Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder in women who are around the reproductive age. PCOS may cause women to have longer or irregular menstrual cycles. We may also experience excessive facial and body hair. Severe acne due to high levels of the male hormone androgen. Ovaries develop collections of fluid which causes the ovaries to not release eggs. PCOS develops around puberty and the first menstrual cycle, it can also develop later in life. I was diagnosed with PCOS likely caused by my weight gain from having babies. The majority of my symptoms are the cysts and some acne, which tends to get worse during my menstrual cycle.
Some of the symptoms of PCOS will vary by women but some common ones include:
1. Irregular menstrual cycles. They may be longer than 7 days, or may not come monthly.
2. Excess androgen which may cause facial or body hair. Severe acne or male patterned baldness.
3. Polycystic ovaries which causes cysts on the ovaries, which can cause your ovaries to not function correctly.
4. Approximately half of women with PCOS have weight issues. Which can be a problem when it comes to this disorder.
5. Mood changes. You may see yourself having more mood swings, anxiety and depression.
The causes of PCOS are unknown. With treatment and weight loss it can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Some factors that play a role in developing PCOS are:
• Excess insulin might cause a increase of the male hormone. Which can cause difficulty with ovulation.
• Women with PCOS have a type of low-grade inflammation. This may cause heart and blood vessel problems.
• Certain genes may be linked to the development of PCOS
An ovarian cyst is a fluid filled sac that forms on your ovaries. These cysts develop due to eggs not releasing. You don’t have to have PCOS to develop ovarian cysts. Functional cysts are very common and usually develop during your menstrual cycle. There are two different types of functional cysts.
1. Follicular cysts- these will go away on their own within 1-3 months. These form when an egg doesn’t get released.
2. Corpus luteum cysts- will go away on their own but can cause some pain and bleeding. These cyst form when the cyst ruptures and the egg releases. It then reseals and fluid builds up again.
There is currently no cure for PCOS. But there are treatments to help with the symptoms. The best treatment is nutrition and exercise. Its difficult to lose weight but its important to try and lose even 5% of your excess weight. PCOS is linked to having blood pressure, pre-diabetes, and high cholesterol problems. PCOS is the leading issue when it comes to fertility.
While it may be difficult and take some time to get pregnant it is not impossible. You may need fertility medications. There are some risks during your pregnancy due to the PCOS. You have a higher risk of miscarriage than someone without PCOS. You also have a risk of blood glucose problems that your doctor may want you to check daily before eating. Your provider may also suggest you see a nutrition therapist. This to help you get the correct nutrients for you and your baby.
While I do have PCOS I have been working on my weight because the more overweight you are the worse the symptoms can be. I do consider myself lucky because my symptoms are very mild compared to some that have severe cases. I do experience sometimes some very bad pain with my cysts but I manage. To anyone who deals with PCOS I understand your pain and I am here for you. ❤