Lifestyle

Six signs you might have PCOS – and don’t even know it!

If you’ve been trying to fall pregnant without any luck, you might want to get checked for Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) - the leading cause of infertility in women… and it often goes undetected.

This quick Q&A covers all the questions you should be asking about this common condition.

Who is at risk? This genetic, hormone, metabolic and reproductive disorder affects women and girls of reproductive age and affects around 1 in 10 women. Yet, PCOS is still one of the most underdiagnosed conditions around. In fact, only 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed. In short, there’s a fair chance you might have it – and a good chance you don’t realise it!

What causes PCOS? It starts with a reproductive hormone imbalance, which leads to the development of small cysts (sacs of fluid) along the outer edge of the ovary. These cysts are filled with immature eggs called follicles. These eggs may not develop as they should, or they may not be released during ovulation as they should, leading to a host of symptoms and complications.

How do I know if I might have it? PCOS tends to fly under the radar because the signs can be easy to miss or mistaken for something else.  There are the top six symptoms to look out for:

  1. Infertility: The average woman can expect to release around 300 – 400 eggs to be ovulated over their lifetime, but not all of these will ripen and mature. Commonly, with PCOS there is an imbalance in female sex hormones, which may prevent the development and release of mature eggs. Without a mature egg, ovulation, as well as pregnancy, cannot occur.
  2. Irregular periods: PCOS affects ovulation, therefore you may not ovulate every month and have irregular periods. With PCOS it is common to have periods that are more than 35 days apart, and/or for periods to last longer than they typically should.
  3. Excess facial and body hair: Hirsutism – a condition causing excessive hair growth in a male-like pattern in women – is a common PCOS symptom. Women may notice dark hair growth on their face, chest and back. This excess hair growth arises from excess male hormones androgen and testosterone.
  4. Weight gain: PCOS makes it more difficult for the body to use its insulin hormones to convert sugars and starches from foods into energy, known as insulin-resistance. This  can cause insulin and sugar to build up in the bloodstream, which in turn, can lead to an increased production of the male hormone androgen – a common cause of weight gain. PCOS sufferers may also struggle to lose weight.
  5. Acne: When you have PCOS, you are likely to have high levels of the hormone androgen (known as hyperandrogenism). Hyperandrogenism causes the glands in the skin to produce an excess of oil (sebum), which can lead to clogged pores and inflammation – hello, acne!
  6. Anxiety and depression: Studies show that 27% – 50% of women who suffer from PCOS report experiencing feelings of depression and anxiety, compared to around 19% of women who do not have PCOS. There are various reasons for this: depression is often linked to: insulin-resistance; stress; inflammation; and obesity – all of which are linked to PCOS.

Is there a cure? Unfortunately not, but there are treatment options to overcome the symptoms and prevent or reduce the risks of developing related diseases such as diabetes, obesity and endometrial cancer. The all-natural supplement, Ovaria, is clinically proven to assist in restoring your menstrual cycle and increase ovulation rate to enhance your fertility in as little as 16 weeks!

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