If you are a woman reading this blog, we bet you have heard about PCOS. You may have read about it in the magazine and on the internet. It is even possible that one of your friends may have it. PCOS has become so common that it’d be a surprise not to know anyone who is diagnosed with PCOS. 

 Your friend may have got tested for PCOS, and she knew she had it. But what about those women who never got tested for it? PCOS is more common than you think, you may even have it but you wouldn’t be aware of it. 

Well, PCOS doesn’t have any serious consequences, at least in the long run. That’s why it usually goes unnoticed for years and years. So, how would you know you have PCOS? 

Well, obviously there are tests that you need to undergo. But there may also be symptoms that you must notice. It is also important that you know everything there is to know about PCOS. Remember, everything starts with knowledge. 

So, let’s get started, shall we? 

Things you probably don’t know about PCOS 

What happens inside the body when you have PCOS 

Polycystic ovary syndrome, abbreviated as PCOS is a hormonal issue that occurs during the reproductive years of women. 

If you have PCOS, you may not have periods very often. Or you may have periods that last many days. PCOS happens when the body releases an excess amount of hormone called androgen. This causes an imbalance of reproductive hormones in the body. Consequently, the ovaries may find it difficult to release healthy eggs. When these eggs are not released, they turn into cysts, which are many small sacs of fluid that develop along the outer edge of the ovary. 

Known symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, infertility, and high levels of androgen. 

No one knows what causes it 

Here’s something that nobody knows. There is still a lack of conclusive research citing the exact cause of PCOS. We’re not sure what causes this overproduction of androgen in the body. However, what is assumed is that it is genetic. It may also be caused because of excess of male hormones and irregular ovulation in the body. But these are just theories which require more research to arrive at any conclusive evidence.

Most people suffering from PCOS may have depression

We know that there are several reasons one may have depression, but who knew PCOS could be one of them? 

As per research, depression is 4x more common in people suffering from PCOS than those who are not. The exact cause remains unknown, yet it may have something to do with the psychological impact associated with poor body image. A woman with PCOS may most likely have facial hair, overall body hair and male pattern balding, all of which can cause psychological struggles that may contribute to depression. 

A large number of people suffering from PCOS are insulin-resistant

Turns out, those suffering from PCOS can be insulin resistant. Insulin resistance happens when the body fails to utilise insulin efficiently, making women more susceptible to Type 2 diabetes.  

That said, Insulin resistance is an essential feature of both lean and obese PCOS. High insulin can impact ovulation and cause the ovaries to produce excess testosterone

PCOS doesn’t only affect reproductive health 

Although infertility and irregular menstrual cycle are the most common consequences of PCOS, the medical condition does not only affect reproductive health, but general well-being. It is often linked with metabolic issues.

Consequently, women suffering from PCOS are at a high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and fatty liver disease. 

Milk supply can be affected in nursing mothers

If you are a nursing mother, it is observed that your milk supply may be impacted if you are suffering from PCOS. Consequently, you may find It difficult to breastfeed. Hormone imbalance can be one of the reasons why. This may cause improper development of the breast tissue. 

You may have Vitamin B12 deficiency 

Most of us are vitamin B12 deficient but are still unaware of it. If you are suffering from PCOS, chances are high that you may have vitamin B12 deficiency. However, this may apply if you’re on medications. Some of the medicines, including contraceptive pills and Metformin can interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12. 

You must note that vitamin B12 deficiency may develop complications, if left untreated. These complications may include nerve and neurological damage.

It is advisable to take vitamin B12 supplements if you’re on medications after the approval of your doctor.  But first, you must get a blood test to check if you’re genuinely vitamin B12 deficient. 

Closing thoughts 

While PCOS can affect the general well-being, reproductive health and many other complications, it may come as a relief that PCOS can be managed. Medicines surely help, but lifestyle changes are the driving factor. If you think you’re suffering from PCOS, you must get a health checkup and see your doctor immediately. Your medical practitioner is the best person to tell you more about PCOS as well as the treatment plan.

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