Polycystic ovary syndrome (a.k.a PCOS), is a common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age.
And while the exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is unknown, early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. But you may ask yourself, “how exactly do I know that I have PCOS?”
Polycystic ovary syndrome signs and symptoms often begin soon after a woman first begins having periods (menarche). In some cases, PCOS develops later during the reproductive years, for instance, in response to substantial weight gain. PCOS has many signs — things you or your doctor can see or measure — and symptoms — things that you notice or feel. All of these can worsen with obesity. Every woman with PCOS may be affected a little differently.
Some signs include, but not limited to; irregular periods, weight gain, excess hair, infertility, acne, and pelvic pain. But those are only half of the symptoms that come with PCOS and according to womenshealth.gov,
1 in 10 and 1 in 20 will develop PCOS in the childbearing years and as many as 5 million women in the United States may be affected. It can occur in girls as young as 11 years old. Now while some associate PCOS with the difficulty of having kids, but having PCOS does not always mean you can’t have kids. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, weight control, and not smoking are all important parts of treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). You may also take medicine to balance your hormones.
There is no cure for PCOS and leaving it untreated, can cause many health problems. But controlling it lowers your risks of infertility, miscarriages, diabetes, heart disease, and uterine cancer. Most common treatments include Metformin (Glucophage). This diabetes medicine is a newer PCOS treatment for controlling insulin, blood sugar levels, and androgen levels.
If you suspect you might have PCOS, you should talk to your primary care doctor and voice all of your concerns. No question is ever stupid or silly. It’s best to be safe rather than sorry.