Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects 10-15% of women in the world, and most of them get diagnosed with it in their late teens or twenties. Women with PCOS produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones and insulin. Due to hormonal imbalance, they tend to skip their periods and also suffer from insulin resistance, which results in hair growth on the face and body, and baldness on the scalp. It also contributes to long-term health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and mental illnesses. Other common symptoms include irregular periods, heavy bleeding, cramps, weight gain, acne, dark patches on the skin and headaches.
Dr. Esha Chainani (MBBS, MS, FMAS) is an obstetrician, gynaecologist and laparoscopic surgeon practising in Mumbai. She’s the founder Premaa - a non-profit that works towards reducing maternal morbidity and thus, maternal mortality, by providing low-income pregnant women living in urban areas access to medically sound information on contraception and reproductive health. She’s on a mission to break the stigma around the sexual health of women, and has published several articles and research papers on these topics in esteemed publications, apart from actively spreading awareness on her Instagram page. Today, she’s here to bust 5 common myths about PCOS. Read on…
Myth 1: PCOS Can Be Reversed
Truth: PCOS is not just a hormonal imbalance, but a systemic syndrome that affects far more than your menstrual cycle. It causes abnormalities in the level of hormones like insulin and androgens, which cannot be reversed or cured. The symptoms can be managed to avoid long term complications like diabetes, lipid problems, hypertension and infertility.
Myth 2: If I Have Polycystic Ovaries On My Sonography That Means I Have PCOS
Truth: To diagnose PCOS you need at least 2 out of 3 of these symptoms:
1. Irregular periods
2. Polycystic ovaries on sonography
3. Androgenic symptoms like acne, hair loss, hair growth on the face called hirsutism
So just because you may have polycystic ovaries does not mean you have PCOS.
Myth 3: If I Have PCOS that means I will have infertility
Truth: Absolutely untrue. Every woman with PCOS does not suffer from infertility.
PCOS makes it difficult for some women to ovulate and conceive, but it does not mean that you can never have a baby.
Myth 4: PCOS Was Caused Because Of My Lifestyle Choices
Truth: Please don’t blame yourself. Your PCOS has nothing to do with your diet or lifestyle choices. There is no certainty about what exactly causes PCOS, but it’s hypothesised to be passed on through genes. Those with a family history of PCOS, diabetes or dyslipidemia are more susceptible to it.
Myth 5: If I Have Irregular Periods It Means I Have PCOS
Truth: There are many causes for irregular periods, ranging from stress and changes in diet and lifestyle to thyroid disorders and PCOS. If you have irregular periods, please don’t assume that you have PCOS. Consult your gynaecologist to figure out why it’s happening.
Also read: 5 Myths About Menstruation Busted
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