What The Hell is PCOS?!

Most of you are dying to know.  It’s not something that is talked about like it should be so I understand that a lot of people that I talk to about my infertility don’t know what PCOS stands for. “Kat, I don’t mean to sound ignorant but what is PCOS?” This question makes me smile honestly. I don’t think it’s ignorant at all to not know. I think it’s societies fault that woman have not been properly educated. I get it, infertility is scary. Terrifying. But it needs to be discussed so that women like me don’t feel alone. So what is pcos?

PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It is a hormone disorder causing enlarged ovaries will small cysts on the edges. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that affects one in 10 women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health and appearance. PCOS is also a common and treatable cause of infertility. Painful right? RIGHT. So what are the symptoms of PCOS?

Symptoms of PCOS:

abnormal menstruation,
absence of menstruation
heavy menstruation
irregular menstruation
short and light menstruation or spotting
obesity
overweight or weight gain
acne or oily skin
infertility,
depression
inappropriate male features
loss of scalp hair, or unwanted hair
What Causes PCOS? 
Unfortunately, the exact cause of PCOS is not known but there are several factors that doctors feel contribute to PCOS in women.
High testosterone levels:  This is why it is common for women with PCOS to have “male-traits” like unwanted hair, hair loss, and acne.
High insulin levels: Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance, especially those who are overweight or obese, have unhealthy eating habits, do not get enough physical activity, and have a family history of diabetes.
How is PCOS Treated? 

There is no cure for PCOS, but you can manage the symptoms. You and your doctor will work on a treatment plan based on your symptoms, your plans for children, and your risk for long-term health problems. Many women will need a combination of treatments, including:

  • Weightloss – diet and exercise
  • Birth Control
  • Fertility Treatments

How does PCOS Affect My Fertility?

PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women. In fact, 1 in 10 women suffer from PCOS.  The hormone imbalance can cause a lack of ovulation which will keep the woman from being able to get pregnant. No egg no baby. It also means that the chance of miscarriage is higher in woman with this disease than it is for someone that is “normal.”

I could go into multiple posts on what PCOS is and how it’s different for everyone, but I think you would all get tired of reading. What’s important is that women become educated on not only this disease, but all of the issues that threaten a woman’s fertility. Yes, it’s scary and most people don’t want to talk about it, but your silence is doing more harm than good. Talk about it, and most importantly listen to your friends and family that want to talk. Be there for them.

Remember, if you are struggling with infertility, you are not broken. You are not worthless. You are a warrior.

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To learn more:
 https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/polycystic-ovary-syndrome
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