What You Should Know About Living with PCOS

What You Should Know About Living with PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects up to 1 in 10 menstruators in the UK. It can cause multiple cysts to form on the ovaries and lead to a variety of symptoms, such as irregular periods, excessive body hair growth, acne, weight gain, and infertility. 

The term polycystic describes multiple tiny cysts forming in the ovary. They are usually considered harmless and quite different from other more severe forms of ovarian cysts. It is also important to note not all women diagnosed with PCOS develop these cysts. Therefore, the formation of cysts is merely a symptom and not the cause of PCOS. 

PCOS can also increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Unfortunately, for many the signs and symptoms of PCOS can often be overlooked with many being misdiagnosed for years. Despite these challenges, it is possible to manage PCOS, conceive children and also live a healthy life.

What Causes PCOS?

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but genetics may play a role. Women whose mothers or sisters have PCOS are more likely to develop it themselves. Additionally, some experts believe that an imbalance in certain hormones—like testosterone and insulin—may contribute to the development of PCOS.

Managing Symptoms

The first step in managing PCOS is understanding its symptoms and seeking medical help if necessary. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes like dieting or exercising more regularly or prescribe medications such as birth control pills or anti-androgen drugs (which block testosterone). Additionally, several medical treatments are available to reduce cysts on the ovaries or help regulate menstrual cycles.

Living with PCOS

Living with PCOS can be difficult but it doesn’t mean you have to give up living a full life. Regular exercise can help reduce some of its symptoms and boost overall health; eating a balanced diet can also help regulate hormones; and talking with mental health professionals about how you're feeling can be beneficial for managing stress levels associated with the disorder. Clinical evidence also suggests that successful weight loss increases the chances of pregnancy for women with PCOS. Healthy weight loss is known to improve the levels of androgen and insulin resistance levels and with insulin resistance as a critical trigger for PCOS, it’s no surprise that this can alleviate the condition for some. Most importantly, don't be afraid to reach out for support from family members or other women who are living with PCOS—it's important that you know you're not alone!

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common hormonal disorders among women in the United Kingdom today, affecting up to 10% of them nationwide. Although it can cause infertility and other serious complications, there are ways to manage your symptoms so that you can live a healthy life despite this condition. Eating well-balanced meals, exercising regularly, talking with mental health professionals when necessary and seeking out support from friends and family members are all essential steps towards living successfully with PCOS. With care and guidance from your healthcare provider(s), living with PCOS doesn't have to be overwhelming!

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