Excerpt: There’s a lot of misinformation about PCOS—whether it’s online or through friends and family. While it’s a common condition (nearly 27% of women between the ages of 15-44 years have PCOS), young women with PCOS tend to worry about things that are either completely false or partially correct. Here’s why we’ve put together a list of frequently heard myths and provided medically verified facts so that you’re armed with the right information about your health.
Myth #1: Only women with cysts on their ovaries will develop PCOS.
Fact: The name polycystic ovary syndrome is deceptive, Veera ladies! Not all women who have PCOS have cysts on their ovaries—the reality is that PCOS covers a broad range of metabolic and reproductive abnormalities. Also, having a cyst on your ovaries doesn’t automatically mean that you have PCOS. Polycystic ovaries have a characteristic look on ultrasound that a radiologist or your gynaecologist can identify. To be diagnosed with PCOS, a woman must show at least two of the three symptoms—an excess of male hormones, irregular periods, and polycystic ovaries. If you display these symptoms, make sure you consult a doctor.
Myth # 2: It’s impossible to lose weight if you have PCOS.
Fact: While it is tougher to lose weight if you have PCOS, it doesn’t mean that you should give up all hope. If you’re looking to shed some kilos, commit to a disciplined lifestyle with a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Switch to foods with fewer carbohydrates and saturated fats—think fruits, grains, and starchy vegetables. Insulin-lowering medications such as metformin can also complement your weight loss regime and help prevent the onset of diabetes.
Myth # 3: PCOS is not linked to other medical conditions. Treating PCOS itself is enough.
Fact: The unfortunate truth is that PCOS does it make it more likely to suffer from other conditions.
- Since PCOS is linked to obesity and an imbalance in hormones, women with PCOS are more prone to diabetes and heart disease
- Women with PCOS may be more likely to have mood disorders, like depression and anxiety, compared to women without PCOS
- Because of fewer periods, women with untreated PCOS symptoms may also have an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer
Be aware of these related conditions and continue to seek medical help if you need it.
Myth #4: You can’t get pregnant if you have PCOS.
Fact: PCOS may make it more difficult to get pregnant because ovulation is irregular in women with PCOS. However, women with PCOS can still get pregnant! Take a deep breath of relief. Women who actively take control of their lifestyle, such as exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet and regulating blood sugar levels, can start to ovulate regularly and may have children without any external treatment. There are also fertility treatments (e.g. follicle-stimulating drugs) that doctors can prescribe that assist women with PCOS to conceive.
Disclaimer: Content on Veera is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, or as a substitute for medical advice given by a physician