18 Jul 2018
PCOS: DO YOU HAVE IT?
18 Jul 2018
I’m seeing more and more women coming to me, confused about their cycles and their hormones, and their doctor told them they didn’t have PCOS because there wasn’t any cysts on their ovaries.
PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Which can be confusing, because you don’t ACTUALLY have to have any cysts on your ovaries to have PCOS. It is actually quite common, with 12-21% of women having PCOS, but sadly over 70% of these women going undiagnosed.
PCOS is not only an female endocrine disorder but it also impacts your metabolic and cardiovascular health. There are many different signs and symptoms, and you don’t have to have all of them – each woman is different and the condition is more of a spectrum.
Signs & Symptoms of PCOS:
If you experience any of the following, it may be worth a conversation with your doctor:
- Irregular or absent periods
- Really long menstrual cycles, greater than 40 days (could also potentially vary in length)
- Weight gain, especially around your abdomen, that’s difficult to lose
- Hair growth in places women should not be growing dark, coarse hairs (like your chin, upper lip, nipples, chest).
- Male pattern hair loss
- Cystic acne along the jaw, also might have acne on the shoulders, chest and back
- Greasy skin/hair
How to Diagnose:
In order to be formally diagnosed with PCOS, you need to have 2 of the following criteria:
Anovulation or Oligoovulation – meaning no ovulation or sporadic, irregular ovulatory cycles
Hyperandrogenism or high testosterone
Cysts visible on ovaries during pelvic ultrasound
This means that with a pelvic ultrasound, specific lab work should be done to rule it in or rule it out.
If any of this is making you go, “hmmm, that might be me”, then it might be time to do some investigation. Stay tuned for my next blogs letting you know the lab work you need if you suspect PCOS as well some natural treatment and diet options you should consider if you’ve been diagnosed.
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