LET’S TALK ABOUT WOMEN’S HEALTH: MISSING YOUR PERIOD FOR MONTHS COULD MEAN YOU HAVE PCOS
There are many reasons why a girl can miss her periods, but one of these could be the hormonal changes brought by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
All over the world, girls between 14 to 44 years old are affected by the drastic hormonal imbalance brought by the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or ‘PCOS.’ The World Health Organization even estimated that in 2021 alone, around 116 million women are affected by this disorder.
Despite the huge number, very little is known about the cause of PCOS. This is due to the lack of mainstream media coverage or the varying symptoms of the disorder.
So what really is PCOS? What are the signs that you have one? How could you get rid of PCOS? This article will answer these questions for you.
WHAT IS PCOS AND WHAT ARE THE SIGNS I HAVE IT?
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. As of this writing, the causes of PCOS remain unknown.
Women who are found to have PCOS experience infrequent, irregular, or prolonged menstrual cycles. If a woman decides to have her ovaries checked, the ultrasound may show enlarged ovaries with follicles that surround the egg. This may cause ovaries not to function regularly.
Hair growth and darkening of the skin in several parts of the body may also be noticed as women with PCOS also have excess androgen or male hormones.
Due to insulin resistance brought by PCOS, women with this disorder are more likely to be obese than others. Insulin resistance occurs when cells in the body fail to respond to the insulin produced by the pancreas.
Because of this, the pancreas produces a higher number of insulin in order to maintain a woman’s normal blood sugar levels. This may lead to more androgen production and weight gain.
PCOS could also take a toll on one’s mental health; According to a report presented by Columbia University School of Nursing professor Nancy Reame, PCOS complications “may be most responsible for psychiatric problems.”
“We were surprised to find that menstrual abnormalities in women with PCOS was the strongest predictor for mental health issues, particularly when there are so many other symptoms—like beard growth and infertility—that can make a woman feel unfeminine.”
The worst possible effect of PCOS is infertility or the inability to produce an offspring. With PCOS present, hormonal imbalances interfere with regular ovulation and when a woman’s ovaries do not release an egg, she would not be able to conceive.
FEAR NOT, YOU CAN FIGHT PCOS
If you suspect that you have PCOS, the next thing to do is consult a medical professional who could officially diagnose you.
As of this writing, the overall cure for PCOS does not yet exist, but women who have this disorder could battle the hormonal imbalances through different procedures.
After initial assessment, some gynecologists would require their patient to take birth control pills which could regulate the menstrual cycle.
Some doctors would also prescribe a specific diet or exercise to help with obesity and the hormonal imbalances brought by weight gain.
Contrary to rumors online, people with PCOS could still live a very normal life. PCOS awareness plays a vital role in helping women battle this disorder.
In the Philippines, PCOS Facebook support groups like PCOSians exist to disseminate information about the disorder and help women battle the effects of hormonal imbalances.
Researching about PCOS before you visit a medical professional would also help. Remember, the more you know about a disorder, the easier it will be for the doctor to diagnose and treat you.