Posted date on Sep 25, 2020
PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a constellation of symptoms that is pointing towards a metabolic and hormonal disorder. It is a fairly common condition which has one or more of the following symptoms:
-Androgen (male hormones) Excess
-Hirsutism (unwanted body hair in women)
-Hormonal Acne especially around the jawline
In Spite of being prevalent, it till date remains the least spoken about concern. Needless to say, the lack of awareness & understanding surrounding PCOS has led to spreading of several myths about it. To help PCOS patients be well informed about their condition, I decided to debunk some of the common PCOS myths. Here are some of them:
PCOS is a rare condition
PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is one of the most common conditions affecting 1 in 5 menstruating women all over the world.
You must have Polycystic Ovaries if you have PCOS
It is believed that if you have PCOS then you must be having cysts in your ovaries. But the truth is that out of a gamut of PCOS symptoms, cysts in ovaries is just one of them. You may or may not have cysts if you have PCOS and if you have cysts then it does not necessarily mean that you have PCOS.
One must do an ultrasound to detect PCOS
Since the presence of cysts is not a determining factor of the condition, you are not required to go for an ultrasound to know if you have PCOS. Your doctor will determine the same after asking you about your medical history and a thorough checkup.
You cannot get pregnant
Unfortunately many women are given the final verdict that they cannot get pregnant if they have PCOS. Yes, PCOS is one of the common causes of infertility as it affects the ability of ovaries to produce eggs that can be potentially fertilised. But there are many women suffering from PCOS who can both naturally and artificially (with fertility treatments) can get pregnant.
If you have Irregular menstrual cycle then you have PCOS
Irregular menstrual cycle can be caused by stress, excessive dieting, over exercising and not just PCOS. So it is wrong to assume that every woman with irregular periods has PCOS. Also, it is important to note that women with regular menstrual cycles can also have this condition. It is equally important to know that if periods are late than 40 days , then it is defined as oligomenorrhea or irregular cycles.
PCOS only affects obese and overweight women
Another popular belief is that PCOS only affects obese and overweight women. While they are certainly vulnerable to the condition, PCOS can very well affect women of all shapes and sizes. A good number of patients may suffer from ‘non obese PCOS”
PCOS patients should take birth control pills
PCOS needs a holistic approach to be controlled. While many doctors prescribe birth control pills to manage menstrual irregularities, a lifestyle change with respect to increase in exercise, consuming a healthy diet and living a stress free life can go a long way in controlling the disease.
It is easy to get upset with the myths but I would advise you to ask your doctor before believing anything and just follow a healthy lifestyle to fight PCOS.
PCOS is a battle that can be won. The need of the hour is to know the truth and work towards a healthier lifestyle. Don't hide those facial hair or acne. Treat them well in time to prevent long term scarring.