Oct 27, 2022
In a country like the U.S., approximately 5 to 10% of women of childbearing age are diagnosed with PCOS. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition where the ovaries produce an abnormal amount of androgens, which are male sex hormones that are usually present in women in a very small amount.
The reality check is that almost 65% of females are unaware of what PCOS is. Many women in colleges don't know what PCOS is; they usually learn about it from friends or colleagues. As you gain knowledge about it, you realise that there are some medical conditions which have the potential to change your lifestyle naturally. While gaining this knowledge, you may also come across various myths about PCOS. Here are some of the most common myths about PCOS.
Myth 1: You probably did something to cause it.
The real cause of PCOS is still not known. According to the experts, a wide range of factors can lead you to PCOS. Some of them are improper lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, stress, and genetics also play a role.
Androgens, or male hormones, control the male traits in our bodies. Justin Sloane, MD, a physician at Penn Ob/Gyn Chester County noted that "All women produce some amount of androgen. Women with PCOS produce more androgens than normal women, which may affect ovulation and disturb their regular menstrual cycles. "
The follicles grow and build up fluid, but the eggs don't get released. Ovulation doesn't occur, and therefore the follicles might turn into cysts. If this happens, your body might fail to form the hormone progesterone, which is required to keep your cycle regular.
"Women with PCOS also produce excess female hormones. While this doesn't contribute to the symptoms above, future "unopposed estrogen" can lead to a build-up of the lining of the uterus, which is a major risk factor for uterine cancer," said Dr Sloane.
Some scientists think that another hormone — insulin — may play a role in the body's increased androgen production. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance. This is often most common in women who are overweight or obese, have unhealthy diet and exercise habits, or have a family history of type-2 diabetes.
Myth 2: Losing weight will help you get rid of PCOS.
Woefully, there is still no complete cure for PCOS. But women who are overweight or obese can increase the risk of long-term health problems from PCOS. PCOS can only be implemented by some women through weight loss. There are various treatment options that can help prevent potential problems. Some adequate changes in our lifestyle, such as healthy eating, regular exercise, and managing insulin usage by the body effectively.
Birth control pills are also a good option to control your PCOS only if you aren't interested in getting pregnant for that particular time zone. But according to the research, birth control pills also seem to mitigate the increased risk of endometrial cancer by decreasing the amount of time the uterus is exposed to unopposed estrogen. So, before opting for any birth control pill, it is recommended to take wise advice from your doctor.
Myth 3: PCOS is a rare disease.
It’s just a bubble of mind which needs to be burst. The reality check is that PCOS is a very common hormone problem for women who are of childbearing age. In today's condition, 1 in 10 women is diagnosed with PCOS. Women with PCOS have hormonal imbalances and metabolic problems that may affect their overall health. It is very common in today's world and can be a treatable cause of infertility.
Myth 4: You can’t get pregnant if you've been diagnosed with PCOS.
The myth is not completely true for everyone. It is a bit more difficult to conceive than for other women. While the majority of other women with PCOS become pregnant, it takes a longer time for them to become pregnant and they might need some fertility treatment to get pregnant, but after all the hustle, they can conceive without complications. Various lifestyle changes can also lead you to conceive naturally. You can also opt for fertility treatment, and there is also IVF treatment available for women who want to conceive. Other fertility treatments for women with PCOS include assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization.
Myth 5: PCOS only affects women who are overweight.
The fact is that PCOS does not discriminate and affects women of all shapes and sizes. Women who are thin also suffer from PCOS. It is also true that women who have PCOS are often overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese makes the PCOS condition worse, so it is recommended to exercise and have healthy eating habits. The body's inability to use insulin properly leads to weight gain. And weight loss improves the insulin resistance associated with PCOS. Weight loss may also improve the hormonal imbalance in a woman and may also increase fertility. This is the relationship between weight and PCOS that can affect women irrespective of their weight.