I have another Take on this matter which is mostly just a little rant. For those of you who don't know what PCOS is, it stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrom. I have suffered from PCOS myself ever since I began puberty. It is not fun. I hate it. I grew up always wanting a family and now starting one of my own is going to be hell.
Why, you ask? Because PCOS affects your fertility. It isn't impossible for a woman with PCOS to get pregnant, but it is signifiantly harder. PCOS is generally hereditary in most cases. My mother had it and everyon was amazed that she was able to have me. The doctors told her I would be her only child but my mom showed them wrong and had two more kids. But with large age gaps between the three of us. And each pregnancy was harder on her body. PCOS can also bring in pregnancy issues that make a pregnancy harder on the mom. My mom was very ill with each pregnancy and stayed ill for months after giving birth. The doctors told her that if she were to have another kid, by some chance, then she would die. Women who are able to get pregnant with PCOS have a higher chance of Miscarriage, Gestational diabetes, Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (preeclampsia), and Premature delivery.
But my mom was a lucky case. Most women with PCOS aren't lucky enough to have three kids of their own. Most are lucky to have one, maybe two. But of course, as my mom shows, this isn't always the case. But often a woman with PCOS may never be able to get pregnant without the help of fertility drugs.
Babies born to women with PCOS have a higher risk of spending time in a neonatal intensive care unit or dying before, during, or shortly after birth. Most of the time, these problems occur in multiple-birth babies (twins, triplets).
Researchers are studying whether the diabetes medicine Metformin can prevent or reduce the chances of having problems while pregnant. Metformin also lowers male hormone levels and limits weight gain in women who are obese when they get pregnant. (Many women will have an insuline intolerance or Type 2 diabetes and a shaking sensation when they don't eat on time due to blood sugar thanks to PCOS). This also is a part of the weight gain. PCOS can cause a woman to be overweight very easily. It doesn't take much to put on the weight and it takes forever to lose it. A woman with PCOS has to work twice as hard to lose weight as the average woman...even one with a slow metabalistim. (if you would like some PCOS stats you can visit https://www.rightdiagnosis.com/p/pcos/stats.htm)
PCOS also causes hair growth in women. This hair growth appears mostly on the face but can also show up in the feet, toes, stomach, and breast. The hair growh has different severity levels in each woman. Some just have light colored, but prickly and coarse harirs, that are annoying and thick..While some women will grow a full on man worthy beard.
The cause of PCOS is unknown. But most experts think that several factors, including genetics, could play a role. Women with PCOS are more likely to have a mother or sister with PCOS.
A main underlying problem with PCOS is a hormonal imbalance. In women with PCOS, the ovaries make more androgens than normal. Androgens are male hormones that females also make. High levels of these hormones affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation.
This is difficult to deal with for a lot of women with PCOS.Because of those hormones is they develope facial hair. Some shave, but this leaves them with a 5:00 clock shadow. Those with the lesser severity will pluck or wax. And of course you can get laser therapy. But that cost a lot of money. And, on rare occasions, the woman will rock the beard with no shame.
It can also cause either extremely dry skin or extremely oily skin and severe acne. Women with PCOS aren't usually lucky enough to leave acne behind after Highschool. It will usually follow them duirng their entire reproductive life. And in addiition to the acne PCOS can also cause the discoloring of skin. So a woman may have patches of red or yellow or a darker tan color or brown/black in places on her skin.
Surprisingly enough, drandruff is also a side effect of PCOS. I hate having Dandruff. It's more an annoyance than anything, but still. Who wants dandruff??
Some women with PCOS will suffer from "male pattern baldness". This isn't the case with every woman who suffers from PCOS (as goes the same with any of the side effects). But a woman who suffers from this will usually have very thin hair and over time (or sometimes suddenly) her hair will begin to thin dramantically.
Another side effect are skin tags. I, luckily, don't have any. But many women with PCOS do. They are annoying little flaps of skin. They are sometimes discolored and are usually on the breast, neck, or armpits.
The side effects of PCOS are many. I could go on and on and on and on about them. If I'm not careful I just might.
But the two most common are lack or period and cysts on the ovaries.
Not every woman who has PCOS will develp cysts, but they are common in those with it and are painful. Some women just get all the side effects of a cyst without actuall having one. It's basically just a major middle finger that your own body is giving you.
Another common side effect is the lack of periods (which falls in line with the infertilty). Some women's periods will follow a schedule even when they have PCOS, but most womens do not!! They may not get a period for months..and when they finally do get it, the period may only last a day or it may lasts two weeks!! And the flow is never consistent. You may think it's over and then bam!!!! There it is again. Or it could just end randomly after just a few days but during those few days it felt like your vagina was a waterfall of blood.
Your period may come early or late, or not at all! You never know with PCOS.
The ovaries, where a woman's eggs are produced, have tiny fluid-filled sacs called follicles or cysts. As the egg grows, the follicle builds up fluid. When the egg matures, the follicle breaks open, the egg is released, and the egg travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus (womb) for fertilization. This is called ovulation.
In women with PCOS, the ovary doesn't make all of the hormones it needs for an egg to fully mature. The follicles may start to grow and build up fluid but ovulation does not occur. Instead, some follicles may remain as cysts. For these reasons, ovulation does not occur and the hormone progesterone is not made. Without progesterone, a woman's menstrual cycle is irregular or absent. Plus, the ovaries make male hormones, which also prevent ovulation.
And the pain!!!!!!!
Pain is generally a common thing with any person who suffers from a period but a person with PCOS has a pain dial that goes past the norm in most cases.
The cramps are way worse than the average womans in most cases (though not all) and a lot of times it will bring naseua. One time the first 3 days of my period I just laid on the floor in my bathroom cuddling a heating pad while I struggled not to vomit and it took all I had not to chug a bottle of Pamprin. The pain is horribe. The extra strenght stuff doesn't usually help. I'll lay in bed, in the fetal position, crying for hours because the pain is so bad that I can barely move.
Somtimes we'll get random pelvic pain for no reason. It'll be out of the blue and nowhere near our period time and it will just hurt. It's horrible and I really with it didn't have to be this way.
A lot of women with PCOS will have sleep apnea, anxiety, or depression.
The professionals aren't quite sure why these go along with PCOS but many of their studies show that women with PCOS have these conditions and they often co-relate.
Sometimes I will sit and think about how unfair it is. How so many women who want a family are given such crappy reproductive systems and then a woman who hates even the idea of kids will have a perfeclty functional one.
I hope this crash course helped you understand PCOS a little bit better. I am by no means a professional, but as a woman who suffers from PCOS I hope I was able to shed some light on the situation. There are plently of websites one can visit if they would like to learn more about PCOS.