One in five women have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
Most women with PCOS do not know they have it.
PCOS causes irregular periods, irregular ovulation and can cause fertility problems. However, most people, including professionals, know too little about the condition.
You need to know about PCOS because it could affect your chances of getting pregnant or affect the risk of miscarriage or other complications during pregnancy.
Imagine 5 females in a room. (You and 4 other adult women you know.) If the 5 of you represented the world’s female population, one of you would have PCOS. This is how common it is!
If your gynecologist tells you that you do not look like a person who has PCOS this is a sign that you should visit another specialist.
You might have PCOS if you:
- have irregular periods and/or heavy bleeding
- are overweight, underweight or anything in-between (a common misconception is that you need to be overweight to have PCOS, however, the symptoms often increase with weight gain which is good to know)
- have bad skin or increased body hair
(You can have only one of the symptoms or all of them.)
Please note, irregular periods can also be a symptom of Hyperthyroidism (excess thyroid hormone.) Irregular periods can also be a sign of something else. Speak to your doctor about which tests to take.
Hormonal birth control can hide symptoms of hormonal imbalances like PCOS
It is not uncommon for PCOS to be misdiagnosed or inefficiently treated. If you suspect you might have PCOS, make sure you see an experienced specialist in the field and investigate how the treatment may vary depending on in which country you live.
Allergies can worsen the symptoms
You can find gynecologists in the US or in Brazil that will tell you that the symptoms of PCOS can increase if you are consuming gluten, without being aware that you have a sensitivity. Being sensitive or allergic to gluten does not mean you have to have celiac disease which is much easier to diagnose. If you can only find celiac disease tests in your country, you can look into tests like cyrex array 3 which can be performed internationally.
If you want to get pregnant, talk to your doctor about which lifestyle changes you can make before asking a specialist for ovulation stimulation.
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