10 Mar Untreated PCOS: What You Need to Know About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
About 1 in 10 women suffer from a disease called polycystic ovary syndrome.
While Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is pretty common, there are some important things that women need to know about it. The best thing to do is to be as informed as possible about untreated PCOS because it can become serious.
If you’re concerned about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS, keep reading for all the things you need to know.
What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is a hormonal disease mostly caused by an imbalance of the hormones insulin and androgen. It affects the ovaries, a large part of the female reproductive system. Because of this, the ovaries do not function normally and may cause a series of health issues.
Some of the symptoms of PCOS are:
- Extra body and facial hair
- Missed periods
- Weight gain
- Difficulty conceiving
- Ovarian cysts
All these symptoms may or may not come all at once, and the individual is likely to not experience all of the symptoms.
However, high levels of the hormone androgen, missed periods, and even the presences of cysts on the ovaries are three common and underlying symptoms of PCOS and your doctor will likely diagnose you with it even if you have at least two of these symptoms.
7 Things You Need to Know About Untreated PCOS
Living with PCOS can be frustrating and even debilitating sometimes. If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms, don’t leave them untreated.
Here’s what you need to know about PCOS.
1. It Can Be Serious
If left untreated, PCOS can become a serious problem. All of the symptoms you experience can lead to other health risks like cancers, acne scars, and heart disease if you don’t see a doctor and receive treatment.
Other health problems may include sleep apnea and problems getting pregnant. The good news is that with a diagnosis, proper treatment, and lifestyle changes, the outlook for PCOS is positive.
2. Diagnosis is Hard
Unlike other diseases that can be expected due to genetics, doctors don’t exactly know who is most likely to get PCOS and who will not.
The symptoms of PCOS can be markers, but just because you have them doesn’t necessarily mean you have PCOS. Because of this, doctors can often miss PCOS. For example, if you have excess acne, and you see a dermatologist, they’re unlikely to ask about other factors like missed periods.
The way to get a diagnosis is by seeing a doctor like an OBGYN who will understand all your symptoms and make the proper diagnosis. PCOS is usually diagnosed by blood tests and even an ultrasound to look at ovarian cysts.
3. There Are Treatments
There is no cure for PCOS. However, there are ways it can be treated.
Medications exist to control the hormones and acne that is the culprit of PCOS. Your doctor will work with you to decide the best medication to treat your symptoms.
4. Medications Are Not The End-All
While medications can help treat PCOS, medications combined with changes in lifestyle are the best antidote to treating PCOS and many doctors recommend this approach.
Lifestyle changes such as dietary modifications, weight loss, and exercise all play a role in helping treat PCOS. For example, being overweight causes your body to produce more insulin which in turn can cause PCOS, so losing weight is a key factor in helping treat PCOS.
Start eating a diet rich in healthy fats and lean meats like avocados, seeds, nuts, chicken, and fish.
5. PCOS Has A Domino Effect
As mentioned before, if left untreated PCOS can cause other problems in your body. While cancer is a serious diagnosis, there are other ways in which PCOS can impact your body as well. For example, untreated PCOS can lead to type 1 diabetes because of it’s connection to insulin.
6. OBGYNs Help Those With PCOS
OBGYNs are well-educated to help those with PCOS. Their main area of expertise is to help women with health issues. If you want more opinions, endocrinologist deals with hormones and can give you extra insight.
One of the most common problems associated with PCOS is infertility. PCOS hinders ovulation, which makes it difficult to become pregnant. Infertility can be devastating for many women who desire to get pregnant.
However, with the proper diagnosis and treatment, many women go on to have healthy full-term pregnancies. Other parts of the reproductive system are usually working well, and once treatment is working many women get pregnant.
If You Think You Have PCOS
Symptoms of PCOS can be difficult to hone in on, but here are a few things you should do if you think you may have PCOS.
Write down your symptoms and how long you’ve had them. Keep track of them and their intensity.
Find an OBGYN that specializes in PCOS. They will have all the information you need they’ll know how to treat it.
Schedule your appointment with the OBGYN of your choice and bring your concerns and symptoms to your appointment.
Listen and follow your OB’s advice. Be open to the treatments you need and be willing to follow through to help yourself heal.
PCOS: There is Hope
Untreated PCOS can be devastating and develop a chain reaction of more health problems. If you think you have PCOS, call your doctor or find an OBGYN that can help you find relief.
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