PCOS is a fairly common condition in women (1 in 10), however there are many misconceptions out there about it. Check out these 7 myths about PCOS…
PCOS = infertility.
Having PCOS does not mean you are infertile. PCOS is a common cause of infertility due to the hormonal imbalances in the body blocking ovulation. PCOS women are still able to fall pregnant, and may or may not need a little help from their doctor.
You must have ovarian cysts if you have PCOS.
Wrong! The Rotterdam diagnostic criteria for PCOS requires 2 out of 3 of the following;
- Irregular menstrual cycles, AND
- Hyperandrogenism (excluding other causes), OR
- Polycystic Ovaries on an ultrasound*
*You do not need to have cysts on ovaries to have PCOS and cysts on the ovaries does not mean you have PCOS.
You have to be overweight to have PCOS.
Incorrect! In fact about 20% or more women present as healthy or underweight and are categorised as having lean PCOS.
There’s no cure for PCOS so there’s nothing you can do about it.
So soo wrong! It is true that there is no cure for PCOS, however, there are many ways to manage your PCOS and reduce your symptoms, including exercise, diet and supplements, some medications**, stress management and positive sleep behaviours.
**This depends on the underlying driver of PCOS. See Finding Your Root Cause of PCOS.
If you’re not trying to conceive there’s no need to worry about PCOS.
Unfortunately, PCOS can increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and anxiety and depression. If you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS it is important to manage your condition to reduce your risk of developing other chronic health conditions.
All symptoms of PCOS are the same for every woman.
Not true. There are many symptoms of PCOS and you won’t experience all of them, or even experience them to the same extent that another woman does.
(Symptoms can include: irregular periods, hair loss, unwanted hair growth, acne, bloating, weight gain, mood swings, irritability, fatigue, or even loss of libido.)
There is a one size fits all way to manage PCOS.
As mentioned before, there are different drivers of PCOS, as well as differing symptoms, and most importantly… different outcome goals. Therefore managing PCOS will be different for each woman. If you’re looking to get pregnant your journey will look very different to if you’re looking to reduce your symptoms, or improve your health outcomes.
This is why it is so important to work with YOUR body and tailor your management plan to YOUR goals. And if needed working with health professionals who understand you and what you’re going through.
And there you have it! 7 myths about PCOS busted!
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