Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) affects 1 in 10 women of child berthing age. The easy explanation of PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that effects your metabolism, physical appearance and overall health. If not taken care of, it can lead to more issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, and endometrial cancer.
PCOS can be regulated by eating the correct foods and exercise. Changing these habits may not cure all of your issues but it should help with the majority of them. If you have the following symptoms, please see a doctor to discuss.
This was the original symptom that alerted my doctor to investigate further. I was diagnosed late with PCOS due to birth control. I had an irregular period at 18 years old but birth control was the easy answer. I stayed on birth control until I was 31 and was with my husband. My periods were still irregular and that is what alerted my doctor. She asked about some other symptoms and performed an ultra sound to find multiple cysts in my ovarian tubes. My periods were about 4 months apart but I have heard from other women that they go a year without a period.
One of the most unattractive parts of PCOS. As stated above, PCOS will change your overall appearance. One of those, is excessive growth of facial hair including hair similar to a man’s beard and mustache. The hairs come in thick and dark. You could opt for laser removal or waxing to help with this issue. I have a lot of peach fuzz on my face that could be waxed but I haven’t decided to go that route yet, in fear that it will come back darker.
Male Pattern Baldness – Hair loss
This is one that I am struggling with the most currently and is the one that made me decide to make a change. My hair comes out in 20 + strands every time I brush my hair or take a shower. It is excessive!! I am still trying to figure out how to make this slow down (if you know of a way to help, please let me know!). My hair started coming out like crazy this summer and is finally what pushed me over the edge to lose the weight and become healthier. Before PCOS, my hair shed at a few strands a day but this summer, it was coming out in excessive amounts.
Weight Gain – hard to lose weight
After coming off birth control I quickly got to my heaviest weight. I gained almost 50 pounds. The hormone imbalance effects our metabolism and causes issues with insulin. Most women with PCOS have an insulin resistance meaning that food doesn’t get turned into energy. Women that are overweight and have PCOS have a greater chance of Type 2 Diabetes. I lost 30 pounds in 14 weeks with Kym Campbell’s free 30 day challenge. Her challenge gave me the guidelines to change my eating habits for the better. I am still on my weight loss journey.
PCOS is a hormonal imbalance, it means we produce more androgens and not enough progesterone. All women produce androgens but PCOS women produce more androgens. This is what causes the male pattern baldness and unwanted facial hair. Another symptom of overproducing androgens is acne. This could be on your face, neck, back, and legs. Over the summer, I noticed that my acne increased on my face and back.
If you have these symptoms, see a doctor as soon as you can to make sure. As you can see, PCOS is an attractive syndrome, NOT! Most of the symptoms are embarrassing as a woman. The good news is, you are not alone. There are a lot of us out there with you! If you get diagnosed by a doctor with PCOS, stay positive! You can fight it and there is help. There are several support groups, especially on Facebook, and tons of information on the internet. The support groups can answer any questions you have and have no judgement because they have been there themselves.
While PCOS is an ugly syndrome, you can change your habits to make the symptoms better. You can still get pregnant and have the family you want, it will just be harder than someone who doesn’t have PCOS. Stay positive and let’s beat PCOS together.
This post was written as a guest post by Lisa of Let’s Go Somewhere McKinney. If you want to read more about Lisa’s story with PCOS please follow them! Twitter: @LGSomewhereMcK Instagram: @letsgosomewheremckinney