PCOS - More Than Just Bad Periods
If you’re having painful periods that are also irregular then you may well be suffering from more than just bad periods—something that others, including doctors are quick to assume.
Millions of women suffer from symptoms related to their periods that are upsetting and even embarrassing. Not having them looked at and treated is common because they think they’re just having a bad period or a run of bad luck. Symptoms like irregular periods or none at all, along with unusual weight gain, excess facial and body hair and male pattern baldness are going untreated when they are likely being caused by a condition called PCOS-Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
PCOS is not one condition but rather the name given to a myriad of symptoms that happen together, usually in women with the polycystic ovaries, which refers to ovaries that are covered in dozens of tiny cysts. It’s been noted in recent years though that a woman can have many of the symptoms of PCOS without actually having the classic cysts on the ovaries. No wonder this syndrome is still such a mystery to many doctors!
Taking A Stand
As mentioned, the symptoms of PCOS can be worrisome and even embarrassing. What you also need to know is that PCOS can make it very difficult for you to get pregnant because of the lack of and irregular menses. Having PCOS also causes insulin resistance in many women and while doctors don’t know why that is, they do know that it greatly increases a woman’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The excess weight also increases the risk of heart attacks in women with PCOS.
While many women with the condition have severe symptoms, most find them manageable and to be more of a nuisance than anything else. Unfortunately this leads to women not seeking answers or treatment until the day comes that they want to conceive and have trouble doing so. That is often when many doctors take the symptoms more seriously which is why it’s important for women to take a stand and insist on further investigation as soon as they realize that something is wrong. Getting the symptoms and your ability to conceive under control can take months, even years, of various treatments, so getting control over PCOS as early as possible is your best option.
There is no cure for PCOS but rather various ways to treat the symptoms individually. For starters, many women are put on birth control pills to help regulate their periods as well as alleviate some of the symptoms such as cramps and heavy bleeding. There are medications that can be prescribed to deal with the excess facial and body hair. The use of Rogaine can help women whose hair is thinning. The use of the diabetes medication, Metformin (Glucophage) is now being used to help with insulin resistance. Also, regular exercise and a modified diet that is lower in carbohydrates and sugars have proven most helpful in alleviating all of the symptoms of PCOS.