Before diving into the facts of PCOS. Let us first understand what it is and how does it affect you? Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels. Women with PCOS produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones. Did you know that according to a study, 1 in every 5 women in India is suffering from PCOS? Lack of awareness and insufficient information about the disorder are the major reasons why women are not able to discover PCOS at its early stages.
Doctors often state that these women had no idea that they had PCOS before visiting them. Therefore creating awareness about PCOS is very important as it can lead to further problems in women’s health.
How does PCOS Affect your Body?
You are probably wondering is PCOS another made-up word by large companies to take your money or is it something serious? Well, we might have the answer to it. PCOS can affect your body in different ways, few of which are:
- Can cause Infertility – PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in women as it enables women to ovulate regularly and release as many eggs to be fertilized. However that being said you can still get pregnant, both naturally or after fertility treatments.
- Metabolic syndrome – Up to 80 percent of women with PCOS are overweight or obese. Both obesity and PCOS increase your risk for high blood sugar, high blood pressure, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Together, these factors are called metabolic syndrome, and they increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even stroke.
- Sleep apnea – This condition causes repeated pauses in breathing during the night, which interrupts sleep. The risk for sleep apnea is 5 to 10 times higher in obese women with PCOS than in those without PCOS.
- Endometrial cancer – During ovulation, the uterine lining sheds. If you don’t ovulate every month, the lining can build up. A thickened uterine lining can increase your risk for endometrial cancer.
- Depression – Both hormonal changes and symptoms like unwanted hair growth can negatively affect your emotions. Hence, women with PCOS end up experiencing depression and anxiety.
PCOS has different effects on different women. This is because PCOS is not one syndrome but rather four different disorders. Hence PCOS can have a different effect on different body types.
Types of PCOS:
After reading the above-mentioned symptoms, you might be in a panic mode but worry not – because you might not be suffering through all of them. As said earlier PCOS affects different people differently. Hence, there are different types of PCOS namely:
Type 1: Classic – Women with Classic PCOS have high Androgen (male hormones) levels and irregular menstrual cycle.
Type 2: Hyperandrogenic Anovulatory – Anovulation is when the ovaries do not release an oocyte during a menstrual cycle. Therefore, ovulation does not take place.
Type 3: Ovulatory – Women diagnosed with Ovulatory PCOS have high levels of androgens and their menstrual cycle can last for 15-30 days.
Type 4: Non-Hyperandrogenic – Women with Non-Hyperandrogenic PCOS suffer from irregular or absent ovulation and polycystic ovary.
Doctors have recently proposed a fifth type of PCOS – Obesity. Women with this type have insulin resistance which causes their testosterone and estrogen production to go into overdrive. As a result, these women typically experience acne, facial hair, and irregular or absent ovulation.
What are the Common PCOS Myths?
It is often falsely assumed that the way one woman experiences PCOS, is how all women experience it. For example, it is commonly believed that having PCOS means you have cysts on your ovaries and won’t have a regular period.
Did you know only three of the four types of PCOS are associated with ovarian cysts and while menstruation can be affected by the condition, it is also heavily dependent on inflammation, body fat percentage, and one’s cortisol and insulin levels?. Similarly, some women with the condition will experience acne, facial hair growth, or both. So let’s debunk a few common PCOS myths:
- You Did Something to Cause It – While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, one thing is certain: You are not to blame. However, several factors including genetics are widely believed to play a role in causing PCOS.
You Have Polycystic Ovaries If You Have PCOS – Many women who have PCOS don’t have cysts on their ovaries, and having cysts doesn’t mean you have PCOS.
- If you Lose Weight, You Can Get Rid of PCOS – Unfortunately, there is no cure for PCOS, but overweight and obese women can help balance their hormone levels by losing weight.
- Every Women With PCOS Gets Excessive Hair On Their Body – One common symptom of PCOS is hirsutism, which is abnormal hair growth in women. Because of excess androgens, women with PCOS can sprout unwanted hair on their upper lip, chin, or chest but not every woman will have this symptom.
- You Can’t Get Pregnant If You Have PCOS – PCOS is a common cause of infertility. The hormonal problem affects the ovary’s ability to release an egg to be potentially fertilized for pregnancy. But relax, you can still get pregnant, both naturally or after fertility treatments.
- If Your Menstrual Cycle Is Irregular, You Have PCOS – There are so many causes of an irregular cycle, and PCOS is only one of them. A normal cycle is anywhere from 21 to 35 days. Outside of that, breastfeeding, extreme dieting or overexercising, pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine fibroid, and thyroid disorders are potential causes for an irregular cycle.
- If You’re Not Looking to Get Pregnant, You Don’t Have to Worry About PCOS – PCOS doesn’t affect just a woman’s fertility; it can impact her long-term wellness for the rest of her life. It has been linked with type 2 diabetes (more than half of PCOS women have diabetes or prediabetes before age 40), high blood pressure (hypertension), poor cholesterol levels, sleep apnea, depression and anxiety, and endometrial cancer.
- PCOS is a Rare Condition – It is estimated that 1 in every 5 women in India is suffering from PCOS, which makes it one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders among women of reproductive age.
- PCOS Only Affects Overweight Women – Many women who have PCOS are indeed overweight or obese and it’s also true that obesity can make PCOS symptoms worse. However, PCOS does not discriminate and can affect women of all shapes and sizes.
PCOS Facts Every Woman Should Know
As in many societies today, there still exists a taboo around discussing a woman’s period. Wrong perceptions and myths often make menstruation a topic that is off the table. Thus, the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) can prove especially challenging to deal with. To create awareness, here are a few facts every woman needs to know about PCOS:
- Your ovaries are not the only problem – The name of the disease includes the word ‘ovaries.’ However, PCOS is not limited to just the reproductive organs. It is essentially a hormonal imbalance that can be caused by thyroid problems or a disorder of the pituitary gland. This causes irregular menstruation and the formation of ovarian cysts.
The symptoms are varied – The symptoms of PCOS vary drastically from person to person. The main symptoms of PCOS are irregular periods or complete cessation of menstruation, hirsutism (excessive growth of hair on the face, arms and chest), excessive acne and oily skin, constant fatigue, and hair loss. These symptoms occur in varying degrees and demand immediate ovarian cysts treatment.
- PCOS cannot be cured – Unfortunately, there is no proper cure of PCOS and if anyone tells you that they can cure PCOS, do not buy that information. Akin to certain conditions such as diabetes, PCOS is lifelong and cannot be cured. Although there is some good news and the disease can be successfully controlled with the right polycystic ovarian syndrome treatment medication as well as proper diet and lifestyle habits.
- Diet can have a massive impact on PCOS – Being overweight or obese increases the amount of insulin your body makes, which is why your weight can have a direct impact on your PCOS symptoms.
- Sugar intake or Insulin Resistance can act as a Game Changer- If you have PCOS, you have probably heard the phrase ‘insulin resistance’ a lot, without knowing what it means. Women’s body with PCOS makes more insulin than normal. This leads to excessive production of the male hormone ‘Androgen’. Moreover, the body cells do not respond to insulin adequately and this can be a warning sign for diabetes as well.
- It is possible to conceive naturally with PCOS – While fertility is the biggest issue in question with PCOS, it is still possible to conceive naturally. The first step is getting help from a doctor for ovarian cyst treatment to regularise your monthly cycle. Once your periods are normal, you can try for a baby and there have been many successful cases of women who have managed to carry successful pregnancies in spite of PCOS.
- There is an emotional impact of PCOS – A woman’s monthly cycle is much more than a physical occurrence. It has a deep emotional connect with her womanhood. Therefore, the absence of a period can make her worried, distressed, and even depressed. This is worsened by facial hair and acne. Emotional support is an important aspect of healing from PCOS. Do not be afraid to seek counseling.
What can you do?
PCOS is not something you can’t control. It can be controlled by simply changing your diet and lifestyle. Here are a few things people do to regulate their PCOS condition:
- Birth control
- Hair removal medicines
These are a few of the modern medicine ways that people use. However, these methods can have other adverse effects on the body. Hence people often try to look for natural solutions. Treatment for PCOS usually starts with lifestyle changes like weight loss, diet, and exercise. Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help regulate your menstrual cycle and improve PCOS symptoms. Weight loss can also improve cholesterol levels, lower insulin, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
It usually surprises a lot of people but there are a lot of natural Ayurvedic treatments or Ayurvedic medicines for PCOS. One of the popular ones is an Ayurvedic kit provided by Nirogam.
The Nirogam’s PCOS kit treats precise symptoms of PCOS and is specifically designed to cater to women suffering from PCOS. Few of the things it tries to target are as follows:
- Nirogam’s PCOS kit helps to reduce male hormones in the female body, which is the leading cause of PCOS and it also treats hormonal imbalance
- The kit comes with tablets infused with Ayurvedic herbs which help in optimization of ovarian functions and also promotes ovulation
- It helps to enhance female reproductive health and fertility
- It also works to improve the endocrine functions – all of which are responsible for PCOS
The kit also comes with Kanchanar Guggulu which is a proven remedy to remove growths, swelling and lumps like fibroid and cysts.
As discussed above, PCOS affects different people differently but opting or starting a healthy life by changing a few things in your diet and adopting an Ayurvedic diet is something that works for all PCOS types. One of the easiest ways to do this is by getting a kit which has everything you need to start your healthy journey.
How do you deal with your PCOS condition? Have you tried our PCOS kit yet? Let us know your experience in the comment section below!