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What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and How It Affects You

By Jessi Wallace

 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. It causes hormone imbalances, which can eventually lead to a list of other health concerns, including irregular periods, insulin resistance, excess weight gain, facial hair growth, severe acne, skin tags, male-pattern hair loss, and ovarian cysts. Women with PCOS are also at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

In addition to these concerns, PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility.

Many women with PCOS struggle with anxiety and depression as a result of the hormonal imbalances present with PCOS. Additionally, knowing that the dream of birthing children may be in vain causes low self-esteem, brokenness, and loneliness. It’s hard enough to battle the slew of other symptoms that PCOS causes – the icing on the cake is definitely the infertility. It’s hard. It’s ugly. It feels isolating. As everyone around you conceives without medical help or planning, it’s easy to feel like less of a woman.

PCOS affects women in many ways. Every day is different, as each day can come with a different hormone level, and you never know how you’re really going to be feeling, how your face is going to be looking, or where those extra 5 lbs came from.

If you were just diagnosed with PCOS, I’m sorry to drop this anvil of negativity on you. The good news is that you are not alone and there is hope!

While PCOS can sometimes feel isolating, there is a slew of resources available online—from medical sites, to support groups, to blogs—to help you through this journey. In addition, many women with PCOS go on to live very healthy lives with healthy pregnancies and babies. It is very possible to control PCOS symptoms with healthy diet and exercise, and a few medical interventions where necessary. As a woman who was diagnosed with PCOS 8 years ago, I’m happy to say that I have been able to lose 24 lbs, regain semi-regular cycles, and even become a mom. Anything is possible.

If you were just diagnosed with PCOS and are looking for support, check out these two posts for the next steps in your journey, and don’t be afraid to share your story:

You Were Just Diagnosed with PCOS… Now What?

You Were Just Diagnosed with PCOS… Now What? [Part 2]

PCOS doesn’t have to clutch your life – you can win, live healthy, and become a mom with the right steps and interventions.

 

 

 

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