Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that causes hormonal imbalances, metabolism issues, irregular menstrual cycles and infertility. PCOS is a syndrome, or group of symptoms that affects the ovaries with three primary features. These features include cysts in the ovaries, excessive male hormones and irregular or non-existent menstrual cycles. Although this is a relatively common condition, many women are misdiagnosed or go undiagnosed. In honor of PCOS awareness month, our experts are debunking 5 of the most common myths and misconceptions.
Myth: The only symptom of PCOS is infertility.
Fact: While 70-80% of women with PCOS experience infertility, it is certainly not the only symptom. Other common symptoms include excess facial and body hair, female pattern hair loss on the scalp or baldness, acne, weight gain, and heavy bleeding.
Myth: PCOS is a rare condition.
Fact: PCOS is anything but rare – in fact, it is one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders for women among childbearing age. This condition affects 1 in 10 women within reproductive age, with most discovering the condition in their 20’s and 30’s when they begin trying to get pregnant. It’s estimated that about half of women with PCOS are diagnosed correctly, meaning that there are millions more women are undiagnosed.
Myth: PCOS only affects overweight women.
Fact: While up to 80% of women with PCOS are considered overweight or obese, this does not affect everyone. If it’s assumed that women of a healthier weight are unaffected by PCOS, it only increases the rate of misdiagnosis. PCOS does not discriminate and affects women of all shapes and sizes. Weight gain in women with PCOS is caused by the body’s inability to use insulin, which is the primary reason weight loss is a common recommendation.
Myth: Losing weight cures PCOS.
Fact: Maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial for many reasons and can certainly help manage some symptoms of PCOS however, there is no cure. By incorporating regular exercise into your routine and eating a balanced diet, you can maintain a healthier weight and help increase your body’s ability to use insulin and regulate hormonal balances. Many PCOS patients are also prescribed diabetic medications such as Metformin, to help improve the body’s response to insulin.
Myth: Women with PCOS can’t get pregnant.
Fact: Infertility is one of the most common side effects of PCOS and is often the reason for diagnosis, but it does not mean that getting pregnant isn’t a possibility. Some can conceive naturally with PCOS, so With the help of fertility specialists, growing your family is within reach. Treatments that range from ovulation induction and intrauterine insemination (IUI) to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) are suitable options that can overcome barriers like lack of ovulation.
Seeking Help To Conceive
For couples seeking fertility treatment in the New Jersey region, the experts at South Jersey Fertility Center can help. Contact us today at 856-596-2233.