Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects women’s hormones, metabolism and reproduction. Not only is it the number one cause of infertility in women, but it is also an early sign of a serious health condition that can harm your overall health.
PCOS is marked by having an excess of androgens – a male hormone. The ovaries commonly create small collections of fluid (follicles) which keeps them from releasing eggs and consequentially affects fertility. A women’s monthly cycle is often affected and anovulation can occur although it is possible to have a recurring cycle but still not ovulate.
Creating PCOS Awareness is all about helping women affected by PCOS to triumph over their symptoms so they can lessen their odds of succumbing to life-endangering medical conditions including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, endometrial cancer and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
PCOS Awareness Month Goals
- Raising awareness and education surrounding PCOS in the public in general, women, girls, and workers in the healthcare field.
- Supporting the diagnosis and treatment of PCOS.
- Getting out PCOS information about the diagnosis and treatment options available.
- Supporting those women and girls with POCS to have a better quality of life and outcome.
- Encouraging continuing research, bettering treatment and care and finding a cure.
- Raising awareness about the struggles of PCOS in women and girls.
- Getting medical researchers and healthcare professionals to keep researching and offering help to those with PCOS.
- Making PCOS a public health priority.
Signs of PCOS
So how do you know if you have PCOS? Maybe you’ve missed one or more periods or are suddenly breaking out. Experts strongly believe it has a genetic marker because it’s linked to imbalances in your hormones as well as insulin resistance, affecting 5-10% of women who are of reproductive age, not to mention the countless women who aren’t even diagnosed. How can PCOS affect you on your fertility journey?
- Experiencing few or highly irregular periods
- Having tiny cysts around the outer edges of ovaries which are enlarged
- Experiencing weight gain or having problems losing weight
- Having excessive facial hair or baldness
- Having trouble getting pregnant or having infertility
- Low levels of energy and constantly feeling tired
- Constant bouts of acne and headaches
- Experiencing pelvic pain
Even though we don’t know the exact cause of PCOS, blood tests can show us your hormone levels while an ultrasound can show us follicles on your ovaries. You might have it if other women in your family have it, your cells are resistant to insulin, you have excess androgen or you struggle with obesity and inflammation.
Possible PCOS Treatment
- Stop smoking to lessen androgen levels
- Exercise to help your body better use insulin
- Eat a healthy diet for more balanced hormones
- Lose even just 5-10% of your total body weight
- Take medications such as birth control pills, a fertility drug or medication to regulate blood sugar and insulin
It’s important to seek treatment for PCOS if you struggle with the conditions we have talked about today. Our Idaho Fertility Center team and board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologists are ready to help you find the answers you are looking for in your quest for better reproductive health and overall health. Understanding and seeking treatment for PCOS is one way to transform your life and your odds of conception!
For more information
Visit the PCOS Awareness Association at https://pcosaa.org
Take the PCOS QUIZ:
Check Out PCOS Events