for PCOS Cysters Looking for Optimal Physical, Spiritual and Financial Health

It’s PCOS Awareness Month! But What Is PCOS?

By now, you know that this website is all about PCOS and learning how to better live with this condition.

But really, some of us may genuinely ask themselves: “What is PCOS?” So I’ll try to explain.

What is PCOS?

PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It’s not a disease: it’s a syndrome. The difference between a syndrome and a disease lies in the fact that a syndrome is a collection of symptoms. It may not necessarily be a disease in itself, but it can precipitate one.

 

For example, women with PCOS have an increased risk of developing diabetes type II. A syndrome is often a warning or an indication that something in your body’s not working properly. In our case, PCOS underlies a hormone disorder. An imbalance of reproductive hormones like progesterone and estrogen is thought to be the cause of it. It’s often genetic too.

PCOS is a condition in which multiple cysts grow on your ovaries. These cysts are usually benign masses; they’re sacs full of fluid that can also erupt, causing pain.

 

what is pcos

PCOS Symptoms

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome symptoms vary from women to women but here’s a non-exhaustive list of some signs and symptoms a PCOS “cyster” (friendly name :)) may experience.

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Women facial hair on the face, chin. It’s called “hirsutism” and affects up to 70% of women with PCOS (yup, you’re not alone)
  • Acne on the face, chest, and upper back
  • Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp
  • Weight loss struggle
  • Darkening of skin, particularly along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath breasts

PCOS can manifest itself at any given time after puberty, and it affects 5-10% of women. African American and Hispanic women are unfortunately more overweight in America. Therefore, they are at an increased risk of developing physical conditions, which makes them also prone to hormonal imbalances and PCOS.

Fix For Female Hormones Summit

Hope for PCOS

what is PCOSIn the conventional medical world, there’s no such thing as a cure for PCOS. The aim is to alleviate its symptoms.

Frequently, people living with PCOS also try to get rid of PCOS symptoms rather than the condition itself. For example, if hirsutism is one of the symptoms, some PCOS “systers” will try to go and get facial hair removal treatment.

If the problem is unexplained weight gain, they’ll try to find a diet to lose weight.

All of these things make sense. In fact, these are things I did myself when I realized I had this syndrome.

But these won’t get rid of PCOS. It’ll just get rid of its symptoms, and most of the time, it won’t be a permanent solution because the underlying problem remains: hormonal imbalance.

So while looking for symptom relievers (you’ll even find tips here on this blog), it’s also wise to understand what’s actually happening inside of your body and what’s causing these annoying symptoms.

So PCOS awareness month isn’t only for people who didn’t know such condition exists: it’s also the perfect time for all PCOS cysters to come together, learn more about PCOS and its alternative ways to control its symptoms and share with others what’s helped them along the way.

what is PCOS

And this blog is the perfect place to do so.

So I’d like to know, do you have unanswered questions about your PCOS diagnosis? Do you think you have PCOS symptoms, although you didn’t get a diagnosis?

I believe there’s much power in sharing.

 

Head over to my blog post: From One PCOS Girl to Another…

Peace, Love, and Health,

Didi

RN, BSN, HC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/polycystic-ovary-syndrome

https://stateofobesity.org/disparities/blacks/



2 thoughts on “It’s PCOS Awareness Month! But What Is PCOS?”

  • Thanks so much for this very informative article on PCOS. I actually never new the difference between a syndrome and a disease before. I’m assuming this condition would also affect whether you can get pregnant or not, yes?

    Also, for those finished with having children, would a hysterectomy solve the problem?

    • Hi Barb!

      These are excellent questions to ask! I wouldn’t say that PCOS affects whether a woman gets pregnant or not, but rather that it may make things a bit harder. Some women have been bluntly told by their MD that they would never be able to conceive. I know at least two women, both of which have at least one kid.

      It might have taken longer for them to get pregnant, and they might have had to undergo some lifestyle changes or even some medical regimen, but they reversed the odd. These two women are not the only ones. Plus there’s the “faith” factor which I firmly believe in 🙂

      As for your 2nd question, concerning the hysterectomy, it’s a very complicated matter. 

      Women living with PCOS might think: : “If I remove my ovaries, the problem should go away!” Not necessarily. First of all, It’s not because the name of the condition include the word “ovaries” that it means the root of this imbalance lies in them. PCOS is a metabolic syndrome, which means it affects your whole body. To this day, the cause of PCOS is a mystery, so removing the ovaries might not help. 

      Secondly, one could argue that a total hysterectomy which involves removing the whole reproductive apparatus, including your ovaries which produce your sex hormones, could help with the symptoms one experiences. But this should be considered a LAST resort, not to be taken lightly.

      There are many risks associated with abdominal surgeries, including hemorrhage (severe blood loss), bowel injuries and bladder injuries, just to name a few. You really don’t want anyone to dig up in there unless there’s a significant issue. 

      Hope this helped! Stay blessed Barb!

      Didi

      RN, BSN, CHC

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