Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition caused by a hormonal imbalance, affecting 1 in 10 women of reproductive-age. While PCOS can happen at any age after puberty, most women are diagnosed in their 20s or 30s, when they struggle to get pregnant.
Like many conditions, there's a lot of misinformation surrounding PCOS in movies, TV, and online. Below are four common myths about PCOS that we're debunking.
Myth 1: If You Have PCOS, You Have Polycystic Ovaries
While the name may imply that, it’s actually a misnomer. Many women have cysts but don’t have PCOS and, likewise, women may not have cysts but still have PCOS. In general, common symptoms include:
- Irregular periods or no periods
- High testosterone resulting in extra hair growth on face or body, acne, or thinning hair on head
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
Myth 2: PCOS Only Affects Overweight Women
While yes, many women with PCOS are overweight or obese, it does affect women with healthy or low BMIs as well. By assuming PCOS only affects overweight women, thin women with the disease can easily be misdiagnosed. On the opposite hand, overweight women are more likely to be misdiagnosed with PCOS, when their symptoms are actually caused by something else.
Myth 3: Losing Weight Gets Rid of PCOS
Unfortunately, PCOS is not curable but there are ways to manage the symptoms. And while diet, exercise, and weight loss will not rid you of PCOS, they may help lower blood sugar levels, improve how your body uses insulin, and help regulate your hormones. In fact, even a 10% loss in body weight can improve insulin sensitivity and ovulation!
Read: What is the Best Diet Plan for PCOS?
Myth 4: You Can’t Get Pregnant if You Have PCOS
PCOS is one of the most common, and treatable, infertility causes in women. PCOS interferes with ovulation, thus making getting pregnant more difficult. But, by working with a fertility specialist, you may increase your odds of getting pregnant, both naturally or after fertility treatments.
For Infertility Counseling in Georgia, Contact ACRM
When it comes to treating PCOS, it’s best to use a multi-disciplinary approach from your PCP and OB/GYN to your fertility specialist — let Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine be the fertility part of the puzzle. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.