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12 Myths About PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)

Did you know that PCOS affects about 10 percent of women of reproductive age worldwide? PCOS is a condition causing hormonal imbalances and metabolism issues, leading to symptoms like irregular periods, acne, thinning hair, and weight gain. Women who are diagnosed with PCOS often meet two out of three criteria: irregular periods, signs of increased androgen levels (like excess hair growth or acne), and enlarged ovaries with small follicles (not cysts).

Remember, having polycystic ovaries doesn’t mean you have PCOS. PCOS is a complex disorder that can develop during your reproductive years. Addressing its long-term effects is crucial, regardless of your pregnancy plans. Let’s debunk the 12 PCOS myths and learn about it for better health and well-being.

12 Myths About PCOS and Debunking them

Myth 1: PCOS is a rare condition

That’s not true. PCOS is common, affecting 5% to 15% of reproductive-age women worldwideThe misconception of PCOS being rare persists due to misdiagnosis or underdiagnosis, emphasizing the need for increased awareness and proper care.

Myth 2: PCOS is just a reproductive disorder

PCOS, a hormonal disorder, impacts multiple aspects of your health. It’s not just about reproduction. Hormonal imbalances can lead to frustrating symptoms like acne and excess hair growth, while metabolic issues like insulin resistance can raise concerns about blood sugar and high blood pressure. PCOS also affects your mental well-being, increasing the risk of depression and anxiety. In case you need any help in taking steps to address these challenges you can reach out to your trusted nearby well woman clinic.

Myth 3: Women with PCOS can’t get pregnant

You’ll be relieved to know that this belief about PCOS is not true for everyone. While PCOS can affect fertility, it’s usually due to ovulation dysfunction, which can be effectively treated in most cases. Many womens with PCOS can conceive naturally, and if help is needed, treatments like ovulation induction and intrauterine insemination (IUI) often work well. Advanced options like in vitro fertilization (IVF) are also available.

Myth 4: All women with PCOS have polycystic ovaries

Polycystic ovaries are ovaries with lots of small follicles, but not all women with PCOS have this. PCOS is diagnosed based on irregular periods, signs of increased male hormones (like excess hair or acne), and enlarged ovaries with small follicles. PCOS can cause various symptoms like weight gain, irregular periods, pimples, and hair thinning. Remember, having polycystic ovaries is not a requirement to be diagnosed with PCOS. 

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Myth 5: PCOS is caused by poor lifestyle choices

Is PCOScurable? PCOS is a condition which can be influenced by your genetics, hormones, and the environment. While lifestyle choices can contribute to it, they are not the sole cause of PCOS. It’s possible for PCOS to run in families due to genetic factors. Hormonal imbalances and insulin resistance also contribute to the condition. Environmental factors, such as exposure to certain chemicals, may play a role too. The symptoms can vary and include irregular periods, excess hair, acne, weight gain, and fertility issues.

Myth 6: Weight gain causes PCOS

Can PCOS be cured with weight loss is a popular question among women facing PCOS. Losing weight is commonly suggested for PCOS, but it’s not a cure for it . PCOS is influenced by body weight, making weight loss challenging due to a slower metabolism and intense cravings. Extreme diets and intense exercise harm metabolism, raise stress levels, and slow, steady weight loss is a healthier approach. Managing symptoms and balancing hormone levels in PCOScan be achieved through lifestyle changes, medication, and surgical options. 

Myth 7: Birth control pills can cure PCOS

Birth control pills can help manage PCOS symptoms like irregular periods and excessive hair growth, but they don’t provide a cure. While they offer relief, they don’t address the root causes of hormonal imbalances in PCOS. It’s important to note that not all women with PCOS can use birth control pills due to individual health factors. It is recommended to consult with your healthcare provider to find the best treatment for PCOS and maintain overall well-being.

Myth 8: Women with irregular menstrual cycle have PCOS

Your periods should happen regularly every 21-35 days. If they become more irregular, it’s possible you have PCOS . However, that’s not the only reason you may be experiencing irregular periods, other factors like breastfeeding, extreme dieting, over-exercising, pelvic infections, uterine growths, or stress can als lead to irregular periods. Missing periods can also be caused by thyroid issues or not eating enough while exercising. Make sure to consult a doctor instead of trying to diagnose yourself to find out what’s causing your irregular periods. 

Myth 9: PCOS will go away after menopause

The myth that PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) will go away after menopause is not true. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age and involves the ovaries producing an excessive amount of androgens such as testosterone. It is a chronic condition that typically lasts beyond menopause. Regular medical check-ups and self-care can help you navigate PCOS effectively. 

Myth 10: Women with PCOS can’t lead a normal life

The myth that women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) cannot lead a normal life is not true. While PCOS can present challenges and may require ongoing management, it does not prevent women from living fulfilling and productive lives, especially as it is possible to manage the symptoms of PCOS.

Myth 11: PCOS only affects women of reproductive age

The myth that PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) only affects women of reproductive age is not true. While PCOS is most commonly diagnosed in women of reproductive age, it can actually affect women throughout their lives. PCOS can manifest during adolescence and can also affect women after menopause. 

Myth 12: PCOS is not a serious concern for teenage girls

False. It’s crucial to not ignore PCOS in teenage girls. If it’s not treated, PCOS during adolescence can have long-term consequences. It can lead to insulin resistance, obesity, psychological effects, and infertility down the line. While diagnosing PCOS in teens can be challenging, early identification and management is important. Making physical activity and healthy eating a regular part of routine can help you to reduce future health issues.

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It’s crucial for women to learn about PCOS myths and facts and understand the long-term effects it can have on their well-being. By recognizing symptoms and seeking a proper diagnosis, you can take control of your health. PCOS can lead to serious implications like infertility, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and endometrial cancer. 

Fortunately, effective management options exist, such as lifestyle changes and medication. Moreover, expert guidance ensures you receive appropriate care and treatment as per your needs. If you’re looking for PCOS health treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today for expert support.

Neha Goel

Neha Goel, a Psychology alumna and MBA graduate from CASS Business School, London, brings together her expertise as a Reiki Practitioner and Practice Manager. She integrates psychology and business strategies to foster holistic well-being and personal development.