. It is a hormonal condition that affects 10 per cent women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS have high levels of hormones and elevated levels of insulin.


The causes of PCOS are relatively unknown, it can vary from a woman to another Some of the factors that play an important role are genetics, behaviour, lifestyle, and environment. PCOS can go underdiagnosed or undertreated. This may be because of some experience mild or unrelated symptoms.


Here are some of the common myths that are linked to PCOS.


1) If your menstrual cycle is irregular, you have PCOS

Irregular periods can be caused by several other medical conditions, and PCOS is one of them. A regular cycle lasts from anywhere between 21 to 35 days. These frequent or absent periods can be caused by other health conditions or lifestyle factors, such as fibroids, thyroid disorders, stress also can play a factor in irregular periods. Through an exam and running several tests, your doctor can identify the cause of your irregularity.


2) Women with PCOS cannot get pregnant 

False. Women with PCOS can get pregnant. It just makes it ‘harder’ to time their fertile days are also known as ovulation period. Though PCOS is one of the common causes of infertility it doesn’t mean you cannot get pregnant. A person diagnosed with PCOS can get pregnant both naturally or after fertility treatments such as follicle-stimulating drugs.


3) You have to have Polycystic ovaries to have PCOS

Not everyone with PCOS has small cysts in their ovaries- these cysts are just a symptom of PCOS and not a cause. For one to be diagnosed with PCOS, they should fulfil two of three conditions: excess androgen, irregular menstruation, multiple follicles or cystic ovaries. PCOS cysts are different than other ovarian cysts that can grow, rupture or cause pain.

4) PCOS can be treated only with medicines

No. Medicines can help alleviate the symptoms of PCOS, birth control pills may be prescribed to help with your hormonal levels. Most importantly, diet, exercise and behavioural changes can have a big impact on preventing and managing PCOS. Limiting your carbs and sugar in the diet and quitting smoking can help to keep your PCOS in control.


5) Birth control pills should be used by women with PCOS

Hormonal pills are a common way to treat the menstrual irregularities of PCOS. The treatment of your PCOS will depend entirely on your end goal. Birth control pills would not help you if you want to get pregnant. The pill acts as a Band-Aid to mask the symptoms caused by PCOS. Hormonal health can be made better with lifestyle measures like reducing stress and eating an anti-inflammatory diet.

6) PCOS only occurs in obese or overweight women

PCOS affects people in many different ways, it is a common misconception that you have to be a stereotypical overweight woman. Though PCOS is more common in overweight or obese women. PCOS in lean women are not common but they do exist. Thin women may be overlooked, but an obese woman with irregular periods might be inaccurately diagnosed with PCOS.


7) You don’t have to worry about PCOS if you don’t want pregnancy

PCOS does not just affect your fertility but can also impact your long-term wellness. It has been linked to type -2 diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, poor cholesterol levels, sleep apnoea, endometrial cancer, depression, and anxiety. Getting diagnosed and treated is critical for the future.

8) Women with excess hair have PCOS

PCOS can increase the androgen levels in your body which can lead to hirsutism, which is abnormal hair growth in women. Because of excess androgen, women with PCOS can have unwanted hair on their upper lip, chin or chest. But not every woman diagnosed with PCOS has this symptom. Ethnicity may act as a predisposition in having excess hair.

9) Losing weight can be just like anyone else

Losing weight can help regulate your menstrual cycle but many women with PCOS express that exercising more and eating less does not change any number in their weight. Weight loss can be more complicated for women with PCOS. The gut flora in women with PCOS may be different, this can play a role in their metabolism.


10) PCOS is a rare condition

Absolutely not. Five to ten percent of women of childbearing age are diagnosed with PCOS and between 50 to 70 percent of women are undiagnosed with PCOS. This makes it one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders among women of reproductive age. PCOS cannot go away that easily, but there are numerous measures to keep it under your control.


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