Wellness Warrior

What is PCOS and how can I manage it better?

Every single woman who has been diagnosed with PCOS has been here. Hopping on to Google trying to find out exactly what PCOS is. Well ladies, this one is for you. Here is everything I needed to know about what is PCOS and how can I manage it.

What is PCOS and how can I manage it

What is PCOS and how can I manage it?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. PCOS causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. It is a common health condition that affects millions of women worldwide. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but it is believed to be related to insulin resistance, which can lead to an overproduction of androgens (the male sex hormones). This can cause abnormal periods, excessive hair growth, acne, and difficulty getting pregnant.

Myths surrounding PCOS.

There are several myths surrounding PCOS that can hinder understanding and treatment. One of the most common myths is that all women with PCOS have cysts on their ovaries. In fact, the presence of cysts is not always necessary for a diagnosis of PCOS.

Another common myth is that only overweight women can have PCOS. While being overweight can exacerbate PCOS symptoms, thin women can also have the condition.

Another myth is that PCOS always causes infertility. While it can make it more difficult to conceive, many women with PCOS are able to become pregnant with treatment.

Finally, there is a myth that PCOS is not a serious condition. PCOS can lead to long-term health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and endometrial cancer if not properly managed.

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What are the symptoms of PCOS?

The symptoms of PCOS may vary from woman to woman, but the most common symptoms include irregular periods, infertility, excessive hair growth, weight gain, acne, and oily skin.

Some women may experience less frequent periods or even miss periods altogether. This is because of the abnormal levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones. The excess androgen hormone in the body may lead to excessive hair growth on the face, chest, and back. Such growth is called hirsutism and can be embarrassing for some women.

Another symptom of PCOS is acne. Women with the condition have oily skin that leads to pimples and blackheads. Additionally, PCOS is frequently associated with weight gain, which can be a vicious cycle because weight gain can worsen the condition.

Infertility is another symptom of PCOS as it affects the ovulation process in women. Women with PCOS often have more follicles than usual in their ovaries. These follicles may form small cysts, making it difficult for the ovaries to release an egg for fertilization.

A few more symptoms:

  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Heavy bleeding during periods
  • Excessive hair growth on face, chest, or back (Hirsutism)
  • Acne on face or back
  • Obesity or difficulty losing weight
  • Diabetes or insulin resistance
  • High blood pressure
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Infertility
  • Depression, anxiety or mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep apnea
  • Skin tags or dark patches on skin

How can you manage your symptoms?

Managing PCOS is all about taking care of yourself physically and mentally. By making healthy lifestyle choices, reducing stress, and seeking medical treatment when necessary, you can effectively manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Losing weight can help regulate your menstrual cycle and improve insulin resistance, which is often associated with PCOS.
  • Exercise regularly: Exercising can also help you manage your weight and regulate your menstrual cycle. It can also reduce insulin resistance and improve your overall health.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Eating a balanced and nutritious diet can help you manage your symptoms. Focus on foods that are low in saturated fat, high in fiber, and rich in nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
  • Manage stress: Stress can exacerbate PCOS symptoms, so it’s important to find ways to manage it. Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
  • Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can also trigger PCOS symptoms, so try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Consult with your healthcare provider: Your healthcare provider can offer medication to manage your symptoms, such as birth control pills to regulate your menstrual cycle or medication to improve insulin resistance.

How does PCOS affect fertility?

Yes it can, but it’s not all bad. For women with PCOS who are trying to conceive, there are several ways to manage the condition and increase the chances of pregnancy. One effective way is to use ovulation-inducing medications. Medication stimulates the ovaries to produce eggs and improves the chances of conception.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is also an option for women with PCOS who struggle with infertility. This process involves retrieving eggs from the ovaries, fertilizing them with sperm outside the body, and then transferring the resulting embryo into the uterus.

In conclusion, PCOS can significantly affect fertility and make it challenging for women to conceive naturally. However, several treatments and lifestyle modifications can help manage the condition and increase the chances of pregnancy.

  • Maintain a healthy weight through regular exercise and balanced nutrition.
  • Limit consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars.
  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
  • Discuss potential medications with a doctor.
  • Track ovulation using ovulation predictor kits or basal body temperature tracking.
  • Stay informed and educated about PCOS and fertility treatments.
  • Consider acupuncture or other natural therapies.
  • Practice stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation or mindfulness.
  • Seek fertility counseling or support groups for emotional support and advice.

How to lower stress levels for the management of PCOS.

Reducing stress is an essential part of managing PCOS symptoms. The below strategies for reducing stress can help to improve quality of life and promote overall wellbeing.

  • Exercise: Regular physical activity can help manage insulin levels, which helps in controlling blood sugar levels and weight gain in women with PCOS. Exercise also helps reduce stress and anxiety, improves mood, and promotes better sleep.
  • Mindfulness and Meditation: Mindfulness practices like meditation, deep breathing, and yoga have been shown to significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in women with PCOS. These practices improve the ability to cope with PCOS symptoms, increase resilience, and promote a sense of calmness.
  • Deep breathing: Stress can trigger a “fight or flight response” in the body, which increases the heart rate and breathing. Practicing deep breathing exercises can help to slow down the heart rate and reduce the level of stress hormones in the body.
  • Healthy diet: Eating a healthy balanced diet can help to manage insulin resistance and weight gain in PCOS. A diet rich in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates helps to reduce inflammation, improve mood, and increase energy levels.
  • Social support: Women with PCOS benefit from having a support system. Connecting with family and friends, joining a support group or seeking therapy can help to reduce stress and anxiety related to PCOS. Sharing experiences and learning from others can help to reduce feelings of isolation.

Can PCOS be cured?

Medication can be prescribed to help regulate the menstrual cycle, lower insulin levels and decrease the symptoms of hirsutism and acne.

However, symptoms of PCOS may never disappear completely. Even with proper management, some women with PCOS experience amenorrhea, which is a lack of menstrual periods, which can lead to infertility. Therefore, it is important to maintain regular check-ups with a healthcare professional to manage symptoms and treat complications that may arise due to the disorder.

While PCOS cannot be cured completely, with the right management and a healthy lifestyle, the symptoms can be controlled, and women can live healthy, productive lives.

Conclusion.

Having PCOS can be scary. It unknown and there are so many different stories out there. From people who barely deal with symptoms to woman not being able to handle the symptoms anymore. Making sure you live a healthy lifestyle will give you the best chance at managing your symptoms successfully.

You are not alone.

Happy Living,

Your Wellness Warrior.

3 thoughts on “What is PCOS and how can I manage it better?”

  1. Pingback: The best diet for PCOS (2023). - Wellness Warrior

  2. Pingback: 5 Types of food for good fertility.

  3. Pingback: The powerful benefits of apple cider vinegar for PCOS.

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