Ovary acting (overreacting)
4th Dec 2018
All you need to know about PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition where a woman’s hormone levels are affected in terms of the production of androgen levels.
Androgens are male sex hormones that are produced in both men and women, but are produced more than a usual amount in women with PCOS.
The phrase “androgens” refers to the set of hormones that play a role in male attributes and reproductive activity. The term refers to a group of hormones but the main ones are testosterone and androstenedione.
PCOS is a rather common hormone issue amongst women, 1 in 10 women have PCOS.3 More specifically, women of childbearing age (ages 15 to 44).
However, a lot of women are unaware of the fact that they have PCOS. According to studies, statistics show that up to 70% of women with PCOS have not been diagnosed.
Although the exact cause of PCOS still remains a mystery, medical experts believe these are risk factors.
1. Abnormal levels of androgen – high levels of male hormones prevents the normal production of hormones and formation of eggs
2. Insulin resistance – body’s increased demand for insulin > more insulin produced > extra insulin triggers production of more male hormones
3. Genes – hereditary as PCOS runs in the family.
Physical symptoms of PCOS
A list of common physical symptoms. Not all women with PCOS experience all of these symptoms.
1. Irregular menstruation – missed periods, heavy bleeding, very light periods, irregular periods.
2. Hirsutism – excessive hair growth on the body and face.
4. Skin patches – dark skin patches of the neck, armpits, and underneath the breasts.
5. Gaining weight – difficulty losing weight, being overweight or obese.
6. Infertility – facing difficulties in getting pregnant. PCOS is one of the leading causes of this.
7. Acne/ oily skin on the face, chest, and/or upper back.
Mental symptoms of PCOS
Women with PCOS also go through a set of mental symptoms that are sometimes the result of the physical symptoms.
1. Anxiety – caused by excessive hair growth and irregular menstruation
3. Hostility –
4. Psychological distress – dark skin patches of the neck, armpits, and underneath the breasts.
Even though there is no cure, PCOS can still be treated. Options include a healthy diet and regular exercise, birth control pills, and medication. Consult a doctor for more details and the option that is most suitable for you.
An informal interview with a friend with PCOS. She shares her personal experience of being a PCOS victim.
“I went through a lot both physically and mentally. Experiencing the symptoms since the age of 15 has made my life rather difficult. I feel like I don’t fit in with other girls because of the amount of body hair and acne that I have. These symptoms have led to me feeling insecure. As for the mental aspect, I am constantly stressed and I also have a lot of anxiety.”
PCOS can be quite mentally and physically exhausting. We are here to help in any way that we can. If you have any queries, please feel free to reach us on Facebook or Instagram.