Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects many women. Unfortunately, several myths about PCOS can lead to confusion and overwhelm among those who suffer. Here are some common myths about PCOS:
- PCOS only affects women who are overweight: While most PCOS or [ PCOD] is often associated with weight gain, not all women with PCOS are overweight. Some women with PCOS may have normal or low body weight, but they have the same causes of insulin resistance and androgen excess. So the treatment remains correcting how they eat, sleep, and exercise.
- All women with PCOS have ovarian cysts or we need an ultrasound to diagnose Polycystic ovaries: The name “polycystic ovary syndrome” can be misleading because not all women with PCOS have cysts on their ovaries. The presence of cysts is not part of the diagnostic criteria for PCOS. PCOS is diagnosed with signs and symptoms like irregular periods, weight gain, infertility or excess acne, or excess hair.
- PCOS is only a reproductive disorder: While most PCOS signs and symptoms are infertility or irregular periods, it can also lead to other health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, heavy periods, and endometrial cancer. So it is worth it to achieve treatment with weight loss and maintain it with a healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life.
- There’s nothing you can do to treat PCOS: While there is no cure for PCOS, there are treatments that can help manage PCOS signs and symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. Besides medications (for targeted goals), lifestyle changes, such as mindful eating, exercise, sleep, and emotional control with life coaching, remains the mainstay treatment for PCOS.
- PCOS women can’t get pregnant: While they struggle to make a natural egg every month due to hormonal imbalance, it is a reversible problem. Weight loss, mindful eating, stress management, and, if required, fertility drugs have helped thousands of PCOS women to have babies the world over.
- PCOS is rare: It was very uncommon, maybe 50-70 years back when food was in limited supply. But since obesity cases started rising, PCOS incidence rose too. Now 5-10% of women have it. Many of them are undiagnosed. Hence, if you are obese, you are probably heading toward PCOS, Diabetes, and Hypertension.
- It is normal to have excess hair: Women are supposed to have hair only on their heads, armpits, and pubic area. If there is thick hair on the chin, jawline, front of the chest, around nipples, below the belly button, or around the anus, then you probably have more testosterone due to PCOS.
- Irregular periods mean PCOS: Menstrual cycle can become erratic due to some more causes apart from PCOS, like thyroid disorder, breastfeeding, and prolactin hormone issues. They can also be irregular during extreme stress events like exams, job changes, moves, illnesses, severe weight gain, or severe weight loss. Once your body comes back to normal life, your periods would regulate too. But gradual weight gain and irregular periods are mostly due to PCOS, which can be confirmed with some blood tests by your doctor.
- Worry about PCOS only when you want to have a baby: The natural ability to make babies is stopped by our brain as it thinks it’s not safe to have a baby with insulin resistance. Thanks to infertility treatments, we can bypass nature’s defense. Still, it will come to bite us eventually with lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, heavy periods, and endometrial cancer. So infertility is just the tip of the iceberg.
- No one can help me: Many specialties focus on PCOS. Doctors have advanced, safer medication to help you get pregnant. Nutritionists have meal plans that can help with foods safe for PCOS. Exercising instructors are constantly helping with various exercise forms that specifically help PCOS. But we need your willingness to get started.
That is where Life Coaching tools can help you navigate from your current mindset to an improved sustainable lifestyle that lasts forever, keeping you away from Metabolic diseases like Diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. If you are someone stuck with not knowing where and how to start, try the emotional support provided in Life Coaching for PCOS.