In Sunday’s post I’d mentioned how one thing I was going to spend time commemorating this week was PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, because September just happens to be PCOS Awareness Month and I just happen to have incredible insight into this sad and frustrating disorder.
By basic definition PCOS is an endocrine, hormonal disorder. Different studies note varied numbers, but it is estimated that 10% of women, of reproductive age, are effected by this disorder. Why is this only an estimated number? The symptoms all too often are mistaken for other disorders, quite a few women avoid going to a doctor (or can’t afford so), and to be quite honest, a good number of doctors don’t actually know enough about PCOS to effectively diagnose and treat.
- Absence of ovulation, or irregular menstrual cycles
- Over production of androgen hormones, or testosterone
- Too much testosterone = acne and unwanted hair in unwanted places
- Insulin resistance which may cause an excess amount of weight, which of course could lead to diabetes or heart problems
- Anxiety, depression, and general feeling of defeat
Celebrities noted to have PCOS: Victoria (Posh Spice) Beckham, Jillian Michaels, and Jules Oliver … and these are only a couple that have opened up to the public about their disorder.
If you are experiencing symptoms please see a doctor. I also encourage you to do your research and don’t settle for the first doctor that wants to cover your symptoms up with birth control. Every case is different, and unfortunately there isn’t one pill that works for all. Also, don’t be ashamed or get frustrated, you are NOT alone. At least 1 in 10 women know your story.
For those that don’t suffer I beg you to be aware. There is an unfortunate chance that your wife, friend, co-worker, sister, hair dresser, etc. is suffering and could probably use someone to talk to that knows and understands at a base level. Use it as a conversation starter between you and your girlfriends. “You haven’t gotten your period in three months and aren’t sexually active? Have you heard of PCOS?”
Anyone in the medical profession: Nothing is worse than a blank stare when someone tells you they have this. Please stay current in your studies and be educated. Know how to refer someone to a doctor that knows better if you aren’t sure or this isn’t your specialty.
NOTE: I am not a doctor and anything you read in this post are from personal experiences and the resources listed below.
Spread the word and be aware of what your body may be fighting to tell you. xoxo ‘n lols, crystal