September is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) awareness month! It’s important to bring awareness to various diseases and syndromes such as this one so that we can rally together to share information and show support.
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that generally affects women of childbearing age and is one of the most common causes of infertility. The ovaries have two main functions, to produce and release eggs for fertilization each month and to produce the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone. They also produce relatively small amounts of androgens, or male hormones.
Women who suffer from PCOS produce a larger amount of androgens which can stop eggs from being released causing irregular periods and inconsistent or no ovulation at all. Some women may also experience cysts on the ovaries as a result of no ovulation. Below are some more facts on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome;
- An estimated 10-15% of women have PCOS
- 50% of women with PCOS do not know they have it
- Women with PCOS are often insulin resistant which causes their bodies to not use insulin effectively increasing their chance of developing type 2 diabetes
- Common signs and symptoms include irregular periods, excessive facial and body hair, severe acne, anxiety, depression, infertility, weight gain, and hair loss
- Women with PCOS are at a higher risk endometrial, ovarian, and breast cancer
- If overweight, weight loss can help to treat symptoms and improve the chances of getting pregnant
- PCOS may be genetic, it is common for sisters or mother and daughter to have PCOS
- Increased inflammation in the body has been linked to PCOS
- Research has shown that what you eat can have a significant impact on PCOS and symptoms
- Slow digesting carbohydrates such as quinoa, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, legumes, nuts, apples, pears, grapes
- There is no cure for PCOS but symptoms can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes
PCOS is a common hormone problem that affects more women than we think. Although there is no cure, symptoms of PCOS can be managed with medication and a healthy diet. You can show your support by sharing information to bring awareness to PCOS.