PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome affects at least 10% of women in the age group of 18 to 44 years. Although it is so common, several myths about PCOS make it harder for women to deal with the condition.
Here is a list of common PCOS myths and facts that will help you understand the condition better:
#1. Having PCOS means that you have cysts in your ovaries
From the name of the condition, this myth does not shock you. The fact is that while some women have cysts but do not suffer from PCOS, others may have PCOS but not any cysts on their ovaries.
#2. PCOS only affects women who are overweight
Women who have PCOS may be obese or overweight. It is because weight gain is a common symptom of the condition. It is essential to know the PCOS myths and facts related to body weight to take necessary precautionary measures. PCOS can also affect women who have healthy BMIs or are thin or even underweight. It is also important to note that women who are overweight or obese are often misdiagnosed. It could mask another health condition which is responsible for increased body weight.
#3. PCOS can be cured by weight loss
PCOS currently does not have a cure. However, losing weight can indeed help you manage the symptoms of PCOS better. A healthy lifestyle helps reduce insulin resistance, regularises the hormones and even lowers the blood sugar levels. It can also help normalise your menstrual cycle. While these results are seen by losing just 10% of body weight, the condition itself does not get cured through weight loss.
#4. It is impossible to have children if you have PCOS
PCOS myths and facts about infertility can lead to a lot of distress in women who suffer from the condition. While PCOS makes it harder to conceive, it does not mean that one can never have a baby. PCOS is a condition that interferes with your ovulation. Therefore, you can experience difficulty in getting pregnant. However, consulting a fertility specialist can help treat this issue. There are several fertility treatments that you can opt for today and increase the odds of having a baby, despite suffering from PCOS.
#5. Everyone with PCOS has to deal with unwanted body hair
Hirsutism, or growth of body or facial hair, is a common symptom of PCOS. It is the result of increased androgen levels in the body. However, not everyone with PCOS will experience this symptom. Factors like genetics or ethnicity are also known to be contributing factors when it comes to increased body hair when one has PCOS. Seed cycling which involves the consumption of ground flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds is a popular traditional remedy that can help prevent the growth of unwanted body hair and other hormone-related symptoms.
#6. Irregular periods equals PCOS
PCOS results in irregular periods. However, it is not the only cause of this symptom. Other issues like thyroid disorder, pelvic inflammatory disease, breastfeeding, or even extreme exercise and dieting can lead to irregular periods. It is vital to get all the tests done before you can conclude that you suffer from PCOS.
#7. PCOS comes with visible symptoms
There are times when PCOS is entirely asymptomatic. There are symptoms like mood swings, acne or irregular periods that people commonly associate with stress. This is why many women do not realise that they have PCOS before they experience severe issues like infertility. Because of a lack of knowledge about PCOS myths and facts, close to 70 per cent of women with PCOS are undiagnosed.
#8. Birth control pills are a must if you have PCOS
Birth control pills are one of the many medicines that are prescribed when one suffers from PCOS. The type of medication that is prescribed depends upon your goals and the symptoms. For women who wish to get pregnant, birth control pills are not recommended. Doctors try holistic measures like eating well, exercising or reducing stress to control the symptoms of PCOS. Supplements like Vitamin D or Omega-3 fatty acids are also recommended before conventional medication in most cases.
Women need to learn about PCOS myths and facts in detail to avoid unwanted complications and health issues.